27 Mar 2010
Lucy Duran is joined in the studio by BBC Radio 3's World Routes Academy mentee, the young oud player Khyam Allami. Lucy talks to Khyam about his roots and is
given a personal introduction to the Iraqi maqam tradition of music. Featuring live
oud performances and exclusive recordings of Iraqi musicians from the BBC archives.
Producer Helene Frisby. Khyam is a London based musician of Iraqi descent and the
first beneficiary of Radio 3's World Routes Academy which aims to support and
inspire young world-music artists by bringing them together with an internationally
Iraqi guitarist, singer and composer Ilham al Madfai, who lives in Jordan and who
Khyam will be working with in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan later this year.
BBC Radio 3 World Routes Academy is about celebrating world music talent by both
supporting existing performers through exploring new collaborations and enabling
younger musicians to develop and hone their skills. The scheme offers both
participants the opportunity to share their musical experiences with particular
emphasis on the importance of the mentor passing on his extensive musical
experience and cultural heritage to the younger musician. Performance is key to the
project and the musicians will feature in BBC studio sessions, workshops,
performance and concerts.
The forthcoming collaboration between Khyam Allami and Ilham al-Madfai reflects
the development of traditions amongst musical refugees in their new homes and how
their desire to fit in with their new environment is both challenged and inspired by
their yearning for the land that made them the musicians they are. Ilham left Iraq for
Jordan and his musical influences reflect western influences and genres. Khyam's
family left Iraq for Syria and then London and it seems that as he travels further from
his homeland the closer he is drawn to his roots and the hard-core musical traditions
of his native Iraq.