MuSiKa: a meeting between music and visual arts | MSK Gent
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MuSiKa: a meeting between music and visual arts

Shalan Ehsan13

MuSiKa is a unique, long-term collaboration between the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent and intercultural music centre De Centrale. In 2017, two promising musicians, Shalan Alhamwy and Ehsan Yadollahi, were commissioned to select 10 works from the museum's collection and to express their interpretation of these works in music. The result is a mixture of western and eastern music. MuSiKa has now been included in the audio guide. This allows visitors to experience the collection in a different way.

From image to sound

Shalan and Ehsan selected works of art from all periods and styles: from the medieval master Hieronymus Bosch to the 20th century René Magritte. How do they interpret these works as music? Sometimes the musicians chose directly the emotions expressed in the works of art. In other places, they take a more personal approach, relating the stories behind the artwork to their own experiences and past.

Listen to 2 compositions on Spotify


Shalan Alhamwy, born in Homs, Syria, is a violinist and composer. He grew up with Arabic music, and later studied classical western music. Shalan therefore masters both musical traditions. Ehsan Yadollahi is an Iranian musician, skilled in playing tar and setar (Persian long-necked lutes). His music is usually created through improvisation on various themes and motifs, often based on Iranian and Western poetry. Both musicians transcend pigeonholes, genres and cultures.

With the support of university radio Urgent, the music was recorded and released on CD. With Shalan Alhamwy (violin), Ehsan Yadollahi (tar & setar), Laura De Bruyn (violin), Liesbeth Lambrecht (viola), Jasmijn Lootens (cello), Keivan Vala (guitar), Tammam Ramadan (ney), Yamen Martini (trumpet) and Rossana Azhandeh (vocals).