Monday Music

02009-03-23 | Music | 26 comments

Under the Rose
Rahim AlHaj – Oud
OL – Flamenco Guitar
Jon Gagan – Bass + Keybaords
Barrett Martin – drums + percussion

Produced by Jon Gagan @ The Electric Company (((Jon also recorded, edited, mixed and mastered the music!! What a guy!!))

Download the 320kbps mp4 file here.

I will leave to have breakfast with Rahim and Jon in a few minutes. Stevo and Rusty will arrive today  and rehearsals will start tomorrow.

A few hours later:
Had a great meeting with Rahim and Jon. I had been pushing to release the album we recorded a while ago as a free download on a dedicated web-page that would also have links to a few, maybe three, Iraqi charities, with the suggestion to donate whatever amount people were willing to give. Rahim wants to a have an actual CD out, and we agreed that we could very well do both. The income from the sale of the CD would go to Iraqi charities as well and the musicians agreed not to take any money. As a tentative release date for the CD and the download-web-page early September was suggested. Under the Rose would be the first piece on the album and possible the title track. I suggested adding Arabic calligraphy to the English title, possibly the Arabic word for Peace. The title Under the Rose was suggested by me and alludes to Sufi history. Sufi masters had regular lives, regular jobs – they were often Stone Masons – and often had families. They did not live in temples or cloisters or centers, but taught small groups in their personal homes. For hundreds of years a rose above the entrance to a house was the sign that a Sufi master lived and taught at that location.

Rahim has been working on a Sufi-themed album for his own label for release next year, and the three of us will record a track for it at Jon’s studio sometime in April. Recently Rahim recorded another track for that album with Toumani Diabate, the great (((greatest))) Kora player and one of my favorite musicians – see my Diary. I think every track on that album will feature different musicians, including small and large orchestras around the world. Sounds like a wonderful project.


  1. Brenda

    Oh my – At the very beginning , it reminds me of the sound, of when I press my ear to the opening; of this very large old seashell. This shell was found in the attic of my present day home. Makes me miss a slower time and invites me to slow down, be silent and listen. This music has a joyful lightness after the beginning. Thank you so very much.

  2. Luz

    Ottmar-Friends Journal…the gift that keeps on giving! Thank you for such wonderful music. My head is floating from today’s piece. Friday’s “trippy” music was perfect for the weekend and today’s “Under the Rose” is fitting to begin the week. My moleskine is calling my name to journal about being “Under the Rose”.

  3. Carol

    That brings tears. Oh thank you. I needed that.

  4. James

    Lovely track, beautiful as an untold secret.

  5. Molly

    so very beautiful…just what my Monday (back in the city) needed. peace.

  6. lindaw

    Thank you for a very nice break from another difficult day.

    This is incredibly relaxing for me!

  7. Marsha

    Smooth ~ like drifting along in the air over the desert, rivers and mountains…

  8. Adam

    Will listen to it soon – can’t wait :)

    Ottmar – is this from that album with Rahim et al. which had album art in the Store at one point but never appeared? I know your bday track (Return to Andalusia) was on the tracklist but I forgot if this was….

  9. Adam

    As you may have been able to tell, I did not sufficiently read this post before commenting. Lo siento amigo! I am curious how this upcoming CD relates to the old one that had album art, tracklist, and everything all readied up. Same music?

  10. Adam

    This is fantastic! Beautiful melody, great little groove. I’m digging it.

    Is Rahim seriously recording an album with Toumani Diabate? That’s incredible – looking forward to hearing that project of Rahim’s too!

  11. Victor

    Just pulls you in its wonderfull, a great way to start the week.

  12. Carolynn

    The song gave me goosebumps. Love it!

  13. Ottmar

    Adam: Jon is still tweaking the master, but other than that it’s the same music. Recorded in August of 2006.

    No, not an album with Toumani, one song with Toumani. Rahim explained that he will perform with different musicians on every track, i.e. one with Toumani, one with Jon and I and the list goes on. It’s a fantastic list of musos, but that’s all I am going to say.

  14. Kaz

    Listen closely, to feel far away…..

    Wonderful! Thx Ottmar!.. and u 2 Jon(wow)!! :)

  15. marijose

    Pure magic and what a great title. I love the idea of the webpage and CD. Perfect timing since I just began reading The Gift by Hafiz. Thank you for all the wonderful music!

  16. Victor

    I know I committed on this earlier but I really hope you do something and tour with Rahim this piece is really growing on me and I just think others would love to hear you guys play this IMHO.

  17. Adam

    Mm yes I actually was reading that time :) I meant song. Very cool stuff.

  18. dave

    Great song. I’m curious if working with Barrett put the idea in your mind to work with a drummer like your doing on this tour.

    Rahim’s cd sounds like it will be a good one. I really like Toumani’s Kaira cd. It’s funny, it wasn’t until quite sometime after I visited SFe in 2007 that I was going through my pictures & noticed the sign on the Lensic indicating Toumani had played there when I was in town.

  19. Adam

    Hmm – I was just thinking about the first movement of the Moonlight Sonata… then I turned on Under the Rose. Just realized the similarity between the opening melodies in both! Very cool.

  20. Ottmar

    Dave: Nope. I had a drumkit on Innamorare in 1999 and the XL band toured with a drumkit. Every once in while I develop a taste for it.

  21. Victor Hornback

    Beautiful melodies in this one! I really find the contrast between the guitar and oud quite interesting – fun listening to that interplay. Would be neat to experience all you guys in concert together!

  22. Gerry

    If this was vinyl, I’d wear the groove out! Gorgeous.

  23. Carol

    You and Rahim’s music are made for each other..and Jon of course.

  24. Max K

    Shoot! I missed being able to download it. I’m a CPA – busy time of the year…

  25. Ottmar

    Max K: Hello busy CPA-man! I reset the links and gave you a few extra days to download the March music. I was going to write that you need to work on your priorities, but I know that this close to April 15th all humor can be difficult for a CPA. So, I will just say best of luck and make sure you take of yourself in this final sprint toward tax-day. The links will expire on April 6th.

  26. Max K

    Humor’s the best medicine. Thanks again! Just snagged them.


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