As a flagbearer of the Iraqi tradition, Farida has performed in many countries, including at the Washington Kennedy centre, the Festival of Sacred Music in Fes and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and the Dutch Royal Palace on the occasion of former queen Beatrix’ birthday.
"The Iraqi singer Farida Mohammad Ali [...] is one of only a handful of artists to have mastered the ancient musical discipline of maqam – a lifetime's pursuit, as the singer must develop not only a command of complex melodies and scales but also the scripture and philosophy behind them. He must also, traditionally, be a man, the performance of maqam being a male preserve throughout the Arab world..."
(excerpt from an article in The Guardian)
For the concert on 21 September, The Iraqi Maqam Ensemble will consist of:
Mohammad Gomar Al-Bawi - jozza and violin
Jamil Al-Asadi - qanun
Adnan Shanan Abullamir - ney
Abdullatif Saad Al-Obaidi- oud and percussion
Ehab Alazzawy - percussion
Karim Darwish – percussion
This concert is brought to you by Saudi Aramco
15.15 hrs Concert Farida and The Iraqi Maqam Ensemble
16.45 hrs End
The concert will be of an informal nature.
Every historical period and every geographical region has its own rendering of maqam. For this reason maqamat are in practice learned orally.
In the Iraqi music tradition the word maqam is also the name for a certain kind of musical suite, traditionally performed by a solo singer with a small instrumental ensemble. The suite consists of fixed sections, both instrumental and vocal, with improvisations in between. The texts are derived from Iraqi poetry, usually in classical Arabic or local dialects, but also incidentally in other languages. The topics cover a range of themes, religious, often in the Sufi tradition, or secular, about –often tragic- love or about the homeland and the longing for the homeland. While the mood is often sad, the maqam traditionally ends in an uplifted tone, with the pesteh, a genre that became popular by itself.