What was a seemingly innocuous college event, in no time became a worldwide sensation; an University of California, Santa Barbara student, Azeem Ward invited his friends to his senior flute recital on Facebook, and it inexlicably gained widespread attention by going viral. Twitter exploded with words of support for the young musician, resulting in Jimmy Kimmel inviting Azeem for an interview. Needless to say, I had no choice but to examine the phenomenon myself; excited to the point of insanity, with my cheeks flushed like a shy housewife secretly reading 50 Shades of Grey, I watched an hour-and-a-half long musical performence.
The audience welcomed Azeem with a heart-warming and encouraging applause. Azeem lived up to our expectations, presenting nothing but suave and elegance, wearing a sleek, red shirt and a slim black waistcoat, which surely will have caused an uproar in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. He walked in with confidence and the smile of a heart-breaker. Nonchalantly, he looked around, possibly winked an eye at a lady or two, and, finally resolving the tension, began playing.
Intimate, charming, moving. These are only few of the words that sprang to my mind when listening to Azeem. He opened the recital with mellow and light sounds of Gaubert’s Sonata no. 3. Lightly swinging side to side, he played the flute masterfully. Ethearal sounds of the pieces that followed left the audience silently begging for more. He graciously let some of the other students to join him on stage. His presence was clearly indimidating as he so obviously surpasses his peers in terms of craft and passion.
For performing the last musical composition, he attired a cabbie hat (think Olver Twist) and sunglasses, yet again proving his exceptionality, which one can only dream of achiving. The piece was jazzy, innovative and upbeat. As the concert came to an end, the crowd bursted into applause while Azeem, keeping it cool, swaggered out of the room.
The only downside of the recital were annoyingly long intermissions. Having once listened to Azeem playing, one doesn’t simply want a break. Like, ever.
Playing from his heart, He took the audience on a cathartic journey. The sounds of his flute, so airy, ubiquitous and elusive, made for an exciting experience, with the intensity resembling an epic sigh of ecstasy. Impassioned and inspiring, Azeem Ward’s recital is sure to leave you feverish and enlightened.