AlhambraAl-Bustan project “Words Adorned: Andalusian Poetry and Music” will premiere two new compositions by Arab-American composers Kareem Roustom and Kinan Abou-afach to be presented on December 5, 2015. The project brings together a classical Arab ensemble (Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble) and a Western choir (The Crossing), and will feature Palestinian singer Dalal Abu Amneh.

There are a series of related events leading up to the concert, which include a talk by Huda Fakhreddine and Lital Levy on Andalusian poetry (the first of the events on Sept 29), a talk by Dede Fairchild Ruggles on the Andalusian garden and a poetry reading featuring Ahmad Almallah as well as an open rehearsal and a demonstration of Arabic vocal traditions.

In September 2015 Al-Bustan will launch an interactive website dedicated to this project to include an analysis of the cultural and historical context of Andalusian poetry, and will highlight the process of composing, rehearsing, and performing through videos, podcasts, photos, and print documentation.

In this talk, Rima Khcheich demonstrates various aspects of Arabic vocal traditions related to the qasida and especially the muwashahat:

The great singers of muwashahat include Fairuz and Sabah Fakhri. Today, some of the best singers (in my opinion) are Rima Kcheich, Fadia Al HajGhada Shbeir, and Lena Chamamyan.

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