In the wake of recent events, I am grateful that tomorrow includes a scheduled guest author post from composer Kareem Roustom.
I had the pleasure of spending some time with Roustom during his recent trip to Chicago when the Grant Park Music Festival performed his work Ramal. Like so many of the best works coming from new composers, it’s a reflection of our time and draws inspiration from events both profound and emotional. It resonates because it reaches us on an artistic level and inspires empathy.
Here’s how Roustom, a Syrian-American, describes the piece:
Although the work is not programmatic in its design, its emotional drive and changing meters reflect the unsettled state of the world, specifically the devastating current situation in Syria. Despite all this, there is a tone of defiance in Ramal. Dedicated to the memory of Edward Said, Ramal is inspired by his steadfast determination to speak truth to power.
Think of his guest author contribution tomorrow as a sort of empathy booster shot. I can’t really say much without delivering spoilers but suffice to say, much like his music, it draws on a real-life example to help illustrate its point. It also includes a good bit of inspirational material in the form of how artists and arts organizations can go about building meaningful cultural connections.
Mark your schedule now, it’s one you won’t want to miss.