Art Performance: GILGAMESH

Fri, June 16, 2006 9:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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Alwan For The Arts

Invites You

Friday, June 16, 2006, 9:00 PM $15 ($10 students with valid ID)

To A Great Performance of



Kinan Azmeh (Clarinet, Computer, Composition)

Kevork Mourad (Live Illustrations, Animations)


The current unrest in the seat of the world’s oldest civilization inspired us to explore the most ancient epic we have in writing today. The Epic of Gilgamesh is a lush story, rich in meaning, in romance, and in humor. We have chosen to explore this epic through the art forms of music and painting, using them in tandem as vehicles for story telling. With original composition on the clarinet, (with the use of Max/Msp software as a compositional extension,) inspiring and working off of the visual artist’s projected illustration, the world’s oldest known epic will be brought to life in the present: through new musical forms and means, and through a new form of visual art exploring the permanence of lines on paper in the impermanence of projection.


Kinan Azmeh is the only Syrian and first Arab to win the first prize at the Nicolay Rubinstein international youth competition in Moscow, Russia, 1997. He holds two BA degrees, one in Clarinet performance from Damascus high institute of music and drama where he studied with Anatoly Moratof, and BSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Damascus. He completed his Masters degree and graduate diploma in music from the Juilliard School in New York, studying with Charles Neidich. Born in Damascus, Syria in 1976, Kinan studied at the Arab conservatory of music in Damascus with Shukry Shawkey and Nicolay Viovanof. He has appeared as a soloist in performances around the wold including solo appearances at the Tschikovsky grand hall in Moscow in 1997, Solo performances with the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra during its first American tour (UCLA's Royce hall, Orange County performing arts center, Los-Angeles, USA) with Solhi Al-Wadi conducting, BBC Proms festival at the Royal Albert hall, London, the premiere of two clarinet concertos written for him by Dutch composer Guus Janssen at Lincoln center in New York, and by Zaid Jabri at the opening of the Syrian opera house 2004, as well as appearing as a soloist and composer at the reputed Carnegie Hall in New York in 2006. He has shared the stage with Marcel Khalife, Elliott Sharp, Kani Karaca, Daniel Barenboim and Solhi al-Wadi, as well as being member of the New York-based NEOLEXICA.

Kinan co-started the ensemble “Hewar" with Issam Rafea in the year 2003 and led the group in two American tours 2004,2005, including performances at the reputed Kennedy center. Kinan's compositions include works for Orchestra, Solo Violin, Solo Clarinet with Max/Msp, works for mixed quintets and interactive works for Clarinet, computers and live illustrations with artist Kevrok Mourad as well as the original sound track for the film "Rigodon" by Keith Sicat and Sari Dalena and "Not for sale" and "the day i died" by the Iranian film maker Maryam Keshavarz.

Kevork Mourad, an artist of Armenian origin, was born in 1970 in Aleppo, Syria. After his education in Syria, he was accepted to the Yerevan Institute of Fine Arts in Armenia, where he received his MFA in 1996. He has exhibited widely in Armenia and the United States. Early on, he developed a technique of spontaneous painting, in which he shares the stage with musicians, his art created in counterpoint to their music. His first performance of live drawing was at the Gyumri Biennial in 1997 with trombonist David Minassian. Since then his collaborations have included a live performance with Djivan Gasparyan at Cooper Union in April 2001, and a benefit show for the Coalition to Ban Land mines at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, in tandem with George Winston. He performed at Juilliard at the “Machine and Beyond” Festival with Kinan Azmeh, in a project based on the epic of Gilgamesh. The same piece was also performed at the Chelsea Museum of Art in New York. In 2004 he performed with the Latin Jazz Band SYOTOS at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. He appeared at the Tenri Cultural Center and at Angel Orensantz with members of the Silk Road Ensemble. In the spring of 2005, he joined Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, with which he has performed at the Rhode Island School of Design, Harvard University, and most recently, the Nara Museum, in Nara, Japan. In March 2006, he performed with the percussion group Tambuco in Morelia, Mexico, where he was the featured artist at the Morelia Chess Festival, and is currently collaborating with composer Ken Ueno and violist Kim Kashkashian.

Last updated: 2007-09-21 08:14:47

A drawing by Kevork Mourad, created and projected during the performance of Kinan Azmeh’s Gilgamesh.
A drawing by Kevork Mourad, created and projected during the performance of Kinan Azmeh’s Gilgamesh.

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