Gigs, dance, art

April 4th, 2009: Saad Mahmood Jawad / Shahram Gholami


Two oud masters, one from Iran and the other from Iraq. I like oud, but I didn’t know if I the lack of other intruments would bother me, because I usually miss percussions especially, except when I really love the instrument — like the pipa for instance. Some of that did come to pass, but not all that much, and most of the almost two hours passed quickly.

Shahram Gholami played first, and his smoothness and quiet virtuosity had me quite fascinated for a long time. The music was unfamiliar, maybe a bit too sophisticated for me, but I felt it really held its own. The smoothness finally bored me a little close to the end of his set though, but that’s a familiar feeling. Nonetheless an interesting discovery of a music about which I knew exactly nothing. I don’t really know more now, but I do know I don’t. That’s a step.

I liked Saad Mahmood Jawad better. In fact I loved his set. His play was often more abrupt, and his tapping added some percussive element I had been missing. Even though it was often very much present in his regular playing. I definitely know more about Iraqi music though, so that may have helped as well. Of course he was just as proficient in quieter and smooth moments, but there were more contrasts than in the first set.

Finally both musicians came on stage together for a shorter set, one that had amazing moments. Their ability to listen to each other, step back to a supporting role complementing the other’s play in turn, and generally actually meet in a respectful and ambitious way was a pleasure to hear. Each stayed true to his own style yet managed to hold a real conversation with the other. I wouldn’t have minded their going on longer.


April 6, 2009 - Posted by | Music | , ,

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