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One year anniversary of my space themed orchestral work: ORBIT!


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Excuse the self promotion, but today marks the 1 year anniversary since my orchestral work, Orbit: A Symphonic Fantasy premiered.

I'm especially proud of the comparison in this review since his music is what inspired me to become a composer in the first place:

"It is no surprise that Karim's music, as evidenced by this rather enjoyable CD, bears the grand DNA of the epic film score. Orbit, with its inspiration from the final NASA space flight, lacks nothing in braggadocio and unstoppable confidence borne on high by the huge orchestral dynamism of John Williams and Howard Shore. The melodic material is inevitably bound at times to recall Star Wars, Superman and ET but the later pages take a tincture from Bernard Herrmann at his most subtle. Thus the music fades into a rainbow shimmer of strings underpinned by a deeply brooding bass. At the end Elmahmoudi cannot resist the epic valedictory full stop with the orchestra at full stretch. This could easily be seen as music to James Michener’s fine novel: Space (1982)."

- Rob Barnett, Musicweb-International CD review (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2013/Mar13/Elmahmoudi_Orbit.htm)

The premiere performance took place on November 18, 2012, with David Weiss conducting LA Dr Symphony Orchestra. I am thrilled and honored that this work has been embraced by audiences and welcomed by the California Science Center (permanent home of the Space Shuttle Endeavour) as part of their hourly IMAX presentations. To date, it has been heard by well over one million people and has been taken up by the JPL scientists of the Mars Curiosity Rover where it was used as a part of the one year anniversary of their highly successful mission to Mars!

The origin of this work is based on my lifelong fascination with science and especially astronomy and I was fortunate to be able to merge my two passions into a musical composition. Orbit: A Symphonic Fantasy is a large scale fifteen minute adventurous and atmospheric orchestral work, with an epic and dramatic finale. To create this work, kindly commissioned by the Los Angeles Doctors Symphony Orchestra, I was inspired by explorers and visionaries throughout history. I wanted to create a tribute of sorts to the spirit of adventure, courage, and heroic exploration perfectly described by the sixteenth century explorer, Ferdinand Magellan: “The sea is dangerous and its storms terrible, but these obstacles have never been sufficient reason to remain ashore…It is with an iron will that they embark on the most daring of all endeavors ... to meet the shadowy future without fear and conquer the unknown."


At NASA JPL with Bobak ("mohawk guy") Ferdoski. He is the mission director of the Mars Curiosity Rover and a great guy. Behind him are the first two pictures taken by Curiosity on Mars just after it landed during its insanely complicated "7 minutes of hell" descent.


Concert performance (David Weiss conducting with me in the trombone section):


And John van Houton on tuba right next to me.


It is on Amazon and iTunes...and sorry for the self promo but was excited about the anniversary being today!

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