'MuSiKa' is a unique collaboration between the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent and the intercultural music centre De Centrale. The project connects two different art forms: music and visual arts. Two promising musicians, Shalan Alhamwy and Ehsan Yadollahi have translated a part of the art collection into music. The result is a mix of western and eastern music. MuSiKa allows visitors to take a musical tour along the museum galleries and experience the paintings and sculpture in a new way.

From picture to sound

Shalan and Ehsan selected artworks from the collection in all periods and styles: from Jheronimus Bosch, the Dutch master of the middle ages, to the 20th century’s René Magritte. How did they set these works to music? Sometimes the musicians chose emotions that directly  come from a painting. On other occasions they took a more personal approach; especially there where they related the story behind a painting to their own experience and past.

The audioguide is available in six languages: Dutch, French, English, Turkish, Arabic and Farsi.

Listen to 2 compositions on Spotify


Shalan Alhamwy is a Syrian violinist and composer. He grew up with Arabic music and later studied Western classical music. Thus Shalan has mastered both musical traditions. Ehsan Yadollahi is an Iranian musician and a consummate player of the tar and setar (Persian long-necked lutes). Most of his music results from improvisations on various themes and motifs, often based on Iranian and Western poetry. Both musicians transcend categories, genres and cultures.

The music has been recorded with the support of the Ghent university radio Urgent, and released on CD. With Shalan Alhamwy (violin), Ehsan Yadollahi (tar, setar, voice), Se-Yun Lee (violin), Traudi Helmberger (viola), Hans-Ludwig Becker (cello), Aykut Dursen (doublebass), Elias Bachoura (oed), Tammam Ramadan (ney), Souhad Najem (kanoen), Dahlia Mees (erhu), Yamen Martini (trumpet), Firas Hassan (percussion), Keivan Valamanesh (electric guitar), Derek Verleye (sax), Rossana Azhandeh (vocal), Pooyan Ramezani (harmonica, vocal).

Past activities

- Live try-out in the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent, Hemicycle, December 2017
- Live concert with extended cast, De Centrale Ghent, September 2018
- Acoustic concert on Museumnight, Museum of Fine Arts Ghent, Tapestry room, December 2018

Keep an eye on the website or follow us on social media for upcoming Musika-events.

Acoustic concert on Museumnight, MSK Ghent, Tapestry room, …
Acoustic concert on Museumnight, MSK Ghent, Tapestry room, December 2018
Shalan Alhamwy translated 'The Grandmother' from Gustave Va…
Shalan Alhamwy translated 'The Grandmother' from Gustave Van de Woestyne into music