Exploring and reshaping Arabic music

The group consisting of oud player and composer Ahmad al Khatib and polish clarinet player Lena Nowak is known for music by many described as “enchanting”. With a repertoire of contemporary pieces by al Khatib weaving together the heritage of Arabic music with brave new ideas, the duo explores simplicity and complexity, melody and harmony woven together in an intricate rhythmical framework. Stylistically standing out from anything you have ever heard before, they will take you on a journey through the great emotional landscape.

Ahmad Al Khatib (1974)
His knowledge and understanding of the musical culture of his ancestors is impeccable. As their recognised successor, he develops that culture in new directions. From the age of eight, he was under the rigorous instruction of oud master Ahmad Abdel Qasem, going on to complete a university course in musicology and Western classical cello with flying colours. He was forced to leave Palestine, thereafter publishing several works on oud instruction and on musical transcription for modern Arab composers which have become essential references. Since 2004, he has taught the theory of modal music, composition and ensemble music at the University of Gothenburg. He has performed at all the major festivals in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, USA.

Lena Nowak (1993)
Gothenburg based Polish clarinet player. Coming from a classical background she continued her education within world music at the Academy of Music and Drama in Gothenburg. In her playing she uses techniques and ideas from different musical backgrounds, showing the colors and possibilities of the clarinet as a tool of expression and a bridge between different styles, from modal improvisation to early jazz from the 1920s. She works with several projects in Poland and Sweden (f.e.: Warsaw Sentimental Orchestra, Bosphorus Ensemble, Nowak/Hendrix Duo) and internationally (Sabil, Rocio Molina), touring in Europe and in the Middle East.