Designing and illustrating the Album of Sharqi • Mt Orient for Ghassan Sahhab must have been one of the most enjoyed projects I'd ever worked on.
Defining his work as Contemporary Levantine Music, Ghassan constantly stresses on the idea of bending ancient musical rules without breaking them, such that the final result of his musical piece tends towards being revivalist, yet is overrun with the deeply personal and ingenious splendors of his musical touch. Having gathered references from all over the region, Ghassan sought to merge and expand on Ottoman, 19th century Egyptian, Persian, Kurdish, and Levantine Folklore musical lore.
I did the same while designing his album, through delving back into the visual culture of each of these regions and their corresponding artistic traditions, mostly gathering my influence from Ottoman and Persian miniature art. However, through following Ghassan's steps, I made sure to bend the visual rules without breaking them.