Various - Poetry Despite/Music Despite (Eternal War Requiem) - No label (private press) 2019 NM/NM

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Karim Wasfi, born in Cairo in 1972, is an Iraqi-Egyptian conductor, cellist and composer. Forced to leave Iraq under Saddam Hussein, he worked for a time in the United States where he is sometimes called "the Iraqi Rostropovich", and then returned to Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein to conduct the National Symphony Orchestra in Baghdad. In 2012, he founded the peace initiative "Peace Through the Arts" with other musicians and artists. His project Poetry Despite/Music Despite (Eternal War Requiem) connects artists across time and place: Benjamin Britten, whose "War Requiem" excerpts are sampled here, poets Aaron Hughes, Carlos Sirah and others, young Syrian rappers and thus, the fabulous and omnipresent cello of the master of ceremonies.
Somewhere between classical music and spoken word, this rare and universal testimony was exhibited and performed at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in 2019 in the UK. It is a pure masterpiece. Rare, undiscovered, the very definition of a hidden treasure.

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