Salim Al Nur belongs to a generation of Iraqi musicians like Saleh and Daoud Al-Kuwaity, Jamil and Munir Bashir, and Salima Murad, who shaped classical Iraqi music in the first half of the 20th century. Salim Al Nur’s compositions are inspired by the basic motifs of classical Arabic music, but his compositions reflect a nuanced and innovative spirit of unique forms and style. Performed live exclusively for nearly fifty years, Al-Nur's music was rarely recorded, and this album is his worldwide debut.
Salim Al Nur (Shlomo Ziv Li) was born in Baghdad in 1920 and started composing as a teenager. His song Ayyuha as-Saqi, composed in 1937 and performed soon afterwards by the famous Iraqi singer Salima Murad, became part of the classical Iraqi music repertoire. The Egyptian singer Ragaa Abdu sang Al Nur’s composition (Tha’ al-Wilif) in her performances in Baghdad and Cairo, but this song was never recorded.
Al Nur has lived in Israel since 1950. While working as an engineer, he continued composing, performing and conducting classical Arabic music ensembles. Al Nur is noted for his instrumental compositions in the Sama’i genre. His complex use of rhythmic and melodic material generates a unique and modern expressive form of this musical tradition.
The CD "Al Nur" makes all Al-Nur's unrecorded music available for world audiences for the first time. The production was initiated by Dr. Yehuda Kamari, a physician and an Oud player, who gathered an impressive collection of talented musicians, to pay tribute to the composer. This recording includes 5 instrumental pieces (4 of them in the Sama’i genre and one Oud and Riq duet) and three Iraqi songs (one previously sung by the Egyptian singer Ragaa Abdu).
Elias SHASHA: a unique interpreter and performer of Iraqi vocal music, was born in Baghdad, where he studied with the renowned musician Sharif Muhyi al-Din. He joined the Arab Broadcasting Authority Orchestra in Israel both as singer and violinist.