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Pop-up Performance: Unlock the Language of Music

From Under the Dome
By Berklee Abu Dhabi

“Lend your ears to music, open your eyes to painting, and... stop thinking!”

The bold, striking shapes and colours of abstract art, the beauty of Arabic calligraphy – reinterpreted in sound. Listen to avant-garde interpretations of artworks from the exhibition: Abstraction and Calligraphy – Towards a Universal Language. For the first time, artists and instructors from Berklee Abu Dhabi performed a selection of songs under the dome inspired by the exhibition as well as some of their original songs.. Artists such as Kandinsky were greatly inspired by the composers of the 20th century including Arnold Schönberg and Goston and New York musicians including Feldman and John Cage.This special quartet features music that inspired artists from the exhibition, performed by Samvel Gasparyan on piano, Shilpa Ananth on vocals, Yarub Smarait on violin and Firas Hassan on percussion. We have made the performance available online for you to enjoy.

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi / Photo: Ismail Noor / Seeing Things

About the artists:

Samvel Gasparyan

Samvel Gasparyan is an award-winning Armenian pianist, composer and educator. He has toured in more than 40 countries and performed at prestigious events and festivals such as the Montreux, Dubai jazz festivals, Kavkaz and Yerevan jazz festivals, Jazz Across Borders and the Mother of the Nation Festival in Abu Dhabi. Samvel has collaborated with world-renowned artists including Jamiroquai, Diana Krall, Kool & The Gang and many more. He has contributed to 11 studio albums and recently released a solo album.

Shilpa Ananth

Shilpa Ananth is an Indian vocalist, songwriter, composer and producer based in the USA. Her unique sound fuses the dreamy landscapes of South India with soul, jazz and electronic music, blending three of the oldest Indian languages with English.
After graduating from Berklee College of Music, Shilpa released an EP and recorded and performed with Grammy Award-winning composers A. R. Rahman, Bobby McFerrin, Bill Whalen and Javier Limon's Original Quartet. She has toured extensively with Serbian female vocal group ROSA, the Berklee Indian Ensemble, Women of the World and the Bollywood Boulevard musical production.

Yarub Smarait

Born in Jordan but based in Abu Dhabi, Yarub Smarait’s career as a violinist has taken him all over the world. Inspired by traditional fusions, Yarub’s music transcends languages, making complex compositions easy on the ear. Yarub is curious and adventurous, breaking the rules and absorbing influences from Eastern Europe, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and the Balkan region. Yarub’s performances have impressed audiences across the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and the USA. He has a unique musicality and a distinctive technique in reinterpreting oriental tunes.

Firas Hassan

Percussionist Firas holds a master’s degree in Contemporary Studio Performance from the Valencia Campus of the Berklee College of Music. He was also awarded a post-study scholarship for developing the curriculum for Arabic percussion instruments. He has taught music in Syria, Spain, and Germany, and runs workshops on Arabic percussion around the world.
Firas has performed classical, classical Arabic, jazz, fusion, Latin and flamenco music, and contributed to many albums. In 2016 Firas produced his own first album, funded by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC).

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