MIT music documentary pays tribute to the Arab Spring


May 30, 2013

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The PBS affiliate WGBH Boston/Channel 2 will air the MIT music documentary “Awakening: Evoking the Arab Spring Through Music” on Friday, May 31 at 10:30 p.m. Several firsts are involved in this event: the broadcast marks the first time PBS has shown an MIT music documentary; this is the first work that MIT Video Productions has produced specifically for broadcast television; and the 30-minute program features the world premiere of “Awakening,” by composer and MIT alumnus Jamshied Sharifi. The work debuted in March 2012, performed by the MIT Wind Ensemble led by Dr. Frederick E. Harris, director of wind and jazz ensembles for MIT Music and Theater Arts.

The music, and ultimately the documentary film, were set in motion by conductor Harris’ vision for engaging his MIT music students with the momentous events of the Arab Spring. To encourage his students to contemplate and understand the historical context for the Arab Spring, Harris proposed to Sharifi that he compose a piece that related to the movement sweeping Egypt and other Arab countries. Read more.

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