Composer and musician Ahmed Hassan died on January 12, 2011. Born in Cairo, Hassan moved to Halifax with his family in 1969. He entered Dalhousie University to study biochemistry but after a chance encounter with percussionist Ricardo Abreut of Toronto Dance Theatre, Hassan changed course to study music. He was inspired by ancient traditions of music making such as breath work, harmonic overtone chanting, clapping, drumming, didgeridoo, caxixi and berimbau. Largely self-taught, Hassan also studied with Brazilian percussionist Nana Vasconcelos in New York. He moved to Toronto in the early 1980s to work with Desrosiers Dance Theatre where he collaborated with composers John Lang and Jean Dorais, among others. With Lang, he created the music for Desrosiers’ Blue Snake for The National Ballet of Canada; the National Film Board documentary Inner Rhythm records their creative process.