Jamal A. Hosn, pioneer in the audio-visual arts
Jamal A. Hosn is a composer and audio-visual artist who works and lives in Lebanon. He studied in Cairo, Vienna and Los Angeles and returned to Lebanon in 1993 where he founded the first class of computer aided composition. To mark the release of his last album ‘Symphonic Colors’, Jamal A. Hosn speaks to Agenda Culturel.
Could you present yourself to the readers of Agenda Culturel?
A pioneer in the audio-visual arts including : live world music performances, modern dance, poetry, video arts, computer graphics, animation, laser, superior lighting and screen surround displays. My productions include numerous symphonic works, interactive electronic music and music for film and TV. I performed in over 100 festivals, universities, and conferences worldwide.
I am recipient of many grants, awards, and admiration certificates from cities, cultural organizations, art associations, and music festivals. My music has been recorded, released commercially and broadcasted on both radio and TV. My style can be attributed to the wide educational background. I studied in Egypt, then in Vienna where I received the Highest Degree in Music Composition and then specialized in Film Music in Los Angeles.
What could you tell about your new CD ‘Symphonic Colors’?
It was released in April 2015, and is available in all Virgin Megastore branches. The album includes ten compositions:
Human Rights Overture
This work was composed to commemorate Human Rights Day 2013, and written in response to the ongoing global turmoil and injustice. The Music is blended with powerful quotes of peacemakers and great thinkers throughout history like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Khalil Gibran and many others, as well as the words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights itself. Performed by The Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra, the Notre Dame University mixed and Children Choir at the Unesco Palace Theatre.
Symphonic Poem "Lebanon 1983"
This work was written in 1982 during my study in Vienna. My goal was to create a symphonic work that was both academic and unconventional. 1983 was a drastic year of war, bringing my homeland full-scale devastation and tragedy. I exposed my impressions in order to effectively demonstrate the magnitude of a modern day war, I used a variety of orchestral techniques. I introduced in this work the exotic Arabian scales, and manipulated them to produce new harmonic structures which deviate from the norm, yet still maintain the full academic and systematic integrity of the composition.
Dance Suite for Symphony Orchestra
Performed in Vienna, Japan, USA, Mexico, Italy, Qatar and Lebanon. The Dance Suite compromises four movements based on three Arabic folk tunes. I developed these folk themes, transforming their primordial character into a sophisticated dramatic structure illustrated through harmonious sonorities, counter-melodies, colorful orchestration, contrasting themes, and dancing rhythms. Yet, they retain the exotic intervals of Arabian scales.
The Robin A Song for Female Voices and Orchestra.
This piece is the setting of a poem of the same title by Khalil Gibran. The poem deals with the feelings which the robin awakens in the poet, especially those that are buried within the heart of humanity, such as the desire for freedom, innocence, beauty, and happiness. By taking this dramatic situation and actualizing it with an introduction that serves to present the atmosphere of the poem along with the thematic material that is developed later in the work. The musical language is tonal and acquires, through the use of Mediterranean melodic and melismatic elements, a unique Arabian flavor.
A Special Symphonic Tribute to Zaki Nassif
Believing in Zaki Nassif's musical importance within the Lebanese folkloric tradition, I rearranged and orchestrated three songs, by adding musical varieties, enhancing the composition's depth and power, equally transforming it to the highest levels of expression. Adding the necessary layers, emphasizing impact and dynamism placing this composition at the level of a true symphony.
Are you planning a concert?
As for my agenda, I'm planning for an advanced audio-visual concert, with an electro-acoustic orchestra presenting original music blended with ethnic, Arabic and contemporary elements arranged with a new atmospheric texture of surround sound synchronized to visual arts, exotic nature, graphics and 3D computer animation and laser in a highly innovative ultramodern set-up.
Do you think there is a classical Lebanese music?
There is a good movement in Lebanon within the field of classical music or the serious contemporary music due to the role of the national conservatory and the Philharmonic Orchestra which presents every season more than 12 symphonic works for Lebanese composers young and old.
Zeina Saleh Kayali
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