Curated by Heba Kadry
Khyam Allami is an Iraqi-British multi-instrumentalist musician, composer, researcher and founder of Nawa Recordings. His artistic research and practice explores experimental composition and improvisation based on, and inspired by, the fundamentals of Arabic music and culture. Born in Damascus, Syria in 1981 to Iraqi parents, and raised in London from the age of 9, Allami began his musical path by studying the violin. During the US/UK-led invasion and destruction of Iraq in 2003 Allami found himself to be “out of balance” with himself and his history. In 2004—aged 23—began to study Oud, Arabic and Iraqi music with Iraqi Oud master Ehsan Emam in London. Despite only taking up the Oud – his principal instrument – in his twenties, Allami rapidly became a performer of international renown.
Photography by Camille Blake