We are very pleased to present another in the series of VR Media music videos. This edition features a solo oud improvisation by one of Vancouver’s great musical treasures, Gordon Grdina.
Gordon may be most widely known for his role as the guitarist in Dan Mangan’s group but those with their ears tuned to the city’s rich jazz and improvising scene will know him as leader of The Gordon Grdina Trio and the multi-hued and truly awesome Haram, a “big band” that explores the intersections of contemporary jazz, progressive rock and Arabic music.
If you’ve ever seen Haram live, you’ll know that when not pushing his band to incendiary heights, he is a delicate and inventive solo voice on the oud. He’s just recorded an album of solo oud pieces and will be performing these more intimate works around town in 2016.
This past fall, we met up with Gordon at UBC’s Green College and recorded a live, improvised piece in the Carriage House. In titling the video, we sought an Arabic word that would best fit his approach to the instrument, something that acknowledged a subtle push outwards from the confines of traditional melodic form.