Khyam Allami

Khyam Allami is an Iraqi-British multi-instrumentalist musician, composer, researcher, and founder of Nawa Recordings. His artistic research and practice explore experimental composition and improvisation based on and inspired by, the fundamentals of Arabic music and culture.

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 and in 2004—aged 23—began to study oud, Arabic, and Iraqi music with Iraqi Oud master Ehsan Emam in London. He rapidly became a performer of international renown. His 2011 debut solo album, Resonance/Dissonance was widely critically praised and led him to high-profile performances across Europe and the Arab world including the BBC Proms (UK), WOMAD (UK), Supersonic (UK), CTM (DE), Incubate (NL) and Irtijal (LB).

Recent works include »Requiem for the 21st Century,« an immersive Oud-based installation for Opera North (UK), »Ma-a aba ud mena gin Ma-a di-di-in,« a string quartet for JACK quartet (US), and »Apotome,« a collaborative project with Counterpoint Studio which was awarded the inaugural Isao Tomita Special Prize at Ars Electronica 2021. Allami holds a BA and Masters in Ethnomusicology from SOAS, University of London, and a Ph.D. in composition from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham City University (UK).