Rahim Alhaj: When the Soul is Settled: Music of Iraq (Smithsonian/Elite)

 |   |  <1 min read

Rahim Alhaj: Taqsim Maqam Mukhalif
Rahim Alhaj: When the Soul is Settled: Music of Iraq (Smithsonian/Elite)

It may be some time before the soul of Iraq is settled but if anyone can bring the traditional music of that troubled country to international attention it is Baghdad-born Alhaj who fled Saddam Hussein's regime to Jordan then Syria, and now lives in New Mexico.

A graduate with honours in music, he has been playing oud since he was nine and has been giving concerts since he was 14.

This is a well annotated collection of improvisations on traditional pieces which, in many places, sounds like Indian ragas.

The oud has a mesmerisingly exotic sound and these nine tracks (average length about seven minutes) can be utterly transporting.

Music to settle the soul and feed the imagination.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

TrinityRoots: Music is Choice (Rhythmethod CD/DVD)

TrinityRoots: Music is Choice (Rhythmethod CD/DVD)

There was good news for Flight of the Conchords fans this week: Jemaine Clement confirmed, yet again, there wouldn't be another series. Strange as that sounds, some things are so perfectly... > Read more

Richard Thompson: Sweet Warrior (Southbound)

Richard Thompson: Sweet Warrior (Southbound)

At the time of Richard Thompson's excellent Rumour and Sigh album in '97 I decided I'd had enough of hearing how he was a cult figure whose albums never sold: so I did an interview with him (he had... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST WRITER JEFFREY PAPAROA HOLMAN on David Bowie and mining identity

GUEST WRITER JEFFREY PAPAROA HOLMAN on David Bowie and mining identity

In the tidal wave of emotion that has swept the world since David Bowie’s death was announced, I have found my myself in a curious position: saluting a great artist who I never really got... > Read more

JOHN LENNON, IMAGINE RECONSIDERED (2000): Peace in our time?

JOHN LENNON, IMAGINE RECONSIDERED (2000): Peace in our time?

Some people just don't get it, do they? Wouldn't you love to meet those gearing up to pay an expected $4.5 million at on-line auction for the piano on which John Lennon wrote Imagine? Imagine no... > Read more