Magazine article New Internationalist

Seven Gates

Magazine article New Internationalist

Seven Gates

Article excerpt

Seven Gates

by Abdullah Chhadeh & Nara (ABYC CH 1001 CD)

If there's a single instrument that typifies the music of the Middle East, it's the qanun, in all its shimmering, microtonal glory. For centuries, this plucked zither has been at the heart of the Arabic ensemble, and now it's the vehicle by which virtuoso player Abdullah Chhadeh makes his début album. Seven Gates is nothing less than an evocation of Chhadeh's childhood home of Damascus, and its success lies in the combination of Chhadeh's intensely felt music and its openness to nuances and sounds from farther afield.

This will be no surprise to anyone who has been entranced by Chhadeh's work with composer Jocelyn Pook or singers Natacha Atlas and Sinead O'Connor. Although classically trained, Chhadeh has long been interested in fusing different traditions, and this is exemplified in the Nara quartet. …

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