Alhaj's partners in this current CD venture: Friendship: Rahim Alhaj, oud and Sadaqa Sring Quartet, are a quartet of highly skilled classical musicians joined together as the Sadaqa Quartet, including Catherine "Katie" Jean Harlow, arranger and cellist, David Felberg, first violinist, Jason Parris, violist, and Carmelo de los Santos, second violinist.
This CD combines the two disparate forces (east and west) in ways that offer a stream of shifting sonic delights without sacrificing the personality of either. Two of the most dynamic compositions include "Dream", a poignant mosaic of sorrow about the dreams of Iraqi children for a normal life and the closing "Oak", a delicious paen to the oak trees of New Mexico that begins with a passionate improvisation and ends in an explosion of energy as everyone gets swept up in the rhythm of the Tango.
Other pieces include: "Friendship", a lively musical interchange composed as a conversation between violin and oud; "Warm Voice", dedicated to the liveliness and energy of children's voices; "Chant", a lively Irish gig; "Sunset of the City", a dynamic and powerful composition expressing anger and grief over the loss of loved ones during war; "Ali", an ode to the young boy, Ali Ismail, who lost his family and arms at the beginning of the Second Gulf War; and "Second Baghdad".
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2. Warm Voice
3. Chant (for Hani)
4. Sunset of the City
6. Second Baghdad