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Sean Rafferty presents a selection of music and guests from the arts world.

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Awards for World Music 2007
 
Aida Nadeem
AIDA NADEEM (IRAQ/DENMARK)

Aida Nadeem album cover
The music industry in Iraq has more or less ground to a halt in the chaos that has engulfed the country since the American led invasion of 2003. Even so, this nomination is a timely reminder that musicians are prominent among the many people forced into exile, both before and after the fall of Sadam Hussein.

Born in 1965, Aida Nadeem grew up with open ears in a cosmopolitan neighbourhood of Baghdad, and took her first steps in music as a twelve-year-old, when she began to study the bassoon at a local academy. She was drawn to both classical and avant-garde music and by 1986, had landed her first job as a musician with Iraq’s Symphony Orchestra. However, she was also involved in politics, and it was this which eventually meant she had to flee her country. In 1991, she found herself living in Denmark, where she continued her studies at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. At the same time, she was becoming involved in the Danish underground music scene, dabbling in dance/world crossover, and starting to develop her skills as a vocalist, drawing inspiration not only from Arabic but also Turkmen vocal styles of Northern Iraq.

In the UK, she has appeared at Glastonbury, WOMAD and the Cambridge Folk Festival, along with her collaborators The Angel Brothers. With her band Arabian Underground, she released her first album in 1998. Arabtronica (2002) developed a more clubby sound, and the fully formed results of her experimentation can be heard on Out of Baghdad (2005). She wrote and arranged all the music, and the album pointedly features Fun-Da-Mental’s Aki Nawaz in the production credits – one of her early influences. Dubbed ‘ethnic synthetic’, her music combines aspects of ambient, trip hop, Arabesque and even ‘Asian underground’ styles with some traditional Iraqi poetry alongside her own lyrics. It’s all topped with her trademark vocals – a highly individual, almost scat-like style with distinctive non-verbal elements.

Jon Lusk
 
Aida Nadeem's website
Read other people's comments then Tell us what you think:

Ron White
Although she lacks the great voice of GHADA SHBEIR, Aida possses a compelling quality, very effectively supported by the intriguing backing.

Sukhendu Patra,Nabagram, Bengal
It is a matter of totality where the head and heart should be balanced.This is case sensitive as regards the political scenario but we should focussed on the music.

kaggen- Egypt
this is tragic. i can't write anything, just i am trying to listen and i am trying to remember Baghdad.

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