Ahmed Karkanawi’s musical genius relies on his attention to detail and industrious work ethic. Given his love for the arts, it is no surprise that we find that Saudi’s first classical music composer has released another incomparable work titled Sketches for String Orchestra & Piano. In a composer’s world “sketches” are informal documents that are prepared to assist in building a composition, similar to how literary writers may use a rough draft.

Amazingly, Sketches for String Orchestra & Piano was released not too long after Karkanawi’s groundbreaking masterpiece Once Upon A Silence, which I had the honor of reviewing back in December of 2018. Sketches for String Orchestra & Piano is quite an emotionally moving project that is tastefully intense. Each track brings out a depth of concepts and imagery that is easy to grasp. Below is a review of each track and an accompanying synopsis.

1-Madness: Love – Fury – Joy – Agony: A thoroughly impressive piece that triggers an array of emotions and scenarios. Karkanawi takes the audience through a dramatic ride of love, fury, joy, and agony through the voices of haunting strings and piano measures of solidarity, a very impressive opening indeed.

2-Longing Nostalgia: Karkanawi creates a sinister mood with the contrasting sounds of a playful piano against the sky of dark-stringed instrumentation. However, there does exist an overall sense of nostalgia surrounding the entire work that this track so eloquently exemplify like a sonic film noir.

3-Random Thoughts: Built upon a brighter landscape, Karkanawi is able to take the audience into a place that is a bit more light-hearted. Random Thoughts remarkably pulls several sequences together in a modern context, which turns out to be a perfect conclusion for this spectacular EP.

Sketches for String Orchestra & Piano is a masterpiece that explores the inventive efforts of Karkanawi and his endless creativity. This EP speaks volumes and like many other works of Karkanawi, Sketches for String Orchestra & Piano expresses a lot of innovative aspirations that devotees of classical music and other genres will find refreshing. Available now on iTunes:






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