(with photos) KUWAIT, Feb 10 (KUNA) -- Musicians from four countries began working together at the American University of Kuwait (AUK) this week to create material for two performances on February 14 and 15, for the British Council's 'Flavours of Sound' project.
In a press release issued on Wednesday, the British Council said that the project "focuses on conserving local music traditions from all participating countries, while also appealing to younger generations." Led by Musical Director Andy Mellon (piano/trumpet) from the UK, the featured musicians are: Ahmed Al-Ghanem (flute, Bahrain), Abdullah Bahashwan (qanoon, Saudi Arabia), Brendan Kelly (clarinet/saxophone, UK), Giles Lewin (fiddle, UK), Pete Flood (percussion, UK), Sam Carter (vocals/guitar, UK), Sami Abdul Latif Al Shuwaitti (percussion, Kuwait), Abdullah Al Blushi (percussion, Kuwait), Abdul Hamid Al Sagar (percussion, Kuwait) and Hussein Abdul Rahman Al Khalaf (percussion, Kuwait).
According to the British Council, these musicians will be joined by other guests and students from AUK for some sections of the performances.
Mellon was quoted in the press release as saying, "On the first day we started playing around with a few ideas and ended up incorporating an English hornpipe into the proceedings and even tried playing that in different Arabic modes. We ended up with something incredible that highlighted why we were doing this project - creating a synergy between our cultures and traditions and proving that wherever you're from, music is a universal language.
"It is truly an honour to be working with such hugely talented musicians on this project and I'm really excited about what we're going to achieve." On his part, Kuwaiti percussionist Al-Sager said, "The project is a great idea. We have learned more about UK culture and even increased our knowledge of the music from other participating GCC countries. We have found that the UK musicians are very interested in our music and are genuinely interested in listening to the ideas we present regarding the songs. I am very happy with the professionalism we are experiencing while working with the British Council and the Arabian Heritage Project at AUK and I expect the project to be a huge success! I never expected anything like this to happen in Kuwait and I am very proud to be a part of it." The musicians will work together until Friday and then enjoy some well-earned leisure time in which to explore Kuwait, ahead of the two shows. Performances are open to the general public and will be at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 14, at the Al-Maidan Cultural Centre in Hawally, and at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, February 15, at the AUK in Salmiya.
The project is being supported in Kuwait by the Arabian Heritage Project at the AUK, Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiyya and the Movenpick Hotel and Resort Al-Bida'a. (end) ema KUNA 101448 Feb 10NNNN