2019 06 27 • Requiem for the 21st Century UK Premier


This July I will be premiering my new work Requiem for the 21st Century as part of the PRS Foundation’s New Music Biennial festival the Southbank Centre, London and the Humber Street Gallery, Hull.

Comissioned by Opera North Projects, it is an installation-based composition that takes its inspiration from a myth around the creation of the Oud, which represents the instrument as being created from death and used to commemorate death.

The music is based on a 10th century tuning system by Al-Farabi and uses acoutsically recorded microtonal performances by myself (oud) and members of the Opera North orchestra (strings) and chorus (voices). These audio samples are used within a custom coded software patch (Max/MSP) and played back through the 8-channel system of ouds in various states of decay, to generate ever-changing patterns based on 24 Arabic maqāmāt in over 150 different transpositions. 

The work is conceived as a powerful, ever-changing requiem for the troubled 21st century, offering each visitor a moment to contemplate our millennium so far, and its possible futures, while commemorating those we have lost. For more detailed information click here.

At both London and Hull the installation will run for the full weekend, but there will be special Q&A sessions to which you are all welcome. 

The events are all free entry, but some are ticketed, please check the following links for more information:

05-07 Jul 2019 - Weekend installation, Southbank Centre, Spirit Level Gallery, London, UK

17:30 • 06 Jul 2019 - Q&A and listening session with the artist, Southbank Centre, Spirit Level Gallery, London, UK

12-14 Jul 2019 - Humber Street Gallery, Hull, UK

14:15 • 13 Jul 2019 - Q&A and installation with the artist, Humber Street Gallery, Hull, UK

In addition, I will present his new electroacoustic Oud solo Kawalees: Part I, at a lunchtime concert followed by a workshop on the Arabic Maqam, both at the Southbank Centre in London:

13:00 • Friday 5 July 2019 - Lunchtime concert, Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer, Southbank Centre, London, UK

15:45 • Friday 5 July 2019 - Arabic Maqam System workshop, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London, UK


© 2018 Khyam Allami