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The world premiere performance was given on April 16, 2021, at West Virginia University’s Bloch Hall by Dustin White.
The Piece is included in the “RI Ra” album after winning the call for score by Dustin White for his album project.
Program note
“The Awiss Dance” Opus 13A, is a piece for solo bass flute, based on the traditional ancient Arabic rhythm called “Al Awiss”, consists of an 11/8 meter that gives the music a moving forward feeling, combined with one of the most expressive Arabic scales (Maqamat) called “Saba.
The piece used the bass flute as a melodic instrument to call the ancient Arab world, using some microtonal elements that come from the nature of Arabic maqam music and also used as a percussion instrument to introduce the Awiss rhythm and the camel dance spirit.
Starting with a “Mawwal”- a group of small improvised melodic phrases that Arabic singers used to start with it their performances – in which we can hear the flutist sing on the instrument while playing it. Then, moving along to introduce the rhythmic elements using some of the most percussive techniques on flute, and gradually adding the melodic elements, first with half sound half air (resembling the Arabic old instrument “Shabbaba” that is well known for its very breathy sound), then with full sound, in addition to the clear rhythmic accent that keeps the “Awiss” pulse alive.

What next?

  • Release of « A tribute to Wadeeh El Safi » for solo piano, with pianist Chantal Francis Menassa
  • Recording of « The Khosh Rank Dance » – Opus 13B – for Solo Cello, with Cellist Jana Semaan
  • Recording of « The Mouraba’ Dance » – Opus 13C – for Solo Viola, with Violist Noemi Chemali
  • Recording of the piece « A tune for Amer’s Horn » – Opus 10 – with Amr Slim on french horn, Makram Bou l Hosn on double bass, and Seba Ali on piano

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Chicago Arabic Music Workshop

After receiving an invitation from the Chicago based pianist/ bassoonist/ composer Angela Salvaggionne to give a workshop about Arabic music, and meet her students, a workshop with the Lebanese composer Wajdi Abou Diab was hold via ZOOM on 30 January 2021.

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This book is a collection of the most famous Arabic folk songs, chosen from all the Arabic region, including tunes from Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Algeria, Tunisia, Irak and more, arranged for solo piano by the Lebanese pianist and composer Wajdi Abou Diab.

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Four Pieces from my composition list – that happened to be opus 1, 2, 3 and 4 – chosen for this album, inspired by the Arabic traditional music, melodies, rhythms, dances and folklore, and developed in a contemporary unique way, to reflect the contradictions, traditions, and conflicts of our societies.

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