The Iraqi musician Qoutayba Neaimi presented the world premiere of Sounds Baghdad on December 2 with the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by David Navarro Turres, at the Bozar Concert Hall in Brussels.
The program of the concert Requiem for the Living included landmark works by romantic composer Brahms. The Brahms requiem was performed by the Brussels Choir Society and the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra.
The composer Qoutayba Neaimi told The Iraqi News Agency-INA," This orchestral new composition is an evocation of the many faces of my hometown. Baghdad, as I knew it, is a city full of life and rich in an ancient culture, as can be heard in the sections that use the 3/4 tones typical of oriental classical music. (maqâm), and in dances inspired by traditional Iraqi rhythms. This city has also gone through years of war and desolation, which I experienced during my early childhood and adolescence (wars in 1990-1991 and 2003, followed by years of terrorism). This sonic environment filled with the tumult of bombs and sirens inevitably found its place in my musical portrait of Baghdad. Finally, moments of a dreamlike and hopeful nature run through my piece, thus paying tribute to humanity's capacity for resilience, and to the renewed hope of building a better world. This evocation of our capacity for destruction and resilience resonates with today's uncertainties and fragilities, as current events in Ukraine and the Middle East reminds us. But it also voices out a hope for change carried by the new generation."