Khyam Allami
خيام اللامي


Khyam Allami was born in Damascus, Syria in 1981 to Iraqi parents. He began playing the violin at the age of eight, but after his family moved to London in 1990 his focus shifted to drums and bass guitar and he formed several rock bands. It was not until 2004, however, that he discovered the oud and began to study the instrument alongside Arabic music theory and traditional Iraqi repertoire with London-based Iraqi virtuoso Ehsan Emam. Over the next few years Allami received a number of awards and scholarships that allowed him to travel to further his oud studies with Naseer Shamma and Hazem Shaheen in Cairo and Mehmet Bitmez in Istanbul. He also found time to complete a BA and MMus in music at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. In 2010 he became the first recipient of the prestigious World Routes Academy scholarship from BBC Radio 3, which saw him perform, write blogs, co-produce radio programmes and interview musicians for BBC Radio 3. He also collaborated with renowned Iraqi singer/guitarist Ilham Al-Madfai and other Arab musicians during a three-week trip to Beirut, Damascus and Amman. The project culminated in performances at WOMAD 2010 and the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. Allami's debut album, 'Resonance/Dissonance', was released on his own label, Nawa Recordings, in 2011.

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Selected Recordings

(Nawa Recordings NAWA 001)

The pieces of music on this solo oud CD are described as 'composed improvisations' that take an unusual approach to traditional Iraqi maqamat. The CD is accompanied by a DVD featuring a live performance of the whole album, in which Allami is accompanied by percussionist Vasilis Sarikis.

1. Individuation 5:56
2. Naghmat Tahrīr (Tahrīr's Theme) 8:08
3. Tawāzon I: Balance 6:15
4. An Alif/An Apex 7:57
5. Tawāzon II: or lack of 8:03
6. The Descent (Maqām Nawā) 8:08
7. Reverie 6:24


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