Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Un sentier d"alliance

Anouar Brahem ( أنور ابراهم ) plays the oud. And he plays it superbly. I don't know much about him or about ouds actually, so I did some research.

Turns out he was born a few weeks after me in 1957. He was born in the town of Halfouine in the Medina of Tunis, Tunisia and, according to wikipedia, he 'fuses Arab classical music, folk music and jazz'.

He began playing in 1967, age 10, and at age 18 he decided to devote himself to music. He produced his first album in 1991 (Malcolm Gladwell would smile here - another example of the 10,000 hours to become an expert idea).

And the oud? Well this pear-shaped, stringed instrument commonly used in Middle Eastern music that is often seen as the predecessor of the western lute, has been around for the last 5,000 years!!!

The nearby souq has a shop displaying various ouds and has an area for repairs. I love the look of the oud and listening to a master player like Anouar Brahem is a joy.

His albums (all on ECM) =
1991 - Barzakh
1992 - Conte de l'Incroyable Amour
1994 - Madar
1995 - Khomsa
1998 - Thimar
2000 - Astrakan Café
2002 - Charmediterranéen
2002 - Le Pas du Chat Noir
2006 - Voyage de Sahar
2009 - The Astounding Eyes of Rita

Here are a few clips to whet your appetite.

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