The Global Interplay Project : Cairo, Egypt

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MAYSARA EL-ZOBIR  In a seemingly mysterious day, the 15th of January 1983, I was born - or so I was told! - Because of the charming and bewitching voice and performance of my sister (4 years older), a powerful and versatile keyboard was brought home. With that keyboard I had my first experience with music and, shortly afterwards, it turned out that I was more into music than my sister, and that I simply, for some reason, never sang! - I worked a lot with children and was worked out a lot as a child! For some years I was a member in an organisation running activities for children mostly related to Children's-Rights and the like. I had the enjoyment of some enlightenment and too much camping both inside Egypt and abroad, always with other, INTERNATIONAL children. Also, for about 2 years, I got into a special educational or training course in a professional theater band, which had a special interest in Egyptian Folk art. There, I REALLY learned many things: Along with some other children, we took lessons in acting, folk drumming and singing (finally), puppet theater performance, and a little folk dancing. Later, when I grew up a little, I worked for about 3 years in a center for Working Children, where I was responsible for designing and implementing programs of Arts with the children. I learned a lot about art in those times and I was totally absorbed in working, learning, and exploring many worlds. I finished school and ... - I studied for one year in the "Music Education College" where Nahla (see above) is now teaching and where Bassam (see above above!) has graduated from. I didn't like it and so, I quit! So ... - I entered into the "Cairo Conservatoire", composition and conducting department, and I stayed there for about 4 years. There, I had the fortune of being a student of Piano under Professor "Elide Dello Strolgo" who taught me almost everything artistic and aesthetical about music, as well as striking the keys in all artful sensitivity. I made little progress in composition then, but also ... - While a student in Cairo Conservatoire, I developed a strong interest in Early Vocal Music (of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance), an interest that never cooled ever-since and that led me to achieve a scholarship from the EMI (Early Music Institute, Indiana University, USA). Unfortunately, I later had to cancel my application due to external circumstances (how sad)! - Finally, I don't have any particular achievements in the field of music or composition, or else, (3 part Fugue based on an Egyptian folk theme, short 4 part chorales, some scattered Solo fragments, and, a movement to Wind quintet, form all my finished attempts in composition. And I have been learning a lot since the beginning of our workshops here) and now, my interests are shifting more to researching. I am interested in art history and aesthetics (music), Folklore and Egyptian folk music, Linguistics (African and Egyptian), and I have a strong and general interest in Humanities and History. I am all for traveling and wondering-about whenever there is a chance and, for leisure, I like Chess a lot.


listen:  Nightmare
listen:  Elegy
BASSAM NOUR-EDDIEN  Kuwaiti-born Egyptian composer of mostly orchestral, chamber, choral, and piano works that have been performed in Egypt. Nour-Eddien studied piano as a child in Cairo, taught himself guitar at age 14, bass guitar at age 18, and studied bass guitar privately with Dr Ahmed Anwar (Egypt) and Vasily Shenkarenko (Ukraine) in Cairo from 1996-2001. He studied cello with Dr Mahmoud Abdel-Maksoud (Egypt) at the Faculty of Music Education in Zamalik and piano with Prof. Elena Dzamashvili (Georgia) at the Cairo Conservatory, where he graduated with distinction in 2000. There he also has been studying composition with Prof. Rageh Daoud and Ivan Fileve; composition, harmony, score-reading and orchestration with Prof Ahmed El-Saedi; counterpoint and instrumental science with Prof Awatif Abdel-Karim (since 2003). In addition, he has studied singing privately with Prof Sobhi Bidder, Dr Violet Makkar and Raouf Zeydan in Cairo since 2000. His honors include the Composition Prize from the Committee of Music, Opera and Ballet in Cairo (2003, for Egyptian Suite), (2005, for Destiny and Nightmare) and Gamal Abdel-Rahim Committee (2004, for 3 songs for Children).

biography (pdf)
NAHLA MATTAR is a composer, educator, and researcher currently serving as an assistant professor at Helwan University in Cairo, Egypt. Mattar completed her doctorate in composition from Arizona State University (ASU) in spring 2005. Her goal is to write powerfully expressive music that blends sound with visual and theatrical rituals, exploring issues of cultural pluralism and interconnectivity. Mattar has a great interest in the electro-acoustic/digital interactive medium. She studied technology and interdisciplinary multi-media courses at ASU's School of Music and ISA. Among the works she produced there is “ADREAM”, an interactive multi-media installation, premiered in May 2003 at the Digital Art Ranch in Tempe, Arizona. Most of Mattar's compositions are inspired by poetic and literary texts. Among such works are “A Dawn” and “Variations and Theme”. In addition, she is interested in exploring the inner and psychologically complex world of the individual. Several of Mattar's works have centered on bringing to life the different and almost contradictory aspect of human personalities. Among those works is “A Passer By II”, which was commissioned by the KRUSTA new music ensemble and premiered in the spring of 2001 at Katzin Concert Hall in Tempe, Arizona. Another central interest of the composer is the exploration of the Sufi mystical language theory of Ibn El Arabi and its symbolic relation to the level of freedom. Among works which express that interest is Mattar's “Ma Boheme”, a Swiss commission that received international premieres in 2003 and in January, 2004. The interactive multimedia collaboration “Eye's of the I's” with choreographer Casey Black and visual artist Arina Melkozernova was premiered in Phoenix, Arizona in January 2005, and subsequently presented at the International Symposium of Interactive Art Design, January 5-7, 2005, in Istanbul, Turkey. Mattar’s latest works “Scars” was premiered in Phoenix, Az. in April 2005, a major collaboration with videographer Joan Karlen of Univeristy of Wisconsin at Steve Points, and visual artist Arina Melkozernova with the director Ilana lydia. “Scars” is written for music, narration, video, 3D-animation, and electronic sound environment and it is a fantasy- story telling representing Arab-egyptian women born in the 70s and their journey of finding their true identity through cross cultural experiences far from stereotyping: local and foreign.


listen:  Inside the Pyramid of Khufu
IBRAHIM SHAMEL, the youngest composer in the "Global Interplay" project, was born in Cairo, Egypt. He began studying piano and Arabic music at the age of 7. At the age of 12, he joined Cairo conservatory to study piano. In 2004 he began studying harmony with D. Mohamed Saad and composition with Dr. Amr Okba. Shamel composes little pieces for chamber music ensembles with piano, cello, and solo instruments. Among his composition are: "confusion", "horse & bird", and "sad man".