You have to listen to Rabih Abou-Khalil. You have to.
I'm young and can only vouch for two albums: The Cactus of Knowledge (larger ensemble with horn arrangements) and Il Sospiro (solo oud).
I wish there was a day when the Oud Owl delivered ouds to all the good little boys and girls.
I've always fantasized about how it must feel to be someone/something else. I wish we could connect ourselves via USB and trade for a few minutes. I speculate that our worlds would plop. What does Lebanese music sound like through Lebanese ears?
Our ears are born of vast lineage and evolution, as if they all lived and died for us to sit here and listen to tunes with a fresh cup of coffee in hand.
I once played music with an Iranian tar player. He's one of the best musicians I've ever met. One night over fresh Alaskan salmon and a chia seeds drink, we talked about music and culture for a few hours. We ended the night by sight reading some of each other's music. We were both in the mud. Sometimes I still pull out the photocopies and stare at them like old family portraits.
I just finished Suzuki's Nurtured by Love and am fascinated at how he describes the power of the mother tongue:
"Mother's often say to me, "I am tone-deaf," to explain that their child is the same. They think it is hereditary and that there is nothing they can do about it. But just as nightingales are not born tone-deaf, neither are human infants. On the contrary, a baby absorbs perfectly any out-of-tune pitch of its mother's lullabies. It has a marvelous ear. That's why the child will later sing in the same way."
I'm not necessarily advocating Suzuki method. I have mixed feelings about pushing very young children towards prodigy when they've yet to roll in autumn leaves, build forts out of quilts and folding chairs and dress their cats in doll attire. Suzuki wasn't advocating for this either, but it does happen. His aim was to supplement childhood with musical performance. I can definitely get behind that.
Blend it with a cup and a half of Fred Rogers' "Mister Rogers Talks With Parents", and you may have a delicious casserole in your oven:
"I don't believe that children can develop in a healthy way unless they feel that they have value apart from anything that they own or any skill that they learn. They need to feel they enhance the life of someone else, that they are needed. Who, better than parents, can let them know that?" (or teachers!)
Although my mother tongue is old honky tonk and Bob Seger, I'll continue stewing in the sound of Rabih's oud, hoping to come out the other end with a quarter tone twinge. Listen to him shred here (with Sonny Fortune SCREAMING later on): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysxv8dc4ru4
Here is Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble playing one of his compositions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAic5B57J9Y