Qoutayba Neami, the bearer of oriental music to the West

Thursday 01st October 2020 - 13:54

Qoutayba Neami, the bearer of oriental music to the West
His unique mastery of the art of composition and his singular voice in the world of music have allowed the European audience to welcome and accept oriental music. Qoutayba  Neaimi opens the path to a new repertoire of contemporary written music, with a true arabic identity.
The expatriate Iraqi musician based in Belgium has presented this september an concert evening in the framework of the 4th Arab Music Days Festival, a high level festival curated by world-known virtuoso Naseer Shamma. About this concert, Qoutayba states : "The aim of participating in this festival is to introduce Europeans to the Mesopotamian civilization through music. Four works were presented, including my "Ur trio" for clarinet, violin and piano." Neaimi explains that "he was chosen to participate the Arab Music Days as a contemporary composer". He adds that he has “addressed the foreign listener in a language that he could understand, notably by relying on Arab maqams adapted to Occidental operatic voices”, noting that he seeks to export Arabic music "with a contemporary vision that involves the production of written scores, so that non-arabic musicians can play it and discover the richness and refinements of our music, and not just listen to it.”
 Neaimi points out that "there are future projects, the most important of which is an opera. Another is his participation to the Belgian Musical Festival of Wallonia, as well as "a series of compositions inspired by dances from the Middle-East that have been formulated in a contemporary style using both oriental and occidental musical idioms as well as all the resources of the orchestra ; the aim is to present it by next year in Belgium and in France".
He is an elected member of the Belgian Music Composer's Forum (which includes forty-three Belgian composers), an organization that is part of the wider International Composer's Forum. Neaimi points out that it is the first time that an Arab has been elected to join the Forum and insists that "Iraq is present with me in all my international participations, and I hold the dear wish to represent my country and to celebrate its richness through my works". The composer strives to offer young iraqi musicians opportunities of widening their musical horizons, and has organized free workshops at the Institute of Fine Arts during his last visits to Baghdad, in the hope of granting to these young talents full access to some theoretical and musical teachings that are not yet available in the Arab region.
Neaimi's aim is to create a positive atmosphere that can nurture and cultivate a new generation of arab composers trained academically, and to grant them opportunities of representing Iraq and the arab world in international forums and cultural events. He has studied music himself both in Baghdad and in Belgium, where he has earned a BA and a MA in Composition as well as an agregation as Professor. In Neaimi's own words : "the musical identity of my current compositions is already shaped by my desire of opening a dialogue between civilizations and giving the world a wider access to arabic musical heritage ; yet my musical craft is a constant process of experimentation and research, and I look forward to continue this lifelong process to achieve this ideal."
Baghdad -ANI- Fatima Rahma