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A fusion of notes by India and Iraq

music Updated: Feb 26, 2012 00:34 IST
Vaishali Bhambri
Vaishali Bhambri
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Taking the collaboration of their father, sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan forward, the musician duo of Amaan Ali Khan and Ayaan Ali Khan will be enthralling the city, as they will share the stage with double Grammy Award nominee Rahim Alhaj from Iraq.

On a multi-city tour of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bhopal, presented by Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR), the trio will be performing some compositions from the album — Ancient Sounds, which won a Grammy nomination in 2010, along with some new fusion-based compositions.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to perform with someone as great as Alhaj. We will be doing a fusion, but without electronics. It will be a percussion based performance,” says Amaan. “Alhaj is a different musician. He plays Oud, one of the oldest oldest existing percussion instrument ever. The performance will be very rustic and acoustic,” he adds.

After almost 23 years of performing in India, Alhaj will perform in front of the Delhi audience for the first time. “It was a great experience to work with Amjad. We recorded for many years and then left it. We are now taking the collaboration to a new and young level,” says Alhaj.

“Since sarod and oud are from the same family and route, the fusion will be beautiful. Both the musicians represent a new generation of sarod players. I am really looking forward to perform with them and create some interesting music,” says Alhaj, whose music delicately combines traditional Iraqi maqams with contemporary styling and influence.

The trio of Amaan, Ayaan and Alhaj will go on to record some more tracks for the album, Ancient Sounds, after the conclusion of their tour. “This experience will be a fresh one,” says Alhaj.

Know Rahim Alhaj

An oud musician and composer, who was born in Baghdad, Iraq, Alhaj began playing the oud at the age of nine. He studied under renowned oud player Munir Bashir and has two Grammy nominations to his credit. He lives in the USA at present.

Catch them live

What: Ancient Sounds
Where: Kamani Auditorium, Copernicus Marg
When: February 27
Timings: 7pm onwards
Entry: Passes (available at ICCR Bhawan)
Nearest Metro Station: Mandi House on the Blue Line