Posted by on May 23, 2013 in Blog

By Raouia Briki

Summer 2013 Intern

Since its start two years ago, the Arab uprising has inspired many artists. Last year, MIT’s wind ensemble performed the premiere concert of a three-movement work called “Awakening: Evoking the Arab Spring through Music”. The piece was composed by MIT alumnus and artist Jamshield Sharifi and led by MIT wind ensemble director Frederick Harris. This documentary concert performance will premier on WGBH Boston (PBS) on Friday, May 31 at 10:30pm.

Inspired by the Arab uprising, the piece beautifully narrates the story in three different movements: Maghreb/Bouazizi/the uprisings, Reflection: let each one hear her own thoughts, ahead: the real transformation has barely begun.  Like an Aristotelian tragedy, “Awakening” engages the audience’s emotions in the story line of the Arab revolutions. Sharifi explains that “the first movement gives us a sense of place, utilizing maqam Hijaz (a mode often associated with the deep desert), and continues in a somewhat programmatic fashion, touching on the tragic event that ignited the protests, and continuing into the propagation of the revolutions. The second movement is a respite, a chance to contemplate what has happened. And the third hopes to energize and inspire the work that is to come.”

The seeds of the project were planted when Harris asked Sharifi to compose a piece that would depict the stages of the Arab Spring as a way to help his students understand the historical context behind it. Now, more than one year from its first performance, “Awakening” will be seen on television for the first time.

For more information on the music, composers and performers, please click here.

Don’t miss the chance to view this incredible concert.

comments powered by Disqus