GOF is a seven-part series curated by Iraqi oud master Naseer Shamma and features performances by 27 oud players from 14 countries. African musicians include Ashraf Awad (Sudan), Driss El Maloumi (Morocco), Bacem Yousfi (Tunisia), Hisham Errish (Libya) and Egyptians Sherine Tohamy, Hazem Shaheen, Mohammed Abozekry and Nehad El Sayed.
Each episode includes an academic segment that features experts in music and the arts who share insights into the history and development of the ancient oud and how the instrument is being integrated into today’s digital music industry. This is in addition to interviews with renowned oud makers from across the Arab world.
“I am proud to be working again with Abu Dhabi Festival,” Shamma told Al Bawaba. “The festival is reinventing itself to communicate its vision in the arts and music industry despite the impact of COVID-19, which has affected us all.”
“GOF combines a wide array of creative individuals to present their visions, ideas, music and innovations in the world of the oud – a unique attempt to bring together musicians, oud makers, researchers and critics all in one place.”
Festival founder and artistic director Hoda Ibrahim Al-Khamis said: “Our strategic partnership with oud master Shamma to produce the GOF reflects the ADF’s mission to raise awareness about the critical role of music and the arts in building bridges between cultures and building a civilisation that is capable of overcoming challenges. Through the event, we help preserve the traditional Arabic music that is rooted in our history and is part of our legacy.”
The first and second episodes of the series premiered on YouTube on 25 and 29 May. The third, fourth and fifth episodes are scheduled for 1, 5 and 8 June, respectively. The full ADF programme is available here.
Launched in 1996, the ADF is among the oldest non-profit cultural organisations in the Gulf region. The 2021 edition kicked off on 1 February and will continue throughout the year, combining a unique hybrid programme of virtual and in-person performances, exhibitions and events by more than 500 artists from about 50 countries.