"Between Rivers" - Ahoar

Between Rivers (HE23)


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  • artist:Ahoar
  • region:Orient
  • release year:2007
  • style(s):Jazz, Maqam
  • country:Iraq
  • formats:CD (Compact Disc)
  • record posted by:alba KULTUR
  • label:Heaven & Earth
  • publisher:Heaven & Earth

Ahoar is the name adopted by two Iraqi classical-traditional concert musicians, a Belgian jazz pianist and a jazz double bassist from Germany. By combining two very different styles of music and venturing into new musical territory in this project, the four musicians perform a daring, unique experiment.
The secret of Ahoar, so it seems, is the reduction to the very essential, both musically and aesthetically: short, clear melodies, catchy like children’s songs, minimalist motifs, rather light piano chords which, hardly changed, are repeated gently and evenly, carefully dipped like in an overall picture of sound. No drums, no richly coloured percussion, with frame drums or Arabian tablas only on some compositions. The sound of the group can be heard immediately in every place.

Rarely is the combination of unisonant, filigree maqam melody and Western harmony as successful as it is here. When listening, we become repeatedly unsure whether harmonies are still sounding at all or rather a long, softly streaming bourdon sound.
Unfolding equally little is the Iraqi maqam, this long cycle with its predefined songs, rhythm and modulations. The two Iraqi musicians of Ahoar break through the strict forms again and again and shorten its developments.