Iraqi musican Naseer Shamma, who is one of the most esteemed and prolific Oud players today, will be in Manila for a concert on December 3, 2012, 7 PM at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The concert entitled “An Oud Concert: The Spirit of Naseer Shamma” is a presentation of the CCP, the Embassy of the Republic of Iraq and The Spouses of Head of Mission.
The Oud is an Arabian folk instrument, an ancestor of the guitar and parent of the European lute. Its name comes from the word al`ud, which means a tree. The Oud is central to medieval and modern Islamic music.
Naseer Shamma was born in 1963 in Al-kut, a southern city in Iraq. He studied at Baghdad’s Institute of Music and, in 1987, received a diploma in musical art. Later, he specialized in the Oud. Since he started his professional career, Shamma has been composing his own music. Giving concerts in various parts of the world has become his main concern. In addition to holding concerts, Shamma is currently director of the Beit Al-Oud Al-Arabi at Al-Harawi-Cairo, which was founded by him in 1998.
Shamma performs on the Oud in a manner which combines ancient methods with his own original modern compositions. Naseer Shamma is the only musician to have constructed an eight string Oud or lute following the manuscript of the famous 9th century music theorist Al-Farabi. This new design (eight instead of six strings) expanded the musical range of the Oud and gave it a distinct tonality. His innovations go beyond that include a new method of playing the Oud using one hand.
Cairo newspaper Al Ahram has called Shamma the “guardian of sound”. Serene Assir, in her article in Al Ahram, wrote of Shamma: “As early as age five, Iraqi composer Naseer Shamma knew he was destined for the lute. Indeed since then he has spent his life learning, teaching and travelling in search of this instrument, giving endlessly of his imagination to listeners not only in the Middle East and North Africa but the world over. His technical prowess is bewitching, but rather than making for a dry performance, it transforms listening into a mystical experience."
For more information, please call the CCP Box Office at tel. No. 832-3704 and 832-3706 and Ticketworld at 891-9999 or visit www.culturalcenter.gov.ph.