Two of the world’s renowned masters of ancient stringed instruments, the Iraqi ud and the Indian sarod, will come together in Denver to present Ancient Sounds. Iraqi virtuoso ud musician & composer, Rahim AlHaj and the acclaimed Indian sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan bring together the musical heritage of their respective ancient cultures in a contemporary way resulting in a mesmerizing and harmonious dialogue. Their live duets, accompanied by Indian and Middle Eastern percussion, are sublime, powerful, passionate and extraordinarily beautiful. The performance, presented by Swallow Hill Music Association will take place on Saturday September 20, beginning at 8 PM.
Rahim AlHaj was born in Baghdad, Iraq and began playing the oud (the “grandfather” of all stringed instruments) at age nine. Early on, it was evident that he had a remarkable talent for playing the oud. Rahim studied under the renowned Munir Bashir (considered by many to be one of the greatest oud players of all time) and Salim Abdul Kareem, at the Institute of Music in Baghdad, Iraq. He won various awards at the Conservatory and graduated in 1990 with a diploma in composition. He also holds a degree in Arabic Literature from Mustunsariya University in Baghdad.
Rahim’s music delicately combines traditional Iraqi maqāmat with contemporary styling and influence. His compositions evoke the experience of exile from his homeland and of new beginnings in his adopted country. His pieces establish new concepts without altering the foundation of the traditional “Iraqi School of Oud”. In 1991, after the first Gulf War, Rahim was forced to leave Iraq due to his activism against the Saddam Hussein regime and began his life in Jordan and Syria. He moved to the US in 2000 as a political refugee and has resided in Albuquerque, New Mexico, ever since. Rahim became a US citizen on August 15, 2008.
In a career spanning 50 years, Amjad Ali Khan has single-handedly elevated the sarod to one of the most popular instruments in the Northern Indian tradition. Amjad Ali Khan gave his first public sarod recital at the age of six. He was taught by his father, the legendary Haafiz Ali Khan, to become the sixth in an uninterrupted lineage of music masters known as the Senia Bangash School. He received the title of Ustad at the early age of 13. At the age of 18, he made his international debut on tour in the United States. Since then Amjad has toured extensively throughout the world and has established a reputation as one of the living legends of Indian classical instrumental music and its most prominent exponent on the international concert circuit. Amjad has created many new Ragas which earned him unanimous praise for striking successfully the delicate balance between innovation and respect of a timeless of tradition.
The duo will be touring, accompanied by Indian and Middle Eastern percussionists, in support of their new release Ancient Sounds (UR Music).
Buy the recording: Ancient Sounds
Saturday June 20
Swallow Hill Music
71 East Yale Avenue, Denver, CO
Tickets $18 – $22 available at: www.swallowhillmusic.org
or by phone at 303.777.1003