Three Poetic Traditions Inspire A Mideast Symphony | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Three Poetic Traditions Inspire A Mideast Symphony

Play associated audio

For his third symphony, the 26-year-old American composer Mohammed Fairouz decided to incorporate text in three languages. Poems and Prayers, which had its debut Thursday in New York, features passages in Arabic, Hebrew and Aramaic.

The symphony was commissioned by Northeastern University, where Fairouz teaches. The idea was to write something exploring the conflicts in the Middle East, so for inspiration, Fairouz delved into the region's poetry — both ancient and modern.

"In reading the poetry, I started to develop an idea of synthesizing these poems, as well as some of the ancient liturgies of the Middle East, to form what the title of the symphony implies: poems and prayers," Fairouz says. "And the symphony is scored for chorus, orchestra, solo vocalists, solo instrumentalists — so there's a variety of ways in which these texts can be articulated."

NPR's Mary Louise Kelly speaks with Fairouz about assembling the symphony and the stories behind some of the movements.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Louis C.K. Reflects On 'Louie,' Loss, Love And Life

C.K. won an Emmy for outstanding writing in a comedy series for an episode on his FX show Louie. In 2011, C.K. told Fresh Air about making his comedy special and his relationship with other comedians.
NPR

How Foster Farms Is Solving The Case Of The Mystery Salmonella

Foster Farms has been accused of poisoning its customers with salmonella bacteria. But in recent months, the company has become a leader in the poultry industry's fight against the foodborne pathogen.
NPR

Former Border Protection Insider Alleges Corruption, Distortion In Agency

James Tomsheck was pushed out of his job as internal affairs chief for Customs and Border Protection in June. He warns the agency has become a paramilitary organization with little accountability.
NPR

Science Crowns Mozzarella The King Of Pizza Cheese

Why do some cheeses melt and caramelize better than others? Researchers used high-tech cameras and special software to figure it out.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.