Saturday, September 27, 2014

Globalquerque Video 7: Rahim AlHaj and Liu Fang

Today's Globalquerque video is of Albuqerque's own oud master Rahim AlHaj and Chinese pipa master Liu Fang performing in the Fountain Courtyard at the National Hispanic Cultural Center during Globalquerque 2014 on September 20th in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Liu Fang was born in China and currently lives in Montreal. She is described as the "empress of pipa" and is considered one of the foremost players of the pipa and the guzheng. She plays both traditional Chinese songs as well as classical Chinese music and modern compositions from the East and West. Rahim AlHaj was born in Iraq and emigrated to Albuquerque as a political refugee. He has been playing the oud since the age of 9 and studied in Iraq under the greatest masters of the oud. His political activism against the Saddam Hussein regime forced him to leave Iraq in 1991, and he lived in Jordan and Syria before coming to the US. He detailed in the concert how he wrote songs for oud and pipa and found Liu Fang to play them - and this song is one of those that he wrote.

I shot this on my Samsung Galaxy and because I was using zoom the video is a little grainy. There is also a bit of background sound from cicadas, which Rahim Alhaj notes before they play.