Dana Al Fardan, Qatar’s first female composer and singer-songwriter, announces the release of ‘Solstice’, a drama-packed song that becomes ever-more epic as it swells to its beats-cloaked climax. Released on March 24, arranged by the Syrian violinist and composer MAias Al Yamani, principal violist Giovanni Passini and Sally Herbert (Florence & The Machine, Ellie Goulding), produced by SINK (Nico Dalla Vecchia) and featuring the Qatari Philharmonic Orchestra, ‘Solstice’ is the second single from the internationally acclaimed symphonic artist’s forthcoming album Indigo, due for release in May 2022.
Inspired by JW Goethe’s The Theory Of Colour (1810) – a study on the physiological effects of colour – INDIGO is an exploration of sound and colours with each piece composed in a colour scheme to capture a mood and a state of being, something that is carried into the multi-sensory experience of the live shows. All the songs, including the already released single ‘Indigo’, will be accompanied by corresponding conceptual, abstract videos, allowing the listener the space for their own interpretation.
Speaking about the single Dana said “‘Solstice’ represents the space we find within that allows our light to shine through. It’s the light that liberates the infinite glow we all hold, “the light that freed the sun”.
Sonically Dana has created a world that blends contemporary, western and neo-classical influences with the rich musical heritage and soundscape of the Middle East, utilising traditional instruments like the rababa (Arabic bowed string instrument) and the ney (wind instrument). “I tend to stay away from the word ‘fusion’ as it sometimes implies a ‘watering down’ of one style or another. So the idea is to preserve the authenticity of one style of sound and build it into another in a way that fits without one having to accommodate the other by deconstructing itself.”
Proud of her Qatari heritage, Dana is the Cultural Ambassador of the Qatari Philharmonic Orchestra and, since 2018, her songs have been the onboarding music for Qatar Airways. A widely accomplished composer Dana has soundtracked the prize-winning film Orca, composed the music for the United Nations’ UN Day Concert, performed with the London Metropolitan Orchestra at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and composed the music for the humanitarian “Bring Hope for Gaza” campaign. When Joss Stone visited Qatar on her Total World Tour she performed on the beach with Dana (watch here).
Dana is also exploring the world of theatre, collaborating with Nadim Naaman to write and produce musicals, with an aim to “bring universal, liberal and transcendental figures and thoughts from the Middle East to a global Western audience and West End stage”. The breakout show Broken Wings, a musical centring on the life of Lebanese-American writer Khalil Gibran, premiered in 2018 with sell-out shows at the Haymarket Theatre in London, the Beiteddine Festival in Lebanon, Katara Opera House in Qatar and The Dubai Opera before a 6 week run at London’s Charing Cross Theatre in 2022 with Dana’s score described by the Sunday Mirror as having “moments of real beauty”. In 2021, Rumi The Musical debuted and was praised for its portrayal of the legendary poet Rumi. Though unique, both musicals are defined by a common goal to introduce important figures of Arab origin to a new audience, continuing Dana’s guiding objective of spotlighting her culture through her art.