Crossing Borders Presents ‘The Cornell Middle Eastern Music Ensemble’ – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Crossing Borders Presents ‘The Cornell Middle Eastern Music Ensemble’

'Crossing Borders' live radio broadcast will present the Cornell Middle Eastern Music Ensemble from 8-10 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25, at the Carriage House Café at 305 Stewart Avenue. The simultaneous radio broadcast airs on WVBR 93.5 FM and is available online at

The Cornell Middle Eastern Music Ensemble (CMEME) plays selections of Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Greek and other music from the Middle East / Near East. CMEME was formed in 2002 by Nikolai Ruskin and Professor Martin Hatch to promote awareness of cultural diversity through the study and performance of musical traditions which share certain characteristics, known in Arabic Music as Maqam (modes) and Iqa'at (rhythms). The term Maqamat (plural of Maqam) is used to describe a system of modes whose intervals contain quarter tones (or microtones), characterized by certain phrasings and central tones that make each mode unique. Iqa'at (plural of Iqa') is the term for a wide variety of rhythmic patterns played on percussion instruments that form the ground on which the melody is played.

Ensemble members include students and faculty of Arab, Turkish, Persian, Armenian, Kurdish and Greek origin, who all contribute by assisting with translations, gathering recordings, and helping the non-native speakers with diction. The traditional instruments of CMEME include oud (lute), qanoun (zither), nay (cane flute), keman (retuned violin), darbuka (goblet drum), riq (tambourine), and duf (frame drum), as well as Arabic accordion, saxophone, clarinet, and cello.

Crossing Borders’ is a two hour, weekly multi-cultural live radio concert series, dedicated to presenting international, local ethnic, and local original artists, often in combination, live from the Carriage House Café. The Café is a newly renovated 1850 carriage house, whose mission is to promote multicultural interaction through entertainment, education and cuisine. It is scheduled to open for food sales in the early fall. Meanwhile it opens for the radio show every Saturday. The pubic is welcome to attend the live presentation. A $10 admission at the door covers artist fees and technical costs.