Current and previous projects, commissions, and collaborations

Kawalees: Part I (Electroacoustic Oud Solo)

© Mohammed Zakaria/Sarāb 2019 © Mohammed Zakaria/Sarāb 2019

Developing modernist, contemporary and avant-garde approaches to the oud and the Arabic maqām system (the modes of Arabic music), Kawalees is Allami’s latest multi-part solo project.

Part I explores the exaggeration of micro-sounds and gestures associated with the oud and its performance techniques, magnifying them with an electroacoustic instrument and manipulating them with live digital processing. 

Part II explores a hybrid acoustic/virtual microtonal piano and the rendering of various microtonal maqāmāt with deconstructed phrases and asynhcronous repetitions, relying on Allami’s custom made microtonal tuning software.

In Kawalees, Allami fragments and distorts traditional approaches to the Arabic maqām system through unconventional melodic improvisation, yielding a familiar yet abstract language that is expressive of the current age while maintaining its characteristic identity.

Part I premiered 25 May 2018 at Bahrain Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale, IT

Kawalees parts I & II were created with the support of a production grant from AFAC- Arabic Fund for Arts and Culture.

© 2022 Khyam Allami