Artistic Statement

Words Adorned re-imagines the past of Arabs in Andalusia by setting poetry composed in Islamic Spain to new music by composers Kareem Roustom and Kinan Abou-afach.

Words Adorned contextualizes traditional poetry within contemporary compositions, speaking to modern Arab concerns, and to Arab reflections in the Diaspora.

Words Adorned relocates the words and the music of Al-Andalus Philadelphia, offering it as inspiration for American artists and audiences by presenting the new work in concert with renowned Philadelphia-based chamber choir The Crossing with conductor Donald Nally and vocalist Dalal Abu Amneh.

Words Adorned revisits the time and place of Al-Andalus to re-examine Arab identity in the past and the present through a series of lectures and conversations at University of Pennsylvania and Bryn Mawr College by scholars Huda Fakhreddine, Lital Levy, and Dede F. Ruggles.

Words Adorned presents the Arabic sounds of Andalusian muwashshah poetry conceived in Islamic Spain through a reading accompanied by the sound of the Takht, an Arab chamber ensemble.

Words Adorned bridges the Arab imagination with audiences around the world, inviting audiences to experience a paradise of the past and a longing for a homeland in the present.