(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) An out-of-the-world musical experience marked the end of Space Week at Expo 2020 on Saturday night as the Academy-led Firdaus Orchestra and Grammy-winning musical composer AR Rahman transported the audience to another plane.
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True to the theme, the stage was lit up with visuals from space – celestial bodies orbiting the outside world – as a backdrop.
The all-female pioneer ensemble that Rahman mentored for over a year performed a mix of contemporary and classic pieces, including one of her original compositions in front of a packed audience. The performance marked the close of Space Week – one of the themed weeks that is part of the People and Planet program at Expo 2020.
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The concert which started a little after 7 p.m. saw ardent Rahman fans lining up at Jubilee Park since the start of the evening to get a glimpse of the music legend.
When the Madras Mozart, as it is popularly called, made its appearance to present the orchestra, an ecstatic audience applauded.
“I would like to thank the Expo for giving me the opportunity to set up this project,” said Rahman, thanking everyone who supported him on Firdaus’ journey.
The concert began with a short track titled A Space Odyssey – Zarathustra followed by the musical theme of the Bollywood blockbuster Bombay, a hugely popular work by the maestro.
The hour-long performance also saw the orchestra led by conductor Yasmina Sabbah perform music from Star Wars and ET – Adventures on Earth, Turkish March, Karl Jenkins’ Palladio and Beethoven’s Symphony No.5.
The highlight of the evening was Rahman’s original piece A Humanitas-Proorismós-Al Amal, a work he inspired by stars, planets and space exploration.
He says: Humanitas-Proorismós-Al Amal is an ode to space explorers. I’ve been trying to write it for three months; I had lots of ideas. For the Firdaus Orchestra’s first concert, I wanted to do something for Space Week, so it’s a 15-minute piece inspired by Eastern space efforts, ”said Rahman.
“There is a sense of poetry and a sense of deep spirituality when you see the planets and space. So how would an Indian sound or an oriental sound pair with a Western orchestra or instruments from the Middle East? That was the idea, and it’s an experience. Hope people like it, ”Rahman said in a press release.
Anjana Sankar Anjana Sankar is a UAE-based journalist who pursues global stories of conflict, migration and human rights. She has reported on the frontlines of the wars in Yemen and Syria and has written extensively on the refugee crisis in Bangladesh, Iraq and Europe. From talks with Daesh militants to integration into the United Arab Emirates military in Yemen, to covering earthquakes, floods, terrorist attacks and elections, she has emerged from conflict zones unscathed. most dangerous in the world. With over 14 years of experience, Anjana is currently Associate Editor at the Khaleej Times and leads the reporting team. She often talks about women’s empowerment on her Facebook page which has over 40,000 followers.
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