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Khyam Allami: resonance/dissonance

May 14, 2012 8:00 pm

Khyam Allami: oud Ayman Mabrouk: percussion

It’s not often that you stumble across a musician at the start of his career whose biography is as intriguing as Khyam Allami’s. Since taking up the ‘ūd (or oud, middle eastern lute) in 2004, he has already generated a “palpable buzz” about him and “left a trail of unforgettable live performances in his wake” according to the UK’s roots magazine who recently put him on their cover.

It is precisely his unimposing and captivating performances resulting from his “search for that rare communion with an audience” that have set Khyam apart from his contemporaries.

Predictably, most people tend to see Khyam’s journey as a return to one’s roots, a literal search for identity. For Khyam, it’s not quite so simple: “it’s too easy to say, “I’m looking at my roots and trying to rediscover myself. It’s more a process of re-balancing that which you are” he told Dubai’s brown book magazine. For Khyam, art requires honesty and sincerity and if you can’t be honest and sincere with yourself about who you are, how can you be honest and sincere in your art?

Although perceived as a performer of “traditional” music, it’s clear to any learned ear that there is something different about Khyam’s ‘ūd playing. His interweaving melodies and rhythmic flourishes respecting traditional forms and structures, whilst always hinting at an elsewhere slowly being discovered.

Presented by Eka3