Lonely, I am lonely by amr okba published on 2016-03-05T12:25:38Z Lonely, I am lonely! What if at does it feel like to a stranger in a society? What if this society once was yours and you feel like an outcast in it, because you think differently than the rest? Loneliness can overcome you as you are facing a front of opposition. Egyptian-Austrian composer Amr Okba chose Negm's Amr okba chose Negm’s poem Alone, I am alone! For his musical interpretation. In his opinion it reflects best what the poet had to go through after he had openly voiced his ideas resisting the confinements of a conservative society. Just like Aristotle, who was banished for his free way of thinking, Negm was tortured and his pursuit of freedom. Okba's composition focuses on the opposition between an isolated person, a solo singer, and the crowd, a group of accompanying instrumentalists. While the singer accompanies himself with an Oud using the oriental sound patterns of the Makamat, the instrumentalists play motives of the European art music. Their play is rather a juxtaposition than an accompaniment leaving the singer in his isolation. Amr Okba knows the feeling of being lonely: born in Egypt the composer now- after taking part in the Egyptian-Austrian Cultural Exchange Programme (OAD) in 2003 lives in Austria. Although he feels at home in both (musical) cultures he completed his studies in piano and music theory, composition and conducting in both countries - Okba can empathies with the lyrical subject, as sometimes being part of two societies can feel like being caught between two stools. Like in many of his compositions the intertwining of oriental and western musical elements plays a great part in this work on Negm's poem. The composer plays with the audiences expectations by alienating the musical language the listeners might be used to, adding oriental keys with quarter tones to a frame of (European) contemporary music techniques. Negm's text forms a second layer in the Okba’s music. By adding the text to the music the composer wants to extend the socio-political issues and conflicts of the lyrical subject to a more communal level. The music is the medium that carries the ideas to the audience, but is also functioning as a commentator by emphasizing the diversity of concepts, reflecting on the text contradicting and contrasting it. In this way the music accentuates the dilemma of a free-minded person in the Arab world.