Various Artists – FM Records, East Mediterranean Musical Instruments: “Oud” (Liban, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Syria)

John Darnielle

By John Darnielle

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
The pear-shaped guitar gets its due

This charmingly titled collection gives you the oud (a stringed Middle Eastern instrument) in various but related settings and moods. Why should you care? Because the oud sounds like God breathing life into clay, that's why. It's hard to listen to music of other cultures without wondering how much the non-native ear instinctively exoticizes unfamiliar instrumentation, but at the end of the day, I don't care about any of that too-much-thinking business: the music speaks for itself, both to the novice and to those who've mastered the vocabulary. This music is simply wonderful.