Salem Style Of Oud Performance

Salem had never felt or considered himself as merely an executant or player on the Oud but he is a speaker by it. Thus Oud for him (and so music) is his tongue and his means of expression of what he feels in such away that normal language cannot say or express. This vision, sense and understanding led to such organic relationship with Oud to the extent that he used to puts Oud beside him when he sleeps (and he stills does sometimes). This connection had Crystallized, framed and set his relation and feelings with Oud.
According to such basis, his knowledge of Oud started determined his tracks of studying Oud and also his struggling (after the primary stages ) to know and learn Oud in a deep, thorough and continuous study.
Then depending on himself as self-taught student with his own hardworking he sought to study classic guitar and piano seeking to improve the performing and expressive capacities of the Oud.
With such hardworking, will and self-development, he had a special style of composing and performing Oud, by such style, the audience knew him from his beginnings and distinguished him from the others, he designed such style and put his properties by himself. He never imitated nor mimicked any one. This style is one of his many inventions and it has many features such as tone clearance and advanced performance based on a deep understanding of Oud.
With a lot of patience, musical knowledge and logical mathematical thoughts, Salem worked hard on developing concepts that has not been known on the Oud before him such as working to develop tone color, register and execution. He also developed the use of plectrum till he reached unprecedented speed.
Moreover he invented a new style of tuning for Oud which he had developed according to a mathematical basis and he also worked hard and persistently to widen the register of Oud vertically and horizontally.
By widening the register of notes that can be performed on the Oud until he reached four complete octaves.
He developed many techniques like using chords on Oud, using left hand only, using right hand only, harmonies (natural, artificial), pizzicato, etc...
As a composer for Oud and because of his deep knowledge of the techniques of performances, his natural readiness and his deep studies for the European sciences of harmony, counterpoint, and music composition in addition to studying properties, basis, and concepts of Iraqi, Arabic and middle east music, he started to compose special composition for Oud which reflect and show the performance and technical concepts aforementioned.
By developing the performing and technical aspects of Oud, Salem has prepared arrangements for many of musical compositions which was originally composed for other instruments such as piano, guitar, cello and full orchestra.
He prepared and adapt many of such pieces keeping its original soul and performing it on Oud on a creative interesting successful style, he played many of them in his recitals in several countries over the world, among them we can mentioned;
1.Czardas...............V.Monte.........[originally written for Violin].
2.Caprice 24...........Paganini........[originally written for Violin].
3.For Elisa...............Beethoven.....[originally written for Piano].
4.Love Story............F.Lee............[originally written for Piano].
5.Turkish March.......Mozart..........[originally written for Piano].
6.Minuet..............J.S.Bach...........[originally written for Organ].
7.Asturias................A.Albaniz.......[originally written for Piano].
8.Hungarian Dance No.5.....Brahms....[originally written for Symphonic Orchestra].
9.Swards Dance..................A. Khachaturian...[originally written for Symphonic Orchestra].
10.Romance....Anonyms ...[ for vocal and Classic Guitar].
11.Fly of the bumble bee...R.Korsakov..[ for Cello and piano].
12. Dark Eyes... Anonyms......[ vocal. Russian folk song].
Another point to refer to is his concern with keeping Arabic and Middle East identity and personality of the Oud. He believes that music is an identity, for him it is a means of expression, understanding, enrich and communication thus he worked hard to confirm and stress the identity in all his works, performances, arrangements and adaptations although his concerns, work and compositions cover wide area from classical music to Iraqi Maqams including Arabic music, folklore and contemporary music of several ages, eras, cultures of many countries.


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