-   Home Again continues the remarkable CD listening journey that Rahim Alhaj has offered his world audience since settling in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2000. This deeply personal and poetic recording, like the Second Baghdad (2002), Iraqi Music in a Time of War (2003), Friendship (2005), and When the Soul is Settled (2006), documents the passion of an Iraqi musician to turn the pains of refugee life into an act of global citizenship. In composition after composition, we hear Rahim grapple with place and memory, with sound and sentiment. His ability to musically reside in multiple realities is a grand testimony to the power of musical cosmopolitanism in these times.
Steven Feld, “Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Music, The University of New Mexico”       

-   "Music is Good. I feel lucky to have heard Rahim Alhaj. His music is beautiful, mysterious, and powerful. I've never heard anything like it. He has his own voice--his own sound. As the world becomes more and more complicated, confusing, and frightening, there is one thing I am certain of--Music is good. Music can bring people together. Music has power. Music heals. What Rahim is doing is important. I hope many people will have the chance to hear his new album, Home Again, made up of his own very personal compositions. Listen. He's an inspiration. Music is good.
Bill Frisell

-   I feel privileged to have met Rahim AlHaj here in New Mexico, and to have been introduced to his extraordinary oud music. I am deeply moved by his artistry and his passion. He shares one of the great gifts of his culture with us all, and I am reminded in the most beautiful way possible of the essential connections between all peoples everywhere when compassion and art and our hearts meet. Rahim's music touches me profoundly, and I believe that it goes a long way to soften the differences and anger in the world, and to offer all of us hope.
Ali MacGraw,
“actress & social activist”

-   I have known Rahim Alhaj for a year and a half, and in that short time I have watched him mature as an artist and a human being as well as an important cultural asset for the Music/Arts scene in New Mexico. In the past year, in my capacities as an owner of a studio, UBIK Sound, Recording Engineer of the UNM Music Dept and as musician, I worked on the mastering for Rahim's CD, worked sound for him, recorded and even played with him on one occasion. Throughout these intimate creative encounters. I have found him to be a most profoundly committed musician, whose determination and dedication for outweighed the struggles he has to overcome. Rahim has performed this past year at the Outpost, The Cell, Cloudcliff Art Space, UNM Keller Hall, San Felipe Church for Magnifico, various benefits around the state, he has been invited to participate in the 2003 UNM Composers Symposium next March, etc, and all to ecstatic audience  reaction–I have not seen a musician locally elicit such response over ad over again. Rahim AlHaj should be honored and thanked for sharing his life with us. We are lucky to have a musician of his caliber living amongst us.
Manny Rettinger,
   
“Ubik Sound”

-   The Iraqi oud player Rahim Alhaj is a poet. His CD, "the second Baghdad," display his strong lyrical gifts sharp sense of rhythm, and capacity for intense, often poignant, emotional expression .He is a storyteller in music,his songs are like tales that speak directly to the heart. He is fluent and subtle master of oud, a beguiling instrument with ancient roots .in his hands it creates an intimate art that speaks vividly, touching regions words cannot reach. it also dissolves distance as Alhaj makes his homeland and its peoples come alive and reminds of our common humanity. 
Joanne Sheehy Hoover,
 
“Music critic, Albuquerque Journal”

-   When Rahim first came to Albuquerque, I interviewed him for the radio before his very first concert.  He is talented and engaging, of course, but when he told me he wanted to make his living as a free-lance Oud player in Albuquerque, I almost laughed out loud. After all, the oud is esoteric, and Albuquerque is a tough place to make a living for any free-lancer. He went on to prove me wrong.  He has forged a very successful career playing all over the country.  I am delighted to recommend him to you. Coming from Iraq, Rahim has faced discrimination in this community with dignity.  His art is centuries old, representing his culture as it used to be, not as it is now.  He is a peacemaker, while the media wants us to believe his people are violent and angry.  He quietly and gracefully explains that most Iraqis are not as the media portrays them. Rahim's music is the most eloquent expression of his desire for peace.  I cannot imagine a better ambassador, especially during the current war madness. We in the arts always seek to portray mankind's higher nature, a kind of communication that crosses borders and bridges conflicts. Rahim is the embodiment of this ideal.  I have learned more about Iraq from him and his positive, giving attitude and exquisite music making than I have from all the rhetoric in the newspapers. He exemplifies the better nature in all of us.  I admire him very, very much.
Marty Ronish, Ph.D
. is a long time classical music lover and radio personality.  She staffs NPR: Classical Music Today and produces a nationally syndicated children's program about classical music, Boombox classroom that airs four mornings a week on KANM-FM.

-   I first heard about Rahim from several different musician associates of mine who told me "You've got to hear this guy .He just got here from the Middle East and he's terrific. You're going to love him. "As the Director of Outpost production, each year I probably review over 1,000 performance Space. Many of these performers are in the highest echelon of artistry. While I may wish it were not that way, it is nevertheless fairly difficult for me to get overly excited about hearing yet another aspiring artist. But the idea that there might be a talented oud practitioner living in Albuquerque, truly peaked my interest. Rahim subsequently came to the Space to meet me and drop off his music for me to listen to. Meeting Rahim was indeed a pleasure. His warmth and openness is striking from the start. And I am glad to say in the months that have followed, I have had the pleasure of his friendship. At the same time, while his personality is impressive, his music is even more so. It is immediately clear, even to someone like me who is by no means an expert in this field of music, that Rahim possesses a level of technical skill which is matched only by a deep emotional commitment to this music and its tradition. As both an instrumentalist and composer, his music is interesting, accomplished and heartfelt. While this was immediately clear to me, what has become even clearer is that music speaks to an amazing number of people. I have spent a lot of time over the pat 2-1/2 years, discussing career possibilities with Rahim- trying to help him get his career in the United States off the ground. He has made tremendous strides on this front as well and is, I believe, on the verge of launching what could become an impressive career. He is committed to basing this career here in his new home of the United States and specifically Albuquerque. Many important concerts loom on the horizon--concerts this spring in Washington DC and then at the prestigious World Music Institute in New York City. In the world of international music, these are impressive concert dates. In addition, there is a good possibility of a release of his music on a major label quite soon (he has already recorded a CD which has seen nothing short of phenomenal sales locally). It is always hard to move to a new country and Rahim has his endured a lot in his move from Iraq where he was seriously persecuted. His successes here in the US, which have happened so quickly, are testament not only to his formidable talent but to Rahim's warm personality, his incredibly positive attitude towards life and his deeply abiding commitment and drive to get his music to the people. Seldom have I seen a man make so many friends in a community and move people so deeply with his music. His fans range from local musicians to renowned film stars to the great Indian sarod master Amjad Ali Khan and on and on. New and exciting things seem to develop daily for Rahim AlHaj.
Tom Guralnick,   “ Executive Director Outpost Productions, Inc”

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