“One of the most impressive musicians to emerge in Australia … with a dazzling technique dispensing hair-raising tempos… His writing displays a real depth of emotion …revelling in a zest for life and celebration.” – The Australian
“He has taken the oud out of its traditional Middle Eastern setting and into the realms of classical, jazz and world music….with solos of thrilling intensity, spectacular beauty and unnerving emotion”. – Sydney Morning Herald
London based Oud virtuoso and triple ARIA Award winner, Joseph Tawadros AM, and his percussionist brother James have recorded an extraordinary live, improvised album at Abbey Road studios, London in March, released on July 12th, 2017.
The Oud is an Arabic lute, the Req is an Egyptian tambourine and the Bendir a frame-drum. These traditional instruments are often together, but are given a startling contemporary workout – that runs the full gamut of emotional and musical range in the Egyptian-Australian brothers’ hands.
“I love the tradition, that’s what inspires me, but I’m not here to conform. I’m here to be myself, honour my ancestors and play my part.” Joseph Tawadros
Many of the 29 tracks on Live at Abbey Road were created and improvised on the spot, in the moment, capturing the spirit and energy connecting two virtuosic musicians. In the studio, the brothers communicated through just the notes they played and familiarity with each other’s craft, drawing from and moving well past the Egyptian music traditions they were steeped in since childhood and many years performing together.
“James plays Req like no one else and his vision and sensitivity add so much. He has an incredible ability to read and predict moments when we improvise and that musical connection is scary at times.” Joseph Tawadros
Joseph has generated from the oud, some intriguing, truly innovative sounds and textures. He developed these techniques while composing his Concerto for Oud and Orchestra, which was premiered by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in May this year.
Joseph and James, at 33 and 28 years old, use the traditions of Egyptian music as a sturdy building block from which they springboard into new musical adventures, bringing contemporary vitality to the art form.