Ramzi's new instrumental album, which features him on the bouzouk, narrates his story with gentle melodies. Born and raised in Palestine, Ramzi discovered his talent in his late teens, upon which he went abroad to France to study at the National Conservatory of Angers. Later he became leader of the esteemed Palestine National Ensemble of Arabic Music. He also found a music school in Palestine, Al Kamandjâti.
Stream the track Rahil here:
Although Ramzi is a virtuoso on the violin, in line with the theme of the album, he sticks to the bouzouk, a traditional Palestinian long-necked lute related to the Greek bouzouki and Turkish saz. He is accompanied on the oud, accordion, clarinet and percussion. Each song in the album, all composed by Ramzi, are reflections on chapters in his live. The opening track, 'Rahil' means 'Exile' relates to Ramzi's grandfather who was forced to leave his home amongst the eucalyptus trees and sweet smelling citrus orchards, to live in compulsory exile in Al-Amari, a refugee camp in Ramallah, West Bank. Accompanied by the slow accordion drone at the opening of 'Rahil', Ramzi articulates slow chords on the bouzouk. Excitement is expressed when the percussion joins in and the tempo picks up after which the music however returns to a slow and melancholic sound. The change of dynamics in the song no doubt refer to the tumulous emotional state of those living in exile.
Ramzi's succesful international career, talent and music remind us of Palestine being more than a country in dismay; it is a place of rich culture, creativity and beauty. Reflections of Palestine is hereof an example.Although Ramzi Aburedwan's tries to promote peace through his music, when Ramzi Aburedwan first appeared in the media, it was unrelated to music. A powerful shot of Ramzi as an 8 year old boy throwing stones at an Israeli tank circulated rapidly and became an icon of the First Intifada, the Palestinian uprising of 1987–1993. Once his talent was spotted after a few free music lessons, music soon became his new weapon.
Here is a video of Ramzi Aburedwan performing in an ensemble with oud player Dalouna. The song you hear is Carod, an Armenian song.