New recording of ‘Hanjale’ for solo cello

Performed by cellist Bryan Hayslett and recorded at Futura Productions in Roslindale, MA


There is an Arabic saying أول الرقص حنجلة (Awal al-raqs hanjale) which translates to “The dance begins with a prance.”  Like most such folk sayings, there are often multiple meanings attributed to them. Generally, this saying can be understood to mean something that begins with a small gesture turns into something much larger.  This of course can allude to positive and negative outcomes.  This work, a challenging and rewarding work for solo mandolin, explores this concept by using small Arabic music influenced gestures to let the dance unfold as it will.

Pew Center for the Arts Grant Award and announcement of commission

I’m very excited to share the news of a grant that from the Pew Center for the Arts awarded to Philadelphia based Al-Bustan for the Arts. The grant will include funding for two new commissions by my friend and colleague Kinan Abu-Afach and me. Details about the project that will result in new works for choir and a chamber ensemble of traditional Arabic instruments based on Arabic Andalusian text. Details here.