What’s Working: UM professor writes music for internationally-acclaimed documentary

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — In tonight’s what’s working, a University of Mobile professor has written music for an internationally acclaimed documentary called “Muse of Dior.” It’s about Alla Ilchun, a famous fashion model who walked the catwalks of Europe for designer, Christian Dior, in the 1940s. Dr. Kadisha Onalbayeva, Director of Piano Studies, wrote the theme song for the documentary, which is up for a Golden Eagle award. That is similar to an Oscar in the United States.

Onalbayeva says she wrote the piece, “Alla” to reflect what a strong woman the model was.

“Everybody thought she was Asian, that she was Chinese. Her look became one of the unique and different things to happen in the fashion industry. I wanted to present the melody with Alla and present her as a person. I hope people like it.”

Onalbayeva’s friend produced the documentary (which is currently in French) in Europe. She jumped at the chance to write the music because she felt she had personal connections with Alla, whom she never had the privilege to meet. Onalbayeva and Alla are both from Khazakstan. (Onalbayeva is the first pianist from Kahazakstan to be named a Steinway Artist). In addition, Onalbayeva’s family was in the fashion industry, and she too designs clothes. She is preparing a concert in Paris in the Fall, and she plans to design her own gown.

“Muse of Dior” will hopefully debut in the United States this Fall. Onalbayeva feels proud her music was chosen to be a part of it.

“It was very great. I felt like I did something special for Alla,” Onalbayeva said.

You can watch the full trailer here. You will hear Onalbayeva’s full three and a half minute piece, “Alla.”


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