Sarod, Iraqi Oud in concert

New Delhi: Lilting tunes from the oud, an ancient stringed instrument from Iraq played by Grammy- nominated Rahim Alhaj resonated with classical sounds created by sarod players Amaan and Ayaan Ali Khan to produce mesmerising music.

The Khan brothers, sons of sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and the seventh generation of the Senia Bangash musical lineage, collaborated with Iraqi player Alhjaj to create Indo-Iraq fusion music here late last evening in an event organised by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR).

"The project is yet another attempt by ICCR to demonstrate the larger cultural spectrum to which the region belongs," said ICCR Director General Suresh K Goel.

Rahim Alhaj and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan were nominated in 2010 for the Grammys in Best Traditional World Music category for their duet CD "Ancient Sounds".

Born in Baghdad, Alhaj began playing the oud at age nine and studied under the renowned Munir Bashir, considered by many to be the greatest oud player ever, and Salim Abdul Kareem, at the Institute of Music in Baghdad.

In 1991, after the first Gulf War, Alhaj moved out of Iraq and later to US where he became a citizen in 2008.

"The message we want to convey through this concert is of universal peace, love and compassion. We want to bring Arabic and Indian music together, music has no barriers of religion and region" said Alhaj who has composed pieces for solo oud, string quartet, symphony and beyond.

"Sarod itself has evolved from Rubab which is similar to Oud in character and the performance of Indian sounds demonstrates the musical synergy and commonality which exists between India and its neighbouring region including Central Asia and Iraq," said Goel.

Talking about the concert, Amaan said "With this concert we want to spread the message of peace and tranquillity. i-Pad 2 is out but even it can`t capture peace while music has the power to do wonders".

Afghan ambassador to India M Raheen and Ustad Amjad Ali were present at the event.