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Russian Sylvia Vadimova and Tunisian Moufadhel Adhoum: artists flourishing in exile

By Daniel Brown

Artists from entirely different worlds meet in today’s World Tracks: mezzo-soprano singer Sylvia Vadimova from Russia and Tunisian oud player Moufadhel Adhoum.

Adhoum lives in exile in Belgium, from where he has just released a seminal album called Chemsi. The man behind the jazz group Hijaz has been following the remarkable upheavals in the Arab world, and explains the links between the realities they are addressing and his music compositions.

It was for entirely artistic reasons that our next guest decided to leave her native Russia in 1993. Sylvia Vadimova has graced classical stages worldwide, but we saw her in a farm where she combined her superb operatic voice… with her cooking. Our meeting allows World Tracks to go off at a complete tangent, and take a breather from the dramatic events in the Arab world just now.

The tenuous nature of the upheavals is underlined by the fate of another Tunisian artist, Haythem Achour, who we interviewed ten days ago. The avant-garde composer was beaten by police shortly after our exchange. Despite the attack, Achour remains determined to stay in his native Tunis.

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