Lucy Duran is joined in the studio by 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 renowed mentor belonging to the same tradition. Khyam's mentor is the celebrated 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.