Monday, May 29, 2017

Take Wing: Rahim Alhaj and "Fly Away"

Iraqi musician Rahim AlHaj, who originally came to Albuquerque as a refugee, brings us the random tune for today. Rahim Alhaj is an oud player and composer. He began playing the oud at age nine and soon revealed a great talent for the instrument. A political activist against the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, he was forced into political exile, first in Syria and Jordan and finally in the United States. Resettled in Albuquerque, he was told to report to a job. As an oud master, he assumed that he would be teaching music, and asked where the job was. "McDonalds," he was told. We think he was better off staying with his first love, music. He combines traditional Iraqi maqams with contemporary stylings and influences. This song, Fly Away, can be found on his 2013 album Journey.