Refugee Week World Music and Arts festival – highlights
Performance, workshop, insight...
The oud as an instrument has the quality of being spiky and exciting yet mysterious. Together with the zither and a Fender Jaguar guitar through a wah-wah pedal it is the sound of spies and and Santa Fe gunfights, shadowed dances and brief encounters where notes are exchanged under the table. Thus exoticised, it might be hard to hear the oud, played by Rihab Azar, originally from Syria with an orchestra and realise it is so much more, that it is also the sound of soaring souls, a child concentrating on a high flying bird as it ducks in and out of the sun’s glare.
"Questions" is a miniature for oud, composed and performed by Rihab Azar, London-based Syrian oud player. "Questions" was written in 2017 and performed at St. Paul's Cathedral, London in the national memorial service of Grenfell Tower fire.
Refugee Week is a UK-wide festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary. Founded in 1998 and held every year around World Refugee Day on the 20 June, Refugee Week is also a growing global movement.