Sofie Vanden Eynde, lute & theorbo
Saad Mahmood Jawad, ud (Irak)
a meeting of relatives with a common past
Western artists look to the Muses for inspiration; in the Arab world, jinns are on hand to grant your deepest wish. Invisible beings captivate our imaginations, conjuring up worlds that no-one ever dreamt were possible. The magical inner world of dreams – or at least as close as consciously possible – is where Belgian lutenist Sofie Vanden Eynde and Iraqi oud player Saad Mahmod have arranged to cross paths.
As they allow their favourite compositions to flow into one another, improvisations on Baroque bass lines blend with Eastern maqamat. A Pavane by Ferrabosco acquires a mournful Arab accompaniment. Mister Dowland’s Midnight signals the start of an extended taqsim. Arab classics and Saad’s own compositions find their reflection in Sofie’s Renaissance strings.
Far outside their daily comfort zones, Sofie and Saad join forces to rekindle the centuries-old relationship between their instruments. A sound, a sigh, a quiver in the air, a moment of shared concentration – for a moment, these call up music’s powers of invocation, bringing to life a journey through the unknown which ends, with a thump, with a return to reality.
Verbal wizardry by poet Mahmoud Jaber complete the magic of this encounter. What is understanding, and when do we understand? Mahmoud’s trilingual poetry is an invitation to listen, experience, and perhaps understand, things differently. Words metamorphose into sounds, rhythms and intonations which moves the soul and expand the mind, achieving the incredible transformation of making the strange familiar and the familiar strange. Welcome to the world of murmuring muses and whispering jinns.
Music by Ferrabosco, da Milano, Attaignant, de Visée, Dowland, Fayrouz, traditionals
De Standaard about the performance at AlbaNova Festival 30 June 2019 : ” IMAGO MUNDI zorgde op het heetst van de dag voor een wonderbaarlijk moment van muzikale rust. De Belgische luitiste Sofie Vanden Eynde en de Iraakse oud-speler Saad Mahmood Jawad II tokkelden zich een weg door elkaars lievelingsstukken : van Downland tot Fairuz. Tussen hun snaren ontstond pure ontroering, de lucht ging aan het trillen en de luisteraars zaten er muisstil bij.”