It's been a month since the last blog and again... there's so much that has happened, the difficulty really is trying to remember what I've been doing! Thank time for chronology.
14 Feb: 'Ud solo mixed with a reading of an Iraqi love poem, Love Under the Rain by Abd al-Wahab al-Bayati to give a hint of Valentine's Day at a Stop The War Coalition fundraiser in Balham. Not quite sure which went down better, the 'Ud or the poetry. Either way, it was good fun.
24 Feb: Played an intimate acoustic show with Knifeworld (the band I play drums in) in Stoke Newington. Went down well and good fun to boot. We'll be back in full Rock form at the end of the month. Details below.
25 Feb - 3 Mar: Spent a week in (cold and snowy) Sweden between Gothenburg and Stockholm and finally had the chance to meet and play with Ahmad Al-Khatib. Such a wonderful person and an amazing 'Ud player. We met for three days and played as much as time would allow. Plans have been made for our project and the rest will be developed over the next few months. Ahmad's newest compositions and latest recordings with his group Karloma sound great. Can't wait to hear the final result!
Frantic emailing trying to organise a workshop and a show in London for the end of March. Many text messages later everything settled in its place and my dear friend Andrea Piccioni will be flying over from Rome especially. Details below.
4 Mar: Twenty minute live interview and performance with ustadh Ehsan Emam on BBC Arabic service. Very nerve racking but all went well.
6 Mar: Performed a selection of Cypriot Greek, Persian and Iraqi songs with Maria Rijo, Shahrzad Alonso Javdan and Nicoletta Demetriou accompanied by Elizabeth Nott on percussion in celebration of International Women's Day for an event organised by the Iraqi Woman's League UK. Wonderful feeling to hear the Iraqi community singing along and see us all working together so hard.
17 Mar: Recorded a full episode of World Routes dedicated to Iraqi music and the World Routes Academy. Can't tell you how much hard work went into choosing all the music and preparing for the programme. After some very last minute changes, all went smoothly and we are all happy with the results. Hope you enjoy the programme. It will broadcast on Saturday 27th March.
Now looking ahead..
Sat 27 Mar: 3pm
World Routes Iraqi music special broadcast on Radio 3
Sat 27 Mar: 11am-4pm
Andrea Piccioni frame drums workshop
Sat 27 Mar: Evening
Come and see Khyam rock the drums with Knifeworld at The Unicorn, Camden Town, free entry!
Sun 28 Mar: 2pm
Back to the 'Ud again - Khyam Allami & Andrea Piccioni + Cigdem Aslan Quartet at The Green Note, Camden Town
29 Mar: Istanbul... sleep!
- The top picture shows Khyam and Ehsan Emam recording for the BBC Arabic Service
- The photo above shows Khyam talking to Lucy Duran, presenter of Radio 3's World Routes. The photo below shows Khayam recording the music for the programme.