For oud master Rahim AlHaj, music is not just a lovely sound, but a tool to open the senses to the world’s beauty, to open the mind to the possibility of peace, and to open the spirit to the guidance of love and compassion. He recognizes that music may appear to be a hopeless weapon against the harrowing madness careering across the planet these days—with particular brutality in his native country of Iraq—but he also believes that it holds the best and perhaps the only hope for bringing people together.
“That is what the significance is about music because it’s always united us. It always brings us together and makes life really beautiful,” he says. “As a musician—and as a human being first—it’s our job, it’s our duty to make peace to this world. This is not politicians’ job, this is not police job.”
This Saturday at the Outpost, AlHaj will shoulder the task once more—with help from David
Felberg (violin), Megan Holland (violin), Justin Pollock (viola), and James Holland (cello) of Chatter Ensemble, and Issa Malluf (percussion)—in a varied program of original music, including a new composition, Smai Hijaz. Continue reading