A Musical-Visual Journey by Ayman Alalao & Kinan Abou-afach

Posted On:
10 June, 2015

May 29, 2015: Al-Bustan presented a unique collaboration between digital artist Ayman Alalao, composer Kinan Abou-afach and Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble, in “an enjoyable and deeply touching” concert as one attendee remarked.

The evening first featured music by the Takht with digital animation by Alalao, leading up to {De}Perception, a new 25-minute instrumental composition by Abou-afach with a pre-recorded track, while Alalao digitally generated visual art in response to the music.

This fascinating musical-visual journey, informed by Alalao’s and Abou-afach’s shared heritage and reflections on the past, looks to a future shaped by imagination and memory. As the sounds generated visual patterns and illustrations created live on stage, the multi-layered experience allowed the audience to think, feel, see, and discover their own stories and interpretations.

The two artists explored the idea of how perspectives change over time, taking inspiration from a poem by fellow Syrian, Rahman Khallouf’s Between the Tomorrow and Yesterday. As Abou-afach reflected on a painful present, he noted: “I want to skip today. I want to go to yesterday and think about tomorrow.” He immersed himself in his music-making, abstractions of his many influences, while Alalao digitally created visuals that are equally evocative. Lines, colors, and Arabic script are obscured to allow the audience to experience the space in their own way. Portions of the visuals and music were pre-determined; the technology used by Alalao allowed each musician playing to affect the visuals as part of the live performance.

Photos by Chip Colson:

The evening ended with a highly engaged audience asking and sharing their reflections during a Q&A with the artists. As some attendees remarked afterwards:

It was amazing.. beautiful, memorable music… I not only felt that the artists (and then the audience) had a chance to engage in what is happening in Syria in a sincere way, it was also a graceful way to engage in what is indescribably horrible to so many. I gained a bit of depth of understanding about the Syrian community both there and here.

Excellent classical and new music with ground-breaking animation!

Soulful, moving, and spiritually captivating.