Blog transcript: Simon Shaheen

Simon Shaheen: I was born in Tarshiha. This is the name of the village. My father was a musician, composer, educator, oud player. I was surrounded by a family of musicians. The most important thing is that I grew up in this kind of environment. It influenced me a great deal. I was exposed at early childhood to the best of traditional Arab music, and my father, with his diversity and versatility in music, of course exposed me to music from different parts of the world, including Western classical and Indian music, Persian, and many others. So I grew up in this environment of multifaceted musical scene.  At the age of three, I started to play on the oud and at the age of five and a half, I joined the conservatory for classical music in the city of Haifa. I grew up with this duality of playing on the oud and the violin and this duality kept haunting me throughout my life, because I compose in Arabic styles and Western styles, and do many things in various traditions.