Classical music - the western European version - was always on the music stands in my school orchestra days. I loved playing it and came to think of the violin as an instrument that called up the past.
Years later I signed up for a fiddle camp and saw youngsters a quarter my age handling the instrument like a friend. With nary a note of music in sight, they picked up tunes, tried harmonies, and jammed with the pros.
Now my friend Nanette has introduced me to someone calling a very different music from the violin. Marwan Anwer is a young Egyptian musician. He says in his ReverbNation bio that he began playing piano at age five. Next came lute. At 16 he tried other instruments, discovering his chief love was violin. He plays it, along with piano and ney, with the El Ma7attah Band.
Marwan Anwer has music in his soul. It pours out through the instruments he picks up. Others have posted his videos, but I wanted to see what he was most eager to share so checked out his official YouTube channel. That’s where I discovered how versatile and talented he is with a variety of instruments and styles.
I kept coming back to his violin music because he makes me hear the instrument in new ways. I’ll embed one of his videos here, to give you the flavour of this talented young man’s music. He exudes joy, right to his fingertips. And he expands my view of the violin.
This kind of talent in someone so young is a gift to celebrate.