Requiem for the 21st Century

July 2019

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Requiem for the 21st Century is an immersive sound installation by Iraqi oud player, multi-instrumentalist and composer Khyam Allami.

The piece takes its inspiration from the rich accumulation of culture and history that surrounds the oud, to create an immersive microtonal experience that melds the physical, mythical and acoustic elements of the instrument and the Arabic maqam tonal system.

Requiem for the 21st Century
 is conceived as a powerful, ever-changing requiem for the troubled 21st century, offering each visitor a moment to contemplate our millennium so far, while commemorating those we have lost.

Commissioned by Opera North Projects for the PRS Foundation New Music Biennial 2019


Events programme

Date: Friday 5 July, 1pm
Venue: Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, Lambeth, London, SE1 8XX

Explore the confluence of the oud and electroacoustics with Khyam Allami. The Iraqi oud player and composer presents his new solo work for electroacoustic oud, Kawalees: Part I.

Developing modernist, contemporary and avant-garde approaches to the oud and the Arabic maqam system (the modes of Arabic music), Kawalees is Allami’s latest multi-part solo project. Part I explores the exaggeration of micro-sounds and gestures associated with the oud and its performance techniques, magnifying them with an electroacoustic instrument and manipulating them with live digital processing.

Allami fragments and distorts traditional approaches to the Arabic maqam system through unconventional melodic improvisation, yielding a familiar yet abstract language that is expressive of the current age while maintaining its characteristic identity.

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Get clued up on writing music using the microtonal intervals of the Arabic musical scale at a free workshop and Q&A.

Composer Khyam Allami introduces audiences to writing music using this tonal system, including some practical exercises.

Royal Festival Hall, London
Date: Fri 5 July 2019, 3.45pm

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Experience the installation and find out more about it from its creator, Khyam Allami.

Royal Festival Hall, London
Date: Sat 6 July 2019, 5.30pm

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Humber Street Gallery, Hull
Date: Sat 13th July, 2.15pm

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Requiem for the 21st Century

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