Label: ABC Classics
Cat. No.: 481 1632
No. Discs: 1
Triple-ARIA-winning Oud virtuoso Joseph Tawadros releases his hotly anticipated new album on ABC Music: Truth Seekers, Lovers and Warriors.
Continuing his characteristic style of creating new and unusual musical soundworlds with the Oud, this album features superlative guest musicians from across the musical spectrum: James Crabb on accordion, James Greening on trombone, Matt McMahon on piano, and Joseph's long-standing collaborator and brother James Tawadros on the req and bendir.
The title of the album is taken from the American novelist Hunter S. Thompson: "Walk tall, kick ass, learn to speak Arabic, love music and never forget that you come from a long line of Truth Seekers, Lovers and Warriors". All 20 tracks are composed by Joseph Tawadros but each one draws on the imagination of the instrumentalists involved. As Tawadros himself puts it: "Music should be composed as a platform to excel, shine and enjoy the experience of music making, albeit with some twists and turns."
"Expectations were realised far beyond what I had first envisaged (although on paper it is hard to imagine any coherency with an instrumental combination like Oud, Trombone, Accordion, Piano and Req in one room) but I believe it really does work, and work well. But it's not about the instruments themselves. It's about the players who bring these objects to life and the dedication that shines through their sound. It's also about how a group of musicians from different backgrounds can work well together, listening carefully to one another, sensitive to the moment and reacting to what's happening on the fly. It's courageous decision-making. It's the skill of being on the same page and the joy of sharing. That's where the strength of the music lies."
The Truth Seeker Suite in A stands at the heart of the disc, a dazzling display of texture, colour and impulsive rhythm that interweaves these apparently disparate instruments into a fresh new soundworld. Other highlights of the album include the interplay between the Tawadros brothers and James Crabb (accordion) in Shadow Dance, and the elegiac Three Sketches of Gallipoli.
ABOUT JOSEPH TAWADROS
"One of the most impressive musicians to emerge in Australia - with a dazzling technique dispensing hair-raising tempos ... His writing displays a real depth of emotion - revelling in a zest for life and celebration." - The Australian
Born in Cairo, Egypt in 1983, Joseph Tawadros has established himself as one of the world's leading Oud performers and composers. A virtuoso of amazing diversity and sensitivity, Joseph appears in concert halls worldwide, dazzling audiences with his brilliant technique, passionate musicianship and his joyous style of performance. Always willing to push the boundaries and challenge traditional musical forms and rhythms, his efforts have led him to many unique collaborations.
Truth Seekers, Lovers and Warriors is his twelfth album, the last three of which won Best World Music Album at the ARIA Awards in 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively, a rare industry hat-trick. A resident of Australia since 1986, Joseph has been responsible for expanding the Oud's notoriety in mainstream western culture and has also been recognized in the Arab world, being invited to appear on the judging panel of the Damascus International Oud competition in 2009, and taking part in Istanbul's first Oud festival in 2010. Joseph has toured extensively, headlining in Europe, America, Asia and the Middle East, and has collaborated with artists such as Zakir Hussain, Bela Fleck, John Abercrombie, John Patitucci, Jack DeJohnette, Richard Bona, Roy Ayers, Joey DeFrancesco, Howard Johnson, Jean-Louis Matinier, Ivry Gitlis, Camerata Salzburg, Christian Lindberg, Neil Finn, Katie Noonan, Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, amongst many others. He has also had guest appearances with the Sydney, Adelaide and West Australian Symphony Orchestras.
In 2014 Tawadros was one of four finalists for the award of NSW Young Australian of the Year, as well as receiving the Premier's Medal for Arts and Culture in the same year. The 2015 season saw him tour as guest soloist with Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra in a shared program featuring eight of his original compositions, with music of Vivaldi and the Baroque period.
Tawadros launches Truth Seekers, Lovers and Warriors at Sydney's Venue 505 on 6 May, before touring England with Richard Tognetti and the Academy of Ancient Music. He returns to Australia with an album tour later this year.