In the first virtual performance of its kind, Emirati composer, Ihab Darwish will be leading in collaboration with 128 international musicians performing in 20 different countries. The event comes as part of the Abu Dhabi Festival program and will take place online on March 30th 2021.
Entitled, “Hekayat: Symphonic Tales,” the performance explores more than just beautiful sounding compositions – it is almost a journey around the world as there are going to be 13 compositions played by musicians in 20 countries, and will encompass the musical traditions and cultures of every continent and country.
The word “Hekayat,” translates to “tales” in English, and the performance is the first of its kind to be led by an Emirati composer. The musicians participating in the performance, recorded separately in their respective countries, will appear virtually as one orchestra on the stage at Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace Auditorium.
So how long would such an event take to put together? Well according to the organizers, it took almost 700 Zoom sessions and over 86,000 hours of production and planning for the musical artists and the orchestra who all filmed their participation separately in 21 cities scattered all over the world. Each recorded performance was digitally synched, and using a post-production technology, all 128 musicians were placed on a virtual 3D model of the stage.
In an official statement from Ihab Darwish, the composer said, “I am constantly experimenting with different genres, instruments, and time frames in music. The experimental nature of ‘Hekayat’ is inspired by my inherent hope for a better future and belief in shared human values. Since my first engagement at Abu Dhabi Festival, the format of performances has been transformed by the pandemic, and yet music’s profound emotional impact and power to soothe are more important than ever. As a unique virtual event, ‘Hekayat’ will be accessible to all audiences around the globe, which is a great advantage.”
The Emirati composer is the first in his music genre to be a guest composer at the Beethoven Academy Orchestra with a forte in classical music that also features Western, Arab and Khaleeji elements and is Darwish’s signature sound.
Some of the international talents involved in the virtual performance include, the Beethoven Academy Orchestra, conducted by maestro Tomasz Tokarczyk, VOX Chamber Choir, Argentine tenor José Cura and virtuoso musicians Sara Andon, Kodō, Carlos Piñana and Kinan Azmeh.