Crossover Bagdad Köln
In 2015 Albrecht Maurer & Bassem Hawar meet for the first time for an art gallery concert in Cologne. They play various string instruments of their respective cultural area, quickly find suitable combinations and create their own compositions, which are especially designed for these instruments.
The result is an independent „syntopical“ music that incorporates their musical origins, a music which is full of an inner wanderlust towards the other cultural area. Albrecht Maurer & Bassem Hawar benefit greatly from the knowledge of their string instruments. Their sound production is very related and their timbres can mix strongly. As different as their ornamentation and their musical socialization are, they feel themselves into each other and invent new details again and again. Thus, archaic as well as classical and contemporary music from Orient and Occident meet in all pieces.
Born in Aachen, Germany, Albrecht Maurer studied in Cologne and has worked as a string player in countless projects between old and new music, jazz and classical. He is a gifted improviser and at the same time equal and soul-mate to his colleague Bassem Hawar. The Iraqi plays the djoze, one of the oldest known string instruments, a kind of knee violin with impressive sound registers, through which the duo combines European harmony with the scales of Arab folklore.
„Eight bridges are enough to overcome the distance between Cologne and Baghdad, from the Rhine to the Euphrates and the Tigris.“ (AchtBrücken Festival, Cologne, April 2018)
Djoze, violin and more..
The Arabic word djoze means „nut“. In Iraq the djoze is made from the shell of half a coconut. The opening is closed with a fish skin or a bovine heart membrane. Unlike the violin, it is tuned in G, d, g, d‘. Bassem Hawar builds his instruments himself. He further developed the djoze so that it could play Arabic and European music. According to his design, instruments are built today as „Bassems Djoze“.
Albrecht Maurer plays a baroque violin by Dieter Simonen, a three-string Rebec (Masch-huf) by Thilo Viehrig, which is played in the crook of the arm, as well as an Italian tenor-rebec (Ode to the Oud) and a lyrica (Wedding) from Dalmatia, both of which are played on the knee. All instruments have natural gut strings and different tunings, which make new facets possible again and again.