Marsm is delighted to present the UK’s premier Arabic ensemble Oxford Maqam and the launch of their first and highly anticipated album: “The Wax Cylinder Recordings”.
Friday 3 February
Doors open 19:30
Kings Place – 90 York Way, Kings Cross, London N1 9AG
- Get your tickets here.
Paying tribute to the ‘Nahda’ era, Oxford Maqam embraces the sounds of the Arab Renaissance; an extraordinary period of creativity and musical innovation across the Middle East. Oxford Maqam’s vintage repertoire has gained popularity for its mesmerising recreation of Egyptian and Levantine songs that date from the 19th century to the early cinema era. From local cafés to royal palaces, they offer a lively and highly informed insight into the urban musical cultures prevailing back then. While comprising the traditional takht (Middle Eastern combination of instruments), the ensemble performs in an authentic style with an ear for the improvisatory practices of the time. According to Cairoscene, “with only a handful of acts shedding light on this historically important & musically rich period, Oxford Maqam will sound uniquely fresh”.
In this album, Oxford Maqam recreates the recording experience of popular Egyptian artists at the dawn of recording technology. Therefore all the material (mowashat, devr and mawwal) recorded are straight from the heart of what was then a thriving popular culture. “The Wax Cylinder Recordings” features playful and melancholic melodies, improvisational dexterity, and outstanding interpretations of acclaimed classical poetry.
During the concert, Oxford Maqam will perform a special selection of songs from their new album as well as from their broader repertoire of revived classics. After the concert, the band will join the audience for CD signing. Treat yourself and your loved ones to a slice of 19th century Cairo pop culture, and don’t miss this opportunity to listen to a repertoire now seldom performed.
About Oxford Maqam:
Hailing from various cultural backgrounds, Oxford Maqam has been brought together by their deep appreciation for the music of the Nahda (Renaissance) era, from Cairo to Istanbul. Each year, this highly talented ensemble takes on new projects to explore the boundaries of Eastern Mediterranean and Arab world traditions throughout space and time.
Since 2008, Oxford Maqam have performed on a number of special occasions and in numerous prestigious settings such as the London Jazz Festival and St. Paul’s Cathedral. They were recently invited to perform live at the BBC, and have performed internationally, most recently completing their second tour in Turkey.