John Kameel Farah

b. 1973

Canadian

Summary

John Kameel Farah is a Canadian composer and pianist whose work embraces aspects of baroque and early music, experimental, contemporary classical, improvisation, middle-eastern music and forms of electronic music.

He studied composition and piano performance at the University of Toronto, where he received the Glenn Gould Composition Award twice during his studies. In 1999 he had private lessons with Terry Riley in California, and later at the Arabic Music Retreat in Hartford.

Collaborations have included several scores for iconic Canadian choreographer Peggy Baker, and rising ballet star Robert Binet. He has also worked with astrophysicist John Dubinski, composing soundtracks to animations of galaxy formations and collisions in a project called "Gravitas”. In 2010 he became a member of the Canadian Electronic Ensemble, the oldest continuously active live-electronic performing group in the world. In Berlin, he frequently works with the Oriel String Quartet and the early vocal ensemble Vox Nostra. In 2016 he received a Dora Mavor Moore Award for sound design/composition for his work with Peggy Baker Dance Projects.

Farah has casually described to his musical approach as "maximalist” in reference to the myriad of styles he draws upon in his overall musical approach. Also a visual artist, Farah has accompanied his concerts with live projections of his detailed ink line-drawings.


Farah is based between his native Toronto, and Berlin, Germany. He has toured across Europe, the U.K and North America, as well as South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, and Israel/Palestine. He has given concert-lectures at several universities and colleges in both Canada and Germany and has performed his work in some of Germany’s most prestigious venues, such as Berlin’s Volksbühne, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, the Kölner Philharmonie, and the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg.

Biography

John Kameel Farah is a Canadian composer and pianist whose work embraces aspects of baroque and early music, experimental, contemporary classical, improvisation, middle-eastern music and forms of electronic music.

He studied composition and piano performance at the University of Toronto, where he received the Glenn Gould Composition Award twice during his studies. In 1999 he had private lessons with Terry Riley in California, and later at the Arabic Music Retreat in Hartford.
Farah continues to compose for ensembles and film, but largely focuses on live solo concerts, using a setup which surrounds the piano with synthesizers, as well as processing the piano through computer filters and effects. His music draws upon an interest in astronomy, history, mythology and painting. As a visual artist, his intricate ink drawings have been presented at solo and group exhibitions.

He occasionally presents his side-project, "Music for Organ and Synthesizers”, looping and altering the pipe organ’s sound in combination with analog and digital synths in various church settings, which has attracted great interest from electronic music fans.

Collaborations have included several scores for iconic Canadian choreographer Peggy Baker, and rising ballet star Robert Binet. He has also worked with astrophysicist John Dubinski, composing soundtracks to animations of galaxy formations and collisions in a project called "Gravitas”. In 2010 he became a member of the Canadian Electronic Ensemble, the oldest continuously active live-electronic performing group in the world. In Berlin, he frequently works with the Oriel String Quartet and the early vocal ensemble Vox Nostra. In 2016 he received a Dora Mavor Moore Award for sound design/composition for his work with Peggy Baker Dance Projects.

Farah has casually described to his musical approach as "maximalist” in reference to the myriad of styles he draws upon in his overall musical approach. Also a visual artist, Farah has accompanied his concerts with live projections of his detailed ink line-drawings.


Farah is based between his native Toronto, and Berlin, Germany. He has toured across Europe, the U.K and North America, as well as South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, and Israel/Palestine. He has given concert-lectures at several universities and colleges in both Canada and Germany and has performed his work in some of Germany’s most prestigious venues, such as Berlin’s Volksbühne, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, the Kölner Philharmonie, and the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg.

Photos

Discography