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Syrian musician Alyamani prepares to inspire audience.

RAMY SALAMA

DOHA

SYRIAN musician MAias Alyamani has become a seasoned artist at a young age, playing the violin in a series of concerts with the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO). In addition, he has released six music albums he composed, three of which were self-produced.

One of the most promising young Arab musicians today, he recently released his latest album Offstage, which is available at Virgin Megastore in Doha.

A release concert to celebrate the launch of the album will take place on January 9, 2014 at the Museum of Islamic Art.

Offstage is an inspired tour de force which could serve as a soundtrack for a modem retelling of the One Thousand and One Nights, blending as it does classical Arabic music with more contemporary nuances. The track entitled Sea Waves is a standout, and could be mistaken for a composition by a young Mohamed Abdel Wahab.

Qatar Tribune spoke with the artist, who is preparing for his upcoming concert even as he rehearses with the QPO. Describing Offstage, he said the album is essentially a live recording, a record of a string of concerts performed at Katara last year.

Discussing the process of preparing the album, Alyamani said,"It took a long time to produce, due to circumstances. In Syria, everywhere there is war and instability, and this can be demoralising. Sometimes one hesitates to undertake a cultural effort given this situation but in the end, I feel that music is worthwhile and indeed, this is my own way of representing my country."

Reflecting on the upcoming performance, Alyamani said"it is always nice to play at the Museum. The atmosphere is very special, it's somewhat casual and less formal than a classical musical concert as such, and while the acoustics are not perfect for this sort of performance, even this gives a particular character to the music, which cannot really be duplicated elsewhere."

Alyamani returned to this characterisation of his musical work as somewhat informal, arguing that this is one reason why classical music is not popular. He said,"I think we need to be nearer to our audience, and I think this is an issue with classical music in general. When the distance widens between the audience and the performers, it becomes inconvenient for the former to engage with the work, and this will distance some of them."

The artist expressed his thanks for those supporters of cultural endeavours in Qatar, adding that"this is forward-thinking, because investing in culture is investing in future generations. If you invest in buildings, all you will have are buildings, but to invest in future generations is to ensure that you will have a better civilisation, which will inevitably produce not just better buildings, but also a better society."

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Publication:Qatar Tribune (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:7QATA
Date:Dec 26, 2013
Words:473
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