Throughout PINNACLE VOL. 2, the composers explore the cyclicity of life and nature, highlighting the melodic, emotive, and dramatic styles offered by today’s chamber music. In composer Adnan Mafari’s III – Rondo Allegro “Akhet,” a modified rondo form is utilized to conjure the ebb and flow of flooding.
Today, Adnan is our featured artist in “The Inside Story,” a blog series exploring the inner workings and personalities of our composers and performers. Read on to learn how he discovered his passion for composition, and his thoughts on the organ as a widely expressive instrument…
Who was your first favorite artist growing up?
The first artist to really make an impact on my young impressionable mind was a metal band called Death, specifically the mastermind behind the music: Chuck Schuldiner. He wrote the music and the lyrics, and was the pioneer of a whole subgenre of metal music, and it is clear to see why through his sheer creative output and philosophy. Being very young, I can remember getting completely lost in the music for hours, and it definitely made an impact subconsciously on how I would think of music later on.
When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist?
Growing up I had an active imagination and inner world which I loved to explore, and during my teenage years I had an explosion of feelings and emotions, and I discovered many interesting atmospheres and different expressions through music. I’ve always been an aural person, so music was a very natural way to express how I felt and explore newer atmospheres and ideas that really interested me. At that point, I realized I needed music to be an integral part of my life, so I began to play the guitar and learn music on my own, eventually discovering classical music and then picking up the violoncello and piano. Finally, I got to writing down the ideas that I wanted to express into music notation which made me feel so fulfilled, and I realized that I wanted to be a composer.
If you could spend creative time anywhere in the world, where would it be?
In Kuwait, where I’m from, we have a few islands that are lovely to spend time on, but I never had the leisure to do so. The idea of doing this is becoming increasingly attractive to me, so I would love to someday visit Failaka Island and spend time composing in front of the sea.
If you could instantly have expertise performing one instrument, what instrument would that be?
The organ without a doubt. It is a massive instrument with a huge palette of expression. It evokes the sounds of bygone epochs, and could also sound very modern and futuristic as well. The idea of timelessness in musical expression is very inspiring and important to me, and the organ naturally embodies that ideal in and of itself. I personally think that it is an instrument that could convey and express the most out of any other acoustic instrument.
What does this album mean to you personally?
It means to me that I can engage with my audience and the world through some of the most amazing and professional musicians and people who worked behind the scenes on the album. This is a turning point in terms of being a composer, because clear communication of ideas is very important and this album allowed that to happen and enriched my experience as an artist, and the feedback I get from the audience is priceless and encouraging for me to write more music and make more albums to share my passion!
Is there a specific feeling that you would like communicated to audiences in this work?
In my personal work, the String Quartet “Nile” III Rondo Allegro, I used a personal interpretation of the Rondo form because I wanted to express the idea of cycles and the cyclical nature of time and history through the piece. I want audiences to get a sense of intensity through a somewhat predictable cycle that returns differently each time.