Editor’s Note: In November 2013, Suzanne Rent interviewed Fateh Ahmed for Halifax Magazine. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know Ahmed better. As we’ve chatted, it’s been fascinating to hear about his unique journey to Halifax, how art shapes his world, and the opportunities he sees in this city. As a global citizen, talented musician, and visual artist, we believe he has a unique perspective, and we’re delighted to share it with you. Read on for the first in a series of guest posts by Fateh Ahmed. —Trevor J. Adams
Hi Halifax, I come to you with a unique yet an interesting perspective of life, fading away from the major headlines to focusing the lens on our day to day stories, activities, and facts we’ve yet to learn. Exploring the things that we do, why we do them, and learning how our actions today matters and relates to our families, friends, communities, resonating nationally and internationally on the basis of our humanity and the bonds that brings us together in harmony through arts of sound, film, music, and photography.
(summary of Fateh Ahmed’s life by Naomi Ruth Anne Buchanan)
(Painting by Sharon Epic while writing the Celtic Dance)
Coming from a diverse background Belgium, Sudan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and ultimately settling in Halifax, I arrived in late 2003 to Halifax. watching the leaves falling off the trees in all different colors and shades in the cold breeze. I was caught by the beauty and the majestic architecture and historical landmarks preserving the heritage across different periods of time and perhaps most importantly observing and listening to the rhythm of life, the Celtic music, the dances that symbolises the heartbeat of the culture.
Establishing a connection with such a musical style was not totally foreign to me as such rhythms are widely popular in the West of Sudan, Darfur, as well as in the southwest region of Saudi Arbia. The experiences underplaying the various circumstances encountered across humanity have ultimately lead to shape and celebrate similar cultural sounds and music predominantly based on the commonalities rather than our differences, which was latter on have served as a main source of inspiration to me composing the Celtic Dance classical piece in the key of D minor, a composition relating to some of the most turbulent periods of my own personal life, additionally to writing The Three Kings, an orchestral suit reflecting on the three main stars on the Orion’s Belt. I tried to tell a story that resonates back in time with the Hungarian uprising revolution in 1848 while witnessing its impact on the German composer Johannes Brahams as well as Antonin Dvoraks’s writing his masterpiece Symphony of the New World influenced by the rhythms and peculiarities of the Indian music
(Painting of Fateh Ahmed playing the first movement of the three kings to former Dal Housie Music professor, Elisabeth Spence by Keith Macintosh)
Additionally as time went on, I started focusing the lens into documentary storytelling highlighting socioeconomic, shedding the light on local and international artists and exploring stories of immigrants whom have positivity influenced change in Canada. As an educator, Department Head for Film and Media Production program at davinci College, reinforcing the concepts of the humanitarian and ethical values are the central keys to success.
In Halifax I am captivated by the celebration of the arts, and the diversity of various cultures. Volunteering with the Akoma Family Centre and the Halifax Refugee Clinic have been such rewarding experiences. I’m a member of the KORE Reggae music band, and we’re soon launching a new album to express our positive vision. Song “Listen to me” commands the attention of its listener while their song “A Better Place” signifies a world living together in harmony. the proceeds of our music would be donated to both organizations. The music would be made available during the spring of 2016.
This is just a bit about me and the journey that led me here. Over future posts, I look forward to chatting with you about life in Halifax.