Thank you to my fellow McGill graduate, Maikai Nash, for programming and playing my Prelude. This piece is very dear to my heart. Here's a little snippet about it, and a link to listen to me perform it on my first album, Thoughts.
It was composed in 2001. I was in Damascus, Syria. One spring morning, I went to the Higher Institute of Music where I was a student and found that the rehearsal hall was empty. This was a large hall, with big brown-wooden framed windows that covered the top part of one wall. Through them the sun was shining real bright and I could see the blooming trees outside. My favourite teacher, Mr. Victor Babenko walked in and found me at the piano. He asked me what I was playing, and I told him about this piece I just composed. I played it for him and he was very happy to know that I composed it myself. I can almost hear his voice today, speaking broken Arabic with a thick Russian accent, and his kind smile is forever engraved in my mind. He told me I should compose more music and that he'd always be happy to listen and give me advice. These were the good old days in Damascus. In 2013, Mr. Babenko passed away in his sleep due to a stroke, taking away with him all the wonderful memories of Syria. I dedicate this piece to him.
Listen to Prelude here.