Rabih Abou-khalil: Hungry People
Label: World Village
Born and raised in the cosmopolitan climate of Beirut in the sixties and seventies, Rabih Abou-Khalil leaned to play the oud at the age of four. In the Arab world this instrument is as popular as the guitar or the piano in the West and is the composer's instrument par excellence. The Lebanese civil war forced him to move to Germany, where he studied the European classical tradition. This inspired him to reassess Arabic music from a theoretical perspective, opening his eyes to the possibility of operating simultaneously within musically divergent systems. Today, Abou-Khalil has asserted himself in the avant-garde as a composer as well as an instrumentalist. With his unconstrained, yet daring approach to classical Arabic music, Abou-Khalil has found a musical language entirely his own, spanning jazz, classical and world traditions. The music of Hungry People is unique and yet strangely familiar, delivered with a touch of humor despite the recent economic, social and political upheavals that inspired it.