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Alison McQueen

Fill-in with the New York Arabic Orchestra

01/10/11 8:22 AM

It was a treat to perform on clarinet this summer with the New York Arabic Orchestra. Our concert was part of the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival, and the crowd was warm and positive — people even danced in the aisles while we played! We performed various traditional and contemporary Arabic pieces arranged by Bassam Saba, the orchestra’s director and conductor. Bassam is also a world-famous ney and oud player and has released albums that have met critical acclaim.

The music itself was soothing and beautiful. Learning the music required that I become familiar and comfortable with note modifications not typically found in Western Classical music. Arabic music is a different bird altogether in that the key signatures and notation accommodate half-flats and quarter-tones, which result in refreshing, unique blends of sound. It was truly an honor to be asked to work with these accomplished world-music performers.

Posted by Alison | in Music Performance and Lessons | Comments Off

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