Global Arts LiveAmir ElSaffar’s Rivers of Sound Orchestra
Acclaimed composer, trumpeter, and multi-instrumentalist Amir ElSaffar’s Rivers of Sound brings together 17 musicians from a broad spectrum of traditions, ranging from Iraqi maqam to American jazz. Deeply rooted in the musical traditions of Iraq, the ensemble finds ecstatic common ground among the scales, grooves, and instruments of Arabic music, contemporary orchestras, and jazz.
Middle Eastern oud, buzuq, santur (hammered dulcimer), jowza (spike fiddle), and percussion resonate with piano, bass, drums, horns, strings, and voice. The result is a groundbreaking microtonal environment that transcends genres and enters a realm of uninhibited musical communication, a sound that Pitchfork described as “a trance-like state of ecstasy.”