manama and other spices (2009)
Manama and Other Spices (2009 Concept EP):
“Manama and Other Spices” was my attempt at re-examining the presentation of solo oud albums in the Arab-speaking world. I essentially wanted to poke fun at how the solo oud is placed at the dead center of the album, with the producers adding a little too much ‘reverb’ on the instrument (essentially to create an artificial sense of mystique around the instrument and music). The album can also be seen as a sonic map of the old Souk in Manama, where I walk with my father and recount some memories along the way. Out of the 15 tracks of the album, only three actually have ‘oud’ being played (albeit a dry oud over street noise). Again, this is intentional. Musically, I stayed away from traditional maqam and approaches to improvisation. To download the entire album (for free), please click here.