Baghdad - INA - Safaa Alwan
Iraqi composer Qoutayba Neaimi presents the roots of sumerian civilization during the "Arab Music Days" festival in the German capital, Berlin.
Neaimi will present three of his new works on the nineteenth of next September, which will be the closing day of this festival curated by world known artist Naseer Shamma.
On this experience, Neaimi shared his impressions to the Iraqi News Agency (INA): "The trio Ur (for violin, clarinet and piano) is a message highlighting the civilization and great cultural heritage of Iraq," noting that he "used some Arab music scales (maqâmat), and he exploited them in a polyphonic and contemporary style. The aim is to address both the taste of European society and the Arab world."
The Cantate for 18 musicians "is an artistic work that includes six languages, including Arabic, which is a unique characteristic in the musical field" noting that "this work has several messages, including the call for peace, mutual understanding and coexistence between religions, and the common roots of humanity."
Neaimi continues: "By using occidental operatic voices, my aim is to export Arab music and culture in a language that addresses other societies. I have composed for a mixed ensemble of Occidental and Oriental instruments, such as Oud, the Nay, the Santoor and the Joza which are played by masters in their disciplines : Nobar Adnan, Tammam Ramadan, Sataar Al Saadi, Tariq Al Sayed. These sounds are merged in a delicate orchestration, thus shedding light on the Iraqi heritage instruments. In addition, I include the use of Arab musical scales that contain micro tonal intervals (3/4 tones) such as the modes of Al Bayat, Al Saba among others. These are formulated in a polyphonic style thanks to a new system that is compatible with the Occidental composing techniques of harmony and counterpoint."
Neaimi stresses his desire to send a message that our monodic music can be organized, developed and written in a polyphonic style without losing its oriental identity.
Neaimi adds that "one of the many messages of this work is carried by the 18 participating artists that are of various origins and work in the National Opera House in Paris, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy. Indeed, despite our many national identities and our different languages, doctrines and affiliation, the language of music unites everyone. In addition, the poetic texts by French poet and composer Judith Adler de Oliveira intertwine six languages and cultural references to the roots of Orient and Occident.
Neaimi indicated that "he will participate in the fourth edition of the festival (Arab Music Days), which will be held under the supervision of the exceptional musician and artist Naseer Shamma, who will open the Festival on the seventeenth of next September."
He pointed out that "the idea of the festival for this year is to present contemporary Arab composers, and I was honoured to be chosen by Naseer Shamma to represent my dear country, Iraq and our Arab countries, by presenting my musical compositions in the German capital, Berlin. "
Neaimi expressed his "dear wish to present a concert in the near future in Iraq, as well as to provide workshops on all aspects of musical composition, which unfortunately do not exist within the educational curricula in educational institutions".
He dreams of attaining universality, especially since he completed studying at the Royal Conservatory for Music in Belgium, which constitutes a major challenge in itself as he now conjugates both musical heritages." The road to universality is long, and I will seek it with all my strength. In this respect, in particular, I have presented several workshops for Europeans in Belgium. , France, Netherlands, and Luxembourg. "
He explained that he is "the first Iraqi to study at the Royal Conservatory of Music in the Belgian city of Mons, and to obtain a bachelor's and master's degree with high distinction, as well as a professor degree," calling on "the Iraqi state to support scientific research efforts by sending students to international universities to serve our country and our heritage."