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Silsila - The Legacy Of The Oud

Music of the world

Devoted to the original shape of the oud (the oriental lute), Marc and Thomas Loopuyt have kept on studying the effectiveness of gut strings. They also have collected more than seven traditional ways of making a plectrum – from feather, shell or horn. They even experiment with the way of holding the instrument on the chest, as indicated in the Caucasian tradition and shown in ancient Arab, Persian, Turkish and Andalusian miniatures. Their research and choices have converged towards varied and nuanced ways of expressing energy, as well as unsuspected freedom of breath and body posture. All this is concomitant with the rich structure of the old playing style, as it can be heard in sound archives. The relevance of this oud duet lies in the istijawab-s, the spontaneous melody and rhythm dialogues, and improvisations within structured frameworks. Marc and Thomas Loopuyt perform music governed by the world of the maqam (melodic) and advar (rhythmic) modes. They find their reference pieces in the Arab, Turkish and Azeri repertoires, be they urban and ‘classical’ or country and ‘traditional’.