Qatar Airways has debuted its new onboard theme song, “The Ascent,” composed by Dana Al Fardan and performed by members of the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra.
The release of “The Ascent” marks the third song in a trilogy of onboard theme music Al Fardan has created for the airline since she became the official composer for the Qatar Airways Group in 2016.
Similarly to her two previous theme songs, “The Awakening” and “The Dawn,” “The Ascent” blends Arabic instruments such as the Ney and the Rababa with traditional instruments found in classical music including the piano, violin, viola and cello.
Fardan explained, “As a composer, I really want to capture the sounds from my country and explore the nuances of different Arabic instruments, rhythmic patterns and flourishes. The idea is to preserve the authenticity of one style of sound and build it into another in a way that fits without one having to accommodate the other by deconstructing itself.”
“Music is a universal language, and at Qatar Airways we have chosen a theme song that uplifts the passengers and transcends them to a wonderful destination,” said Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group CEO. “I am proud of Dana Al Fardan, not only is she showcasing our Qatari culture through sophisticated art, but her onboard music has also become synonymous with Qatar Airways’ brand identity. It is now directly associated with travel, culture, and luxury. It brings me great pleasure to welcome passengers onboard with the rhythms of Dana’s new symphony.”
As well as being available via Qatar Airways’ Oryx One inflight entertainment platform, the trilogy will be accessible on all major streaming platforms from September 10.
Outside of her work with the airline, Al Fardan has composed the music for two musical theatre productions, “Broken Wings” and “Rumi: The Musical.” “Broken Wings,” an autobiographical tale of Lebanese-born poet Kahlil Gibran, was the first Middle Eastern musical to be performed in London’s West End, and has since been performed around the globe. “Rumi: The Musical,” based on a story by Evren Sharma, premiered at London Coliseum in 2021 and in Qatar during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.