Young musicians take the virtual stage in diverse, intimate performance

Music whale CONCERT
(Photo: Handout from Music Whale)
AMMAN — Musical talent center Music Whale premiered its virtual premade concert on Friday.

Established in 2012, Music Whale is a music talent center with a special focus on children.اضافة اعلان

“The unique thing about Music Whale is that we teach music to children and treat them as talents. We don’t deal with them as students. It’s a big difference,” founder and event organizer Tareq Younis told Jordan News.

Created in collaboration with Bil3aks Studios, which was born for the purposes of this event, and live streamed for 24 hours, the concert features 22 of Music Whale’s “talents” playing a diverse selection of artists including Amr Diab, Elvis, and Mozart.

The event was pre-recorded asynchronously: students recorded their pieces in a recording studio and then filmed them in a film studio.

The concert opens with 14-year-old Daleen Arar playing Snowman by Sia on the piano.

Other performances include a violin and piano duet of Dean Martin’s “Sway,” in addition to a guitar and oud duet of Amr Diab’s “Bayen Habeit.”

The fairy lights lining the wall behind the performers create a sense of intimacy that draws the listener in, defying the boundaries of a virtual performance.

Dyala Younis, event organizer and creative director of Bil3aks Studios, explained that achieving that shared experience was an important objective for her.

“I hope that this is a space for the audience to feel the joy because I feel like this is something that is missing with events that are happening online — what’s missing is the opportunity to be together.”

“We had to find very creative ways to still provide a space for our talents to share what they love to do,” she added, explaining that their love for instruments was “rejuvenated” through this process.

Indeed, some musicians expressed having faced an initial difficulty adapting to an online format.

“Music Whale offered online courses so that we could keep going with music,” said 18-year-old pianist Natalie Nsheiwat in an interview with Jordan News.

“It was a struggle thinking about how my teacher will watch me play online and how I am going to continue to learn an instrument online, but Music Whale made everything easier for us… in the end we were able to overcome all the struggles together,” she continued.

Eleven-year-old guitar player Ahmad Qasem shared a similar sentiment, adding that playing an instrument on Zoom was especially difficult because you had to “get the timing right.”

“After continuous months of online music, and many struggles like not being able to have an instrument home… they finally have a space, a year and a half later, to share what they love to do, and that’s to play music,” said Dyala.

Speaking on the inspiration behind this event, Tareq argued that virtual concerts — while initially forced by COVID-19 — are here to stay and provide channels for exposure “other than the stage, the theater, or the studio.”

“This is something that started now, but it will not fade out when coronavirus does. Quite the contrary, social media has become an important part of performing. There will now be new ways for musicians to develop their work around this new space,” he said.

“Virtual [performances] will continue into the future… all performers are going to start to depend on this.”

“We will enhance it and make sure that these opportunities are always present for our kids,” he added.

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