Today In Kurdistan . . .

That’s the name of the television show I appeared on yesterday.  It was a nice show, though the interview was much longer than I anticipated.  It went well.  The television station is called Newroz, which is also the Kurdish New Year.  They celebrate new year’s on March 21, the first day of spring.  Doesn’t that make sense?  The first day of spring, the season of new life, should be considered new year’s day?

Another big event yesterday was my purchase of an oud.  I’m very excited.  It was hand made here in Iraq (many of the ouds available here are factory made instruments sent in from Iran and Turkey).  The label inside has a picture of the man who made it.  It’s a lovely instrument.  It was actually purchased by the wonderful Harem.  He’s a great worker we have here at the academy and in addition to being a fine cellist, he is also an expert oud player.  Harem went to get the oud for me (being an American would have raised the price) and he gave me some beginner books.  I’m very excited about learning to play it.  I have an understanding of the principles of the quarter tones they use in their scales here, but whether or not I’ll actually be able to apply the knowledge may prove to be another issue.  I’m a bit concerned about getting it home.  There’s just no way it’s going to fit in the overhead.  I’ll have to hope that it can survive the airplane.

Tomorrow is concert day for music.  Instead of the marathon concert we did in Slemani, we split the evenings with music on Saturday night and theater and dance on Sunday night.  The program will include four violinists playing a Telemann Concerto for 4 violins, a cello quartet playing two Apocalyptica works (Bittersweet and Hope), two orchestras and a number of jazz ensembles.  We have dress rehearsals in the morning and the concert is at 7.  In between, Bashdar is taking me to the bazaar so I can pick up a few things.  I don’t really want to try and go without someone who can translate for me.  Bashdar’s English isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty darned good.  And I’ll be assured of laughing the afternoon away–he’s quite a comedian.

John’s making plans for a project in Eqypt next summer that would precede the Academy in Iraq.  Of course I want to go!  I’ll gladly come back here anytime and teach these fantastic students!  And I’ve always had a hankering to check out a pyramid . . . .

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2 responses to “Today In Kurdistan . . .

  1. Glad to hear the interview went well! As many have already said, I hope we get to see a copy of it!
    I had to Google what an oud was (cause I’m un-edjamacated) and it looks like a beautiful instrument; I’m excited that you’re bringing one home!
    EGYPT! Sounds like it would be another fantastic experience to have under your belt :) Seeing a picture of you in front of one of the pyramids would be quite fabulous!
    The concert will be amazing, I wish I could be there to watch, everyone is going to make sure to give a stupendous show.
    Barney and the rest of the family send you the best of wishes and lots of love!

  2. Man! THe pyramids! oh that’s a blissful fantasy to me and when you go I will be most definitely envious of you. Like Madison said, seeing a picture of you in front of those behemoths would be fabulous but also quite entertaining! You know, pale skin against the stark, tawny background. I think I would pee my pants a little…

    …ok that was a little awkward, ummm hope you’re having a good time, sir!

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