Kaman Fantasy (2015) for full orchestra - ca. 12'
2016 Palmer Dixon Award, Winner
2016 BMI Student Composer Award, Finalist
2015 Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Composer Institute, Selected Work
2015 Columbus Symphony Orchestra EarShot Readings, Selected Work
"Kaman Fantasy was like nothing else on that program; indeed, it was like few things ever performed by orchestras...a magical and extremely beautiful microtonally tinged tune emerged amid various melodic fragments chock full of swirling embellishments in the strings and winds. Although the sounds were clearly being made by members of a symphony orchestra reading from parts on their stands, what they played sounded uncannily like the orally transmitted large ensemble music of North Africa and the Middle East."
– New Music Box
Kaman Fantasy takes its name from ‘kamanjah,’ the Arabic word for ‘violin.’ The piece is an exploration of the Arabic ‘maqamat’ (sets of scales) and rhythms in a Western classical context. The music embraces both traditions, often swaying back and forth between Arabic and Western idioms. As a first generation Arab-American, I have often found myself shifting between both cultures in the way that I think and act, sometimes voluntarily, most times not. Kaman Fantasy is a reflection on those experiences. With great gratitude, I express thanks to violinist Basma Edrees and pianist Ava Nazar for bringing the version for violin and piano to life in February 2015 -- and to violinist Michelle Tseng, who spent many hours with me workshopping that work before the final double bar.
Premiered October 29, 2015: Columbus Symphony conducted by Rossen Milanov at Ohio Theatre in Columbus, OH
Additional performances by the Milwaukee Symphony (2015) and the Alabama Symphony (2018);
Additional reading by the Juilliard Orchestra (2015)