NJYS Collaboration

Patricio is pleased to announce a collaboration with the New Jersey Youth Symphony, a program of the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts. This commission is made possible in part by the Youth Orchestra Commissioning Initiative which is funded by the Futures Fund of the League of American Orchestras. He has been commissioned by the Symphony and its Artistic Director, Helen Cha-Pyo, in collaboration with Nokia Bell Labs, to write two pieces of music. The first will be for string, orchestra, and piano, and the second will be for winds and brass. These pieces will be performed in May of 2021. 

In addition to writing the music, Patricio will work with Nokia Bell Labs Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) Department to develop a brand new app to be used by the audience during the performance of his music.

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The Piano in Arabic Music

In an unprecedented project fusing the Western and the Eastern, Patricio has brought his Syrian heritage to the forefront.

As a young boy, Patricio concertized in several Middle Eastern countries. For him, the most profound experiences came from visiting Syria and his mother's city of birth, Homs. 

"The multicultural energy of Homs

still resonates with me."

The long war started in 2011, destroying most of Homs. Many people were displaced, including his grandmother who lost family members, her house, her lifestyle, and her friends. She came to the United States in 2017 and still struggles to find peace of mind in the wake of the destruction. His interactions with her bring back memories of Homs.

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Visiting Homs, 2000

The Project

The piano and Arabic music appear on the surface to be incompatible, with the piano tuned to equal temperament, and Arabic music following microtonality. Under the guidance of Rutgers University advisors Dr. Robert Aldridge and Dr. Scott Ordway, Patricio explores in his PhD thesis Arabic music and the maquam system (the complex system by which Arabic music is organized) in depth from the perspective of a Western classically trained musician. He then takes on the novel task of composing music in the Arabic style to be played on the piano. Patricio's project is the first of its kind in both the worlds of Western and Arabic music because the piano is for the first time to be utilized as an Arabic instrument by a Western classically trained composer.

Patricio has composed several pieces of music featuring both solo piano and traditional Arabic instruments including the oud, Arabic violin, and darbuka. With this music, Patricio both pays homage to the city of his mother's birth that inspired the project and creates an important bridge between Western piano repertoire and the ancient tradition of Arabic music.