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Playing with Layth Aldaene on his Oud in Abu Dhabi 10 years Ago

November 17, 2022

Laythe Aldaene

Laythe Aldaene

PARIS – Today I stumbled on a recording I did in Abu Dhabi exactly 10 years ago and I wanted to post it again to mark the occasion. It was one of my musical adventures following the Formula One season as a journalist, and that year, 2012, I had set myself the goal of recording a song with a local musician in every one of the 20 or so countries that I visited. The idea was a real challenge, and I think I succeeded in my goal, but unfortunately the sound quality of the recordings was not of CD-level quality. But what a treasure to find this one of a star oud player and musician living in Abu Dhabi named Layth Aldaene, who is an Iraqi, and who is still playing around the area and farther afield, including recently with a symphony orchestra. I decided to post this today because this weekend is also that of the season-finale 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in Formula One, so it seemed a great moment to post.

This recording took place in the House of Oud, which was a community center and workshop for building ouds, teaching the oud, spreading oud culture and everything else oud that you can imagine. I suggest you check out Layth Aldaene’s web site, as it has lots of his amazing music on it, and some cool videos.

I chose as a song to play my song “Let Me Know,” which I always felt had a middle eastern sound to it. In fact, I had written it purposefully with a middle eastern sound – although the guitar chord progression had itself been given to me by Laurent Guillaume, with whom I recorded the song on my CD.

Layth Aldaene in action

In any case, this recording was done in the workshop of the House of Oud and you can hear the luthier actually working on an oud while we play the song, and read more about it on the post I did at the time. This was a real jam of my song, as we had never rehearsed it.

Also, FYI, here is a link to the song as I recorded on my CD (with Laurent Guillaume doing the lead guitar):

Musical Bits and Pieces from Paris

May 21, 2010

I’ve had a scattered few days of a bit of this and a bit of that, with leads that did not materialize and plans that will.

On Wednesday Vanessa and I found a new open mic not far from her place. Freshly inspired by our success at the Baroc on Tuesday we were all ready to go an play in this new one and showed up only to find that slots are booked weeks in advance. So we booked a slot for 7 July!

This new open mic is called “Les Guduleries,” and it’s really much more of a kind of café théatre than an open mic. But the principle of the open mic is the same in that anyone can sign up for two five minutes slots – or two songs if you are musician – and there is no audition. It takes place in a room on the upper floor of the Gudule brasserie on Boulevard de la Villette. Unlike a regular open mic, however, this one involves voting by the audience for the best act of the night. There will be only one musical act, a comic, actor, poet, etc. All in all it had a nice feel to it, and we are looking forward to trying it out.

Aside from that, yesterday my friend Laurent, who calls himself Zarby, sent me a link to a new video he put up on YouTube and that he put together entirely by himself, playing all instruments, singing and also making and editing the video clip. I’ve been working with Laurent for more than a year on my own songs and we have performed once or twice and plan to do more. In fact, we were just discussing today the idea of recording some of my songs next month.

For today, I went to practice with him at his place, around the corner from mine. We worked on some of the songs that we have been working on for a year, and we feel we’re ready to try recording now. Our very first efforts on the song are what you hear on my myspace from more than a year ago, and where I’ve credited him.

By the way, when I first heard his video on YouTube I was expecting to hear something different, as I had worked with him on the lyrics of this nonsense song. But I find it difficult to write nonsense lyrics, and in the end, I saw that he used maximum one or two sentences from what we worked on together in the lyrics:

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