About LOVE

In 2013, a study was published about mice. Researchers tortured mice as they were fed strawberries and studied their children. Not only did the original mice fear the smell of strawberries but their children and their children’s children did as well. Thus, we have confirmed the epigenetics of pain and that is where this story starts. Nebal has crafted this series of works to study radical trans-temporal queer pain.

Nebal asks his audience to answer questions that reach the core of what it means to be human; Where does pain come from? How are we to heal if we are historically and actively marginalized? When we meet Hasan and David, we are encapsulated by the way two men can suffer as they say goodbye. This moment, hundreds of years ago, mirrors the pain that Abdullah feels as he honors his lost son, Alan. Both moments echo the dichotomy of public versus private. Hasan and David’s secret relationship is hidden from their public lives; Abdullah, struggling with the appropriation of his son’s death on a Greek shoreline, takes a moment to grieve privately. These painful moments are tied together through Rabia al-Adawiyya whose soul in death, in Nebal’s words, shattered into a million pieces and lies within every queer body. I invite the audience to find the difference between suffering and love themselves and to take with them the interconnectedness of the world that Nebal has exemplified before them today.

Naomi Oster, Co-Director

The Team

Nebal Maysaud


Composer, writer, Co-director

Naomi Oster


Co-director, stage manager

Keira Elaine Jett


Vocal Consultant, Rabi’a al-Adawiyya

Anmol Gupta


Album artist, consultant, Dawid

A.J. WIlliams


Videographer, general consultant

ALong with the help of…

Asha Srinivasan, composition teacher, best person in the world. 

Matthew Michelic, Faculty advisor

And the musicians!

Maddy Brotherton, Joanie Shalot, Nathaniel Sattler, Henry McEwen, Sean Goldman, Yonah Barany, Anmol Gupta, Luis Gonzalez, Alex Quackenbush, Lorna Stephens, Nolan Ramirez, Elijah Kuhaupt, Ethan Valentin, Keira Elaine Jett, Madeliene Moran, Sam Stone, Brian Mironer, Kelci Page

Part I

On Fire

“With this fire, I shall burn down the rewards of paradise, so that you shall no longer worship for hope of reward, but simply for the LOVE of God.”

-Rabi’a al-Adawiyya


Electronic Battleship


For string quartet and percussion


Performed by Maddy Brotherton, Joanie Shalot, Nathaniel Sattler, Henry McEwen, and Sean Goldman

Duration: 8min. 


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Prayer for the Fire Worshiper

Scene for two voices and guitar

Performed by Anmol Gupta, Yonah Barany, and Luis Gonzalez

“…Dawid’s death marks the death of love itself. The empathy shared among others across different faiths, cultures, ethnicities is lost with Dawid. Under his dying breath, he says, “There is a disconnect in the world, Hasan. People are not listening to God. They listen to their Imams and their priests, who listen only to their greed for power.” It is not just a reflection of current political conditions, it is the source of that disconnect itself. Dawid’s pain is felt in the inter-generational trauma of all who were born as outcasts in a world against them.”

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The Arrogance of Time

Piano Sonata, movement I


Performed by Ethan Valentin

My aim with The Arrogance of Time is to give a memoir of my experiences with my own mental health as well as what I learned by being around others with similar, worse, or just drastically different experiences that all usually have to do with mental health and yield a similar result, the formation of a close bond with the individual that I will never forget and the need for us all as human beings to be open to sharing our struggles and being willing to help.

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Part II

On Water

“and with this water, I will douse the blazes of hell so that you shall no longer pray from fear of God” 

-Rabi’a al-Adawiyya

A Song for a Small Guest


Performed by William George, and Corey Hamm on piano for Art Song Lab 2016 at the Queer Arts Festival in Vancouver BC. 

Poetry by Jennifer Kwon Dobbs



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كأسي وخَمري

From the Album, LOVE, and my recital, A Night of Infinite Resignation, performed on April 9, 2017. 

I came across this poem by Rabia Al-Adawiyya as I was looking up Sufi poetry. I can honestly say I’ve never felt so encapsulated by a poem.  I read it, re-read it, looked it over with my mom and we analyzed the Arabic together. It spoke like a prayer to me, its rhythm dictated itself, and I heard music in between the lines. 


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Buy Now!

Buy LOVE on Bandcamp at name your own price!

For a dollar or more, you can get digital program notes! for 10 dollars or more, you get the whole the score!

Buy now!