How would you describe your current musical aesthetic or your musical sound?
I’m still a very young player, I’ve only really been playing for about six or seven years, so this is still the incubational phase. At this point in my learning process, I’m taking in sounds, ideas, and resources from many different areas: traditional khaleeji music, classical Arabic music, Greek and Turkish traditions, jazz, Western classical music, my teachers, and my peers. Being a musician is a commitment to a life-long learning curve and constant growth. How that eventually manifests as I mature will be very interesting.
What is your compositional method?
It benefits me to use a variety of processes that are both organic and organized. Balance is always key. Something I like to do, as a meditative practice, is record myself improvising at random times, then sample the material weeks or months later and use it to compose.
How important is the Arab tradition of music influencing your current music style?
The longer I play, the more fascinated I become with understanding traditional styles from the Middle East and North Africa. The oud developed and evolved to play that specific music, so its soul resonates the deepest in those environments.
How important do you think it is for people to know about older Arab composers and classical Arab songs?
Having a relationship with our heritage is extremely important. The tendency to link old-school aesthetics with old-school mentalities is a common issue even though it doesn’t have to be that way. Living generations have all the resources and skills to research our cultures independently and decide how to reconcile any differences we may feel exists. Listen to the music your parents and grandparents listened to. Learn about cultural history. Revisit old locations in your city. Reflect on traditional values and morals. Then figure out what makes sense today and throw out the rest. Consciousness of our heritage in the face of modernity will allow us to propel forward more than we can imagine.
Is music a good way to enforce a sense of Arab pride?
Saying “Arab” as a general term is easy, but we know that our communities are much more diverse than simply “Arab”. Instead, by celebrating the variety of music in our communities, we are respecting and celebrating the diversity of people, too. Music has the power to inspire and engage audiences across cultures, languages, and histories. By sharing our music we can share some beauty from our experiences.