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MP3 Rahim Alhaj - Friendship: Oud & Sadaqa Quartet

"This interchange seeks to build an understanding between the musical currents of east meets west and with the merging of the two divergent traditions into one beautiful harmony".

8 MP3 Songs
CLASSICAL: Contemporary, WORLD: Middle East

The cross-fertilization that can occur with a musician as sensitive and receptive as Rahim Alhaj has yielded an arresting new CD titled Friendship. Alhaj is an oud master from Baghdad, Iraq, who studied at the Bagdhad Conservatory and performed with the great Munir Bashir throughout the Middle East and Europe. He is now based in Albuquerque, New Mexico and in addition to this wonderful current oud/string quartet CD, has just recorded his fourth CD, When the Soul is Settled: Music of Iraq to be released by Smithsonian Folkways in June 2006.

Alhaj''s partners in this current CD venture: Friendship: Rahim Alhaj, oud and Sadaqa Sring Quartet, are a quartet of highly skilled classical musicians joined together as the Sadaqa Quartet, including Catherine "Katie" Jean Harlow, arranger and cellist, David Felberg, first violinist, Jason Parris, violist, and Carmelo de los Santos, second violinist.

This CD combines the two disparate forces (east and west) in ways that offer a stream of shifting sonic delights without sacrificing the personality of either. Two of the most dynamic compositions include "Dream", a poignant mosaic of sorrow about the dreams of Iraqi children for a normal life and the closing "Oak", a delicious paen to the oak trees of New Mexico that begins with a passionate improvisation and ends in an explosion of energy as everyone gets swept up in the rhythm of the Tango.

Other pieces include: "Friendship", a lively musical interchange composed as a conversation between violin and oud; "Warm Voice", dedicated to the liveliness and energy of children''s voices; "Chant", a lively Irish gig; "Sunset of the City", a dynamic and powerful composition expressing anger and grief over the loss of loved ones during war; "Ali", an ode to the young boy, Ali Ismail, who lost his family and arms at the beginning of the Second Gulf War; and "Second Baghdad".

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