[QODLink]
Next Music Station
Omar Khairat
'I believe that music is one of the most important forms of art.'
Last Modified: 08 May 2011 12:32
 

"What has influenced me most is my country. It's the source of my music.

I was brought up in a music-loving family. The Khairat family has a history of art, going back to our ancestors. I grew up in this family.

I watched my uncle and my father work. My father was an architect and he learnt how to play the piano.

There was a piano in our home. I used to listen to my father play the piano every day. He played the works of Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin and others. I used to sit next to him when he played the piano.

I tried to re-play what I had heard him play. This attracted my father and uncle's attention. I was lucky that the Conservatoire was established in Cairo in 1959. I applied to join it. I was nine years old then, and I joined the first generation of students at the Conservatoire. It was then that I started my life as a musician. I always wished to become a music composer, like Abu Bakr Khairat. Thank God, I have achieved this dream.  

I studied in the Conservatoire. I studied most of the musicians, by analysing their work or by playing their music. I liked all of them; Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Mozart, Bach.

Each of them has influenced music throughout the world. They inspired me to become a music composer and to take a personal interest in other styles of music, such as jazz and oriental music.

Such things have fashioned my musical personality, because of my interests and because I'm an Egyptian.

I heard the music of Umm Kulthum, Riyadh al-Simbati, al-Qasabji, Abdul Halim Hafez. All these big stars. I learnt oriental music, a very beautiful and rich style of music.

We are a people who love the blues. Arabs are affected by the blues. It's different from sadness. Sadness is expressed by another type of music.

The blues touches people's emotions and stirs inexplicable feelings. People love to feel these deep emotions. We Arabs have this emotional sensation, even in our songs, those of Umm Kulthum, Abd al-Halim and Abd al-Wahab. And this feeling is pleasant. I'm an Egyptian. I was raised here. I heard this music and lived these feelings. When I compose music, I think of nothing else. I only say what I feel. This is how my music comes out.

I believe that music is one of the most important forms of art. Actually it is the most important art in our life. I can't imagine life without music."

Next Music Station
airs at the following times GMT each week: Tuesday: 2000; Wednesday: 1200; Thursday: 0100; Friday: 0600; Saturday: 2000; Sunday: 1200; Monday: 0100; Tuesday: 0600.

Click here for more on the series.
Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
In Brussels, NGO staff are being trained to fill the shortfall of field workers in West Africa.
Lawsuit by 6-year-old girl, locked up for a year, reignites debate over indefinite detention of 'boat people'.
Indonesian and Malaysian authorities are keeping a close eye on local supporters of the hard-line Middle East group.
Citizens of the tiny African nation say they're increasingly anxious of the fallout after alleged coup.
A humanitarian crisis and a budget crisis converge in the heart of the human smuggling corridor in Texas.
join our mailing list