Omar Akram encourages listeners to come with him on an exotic Secret Journey, an appropriate title for his new Real Music album since he grew up traveling around the world as the son of a United Nations diplomat living in such diverse locales as France, Cuba, Afghanistan and the Czech Republic. On Omar’s third contemporary instrumental CD, strong melodies are presented within tapestry-like arrangements carefully interweaving his acoustic grand piano with acoustic guitar, violin, duduk, flute and ethnic percussion performed by a group of world-class musicians.
“I look around me and see people who are bored, restless, stagnant,” explains Akram, “and I know they often take ‘secret journeys’ in their mind as they daydream about other places they could be. The lucky ones get to take an actual trip where they escape from the pressures of their lives. They see new places and have uncommon experiences. I like to think the music on my album can serve as the soundtrack for their journey, whether it is a mental or a physical trip. Everyone needs to get away sometime.”
In addition to the title track, “Secret Journey,” all of the tunes were inspired by what might be seen or felt on a special trip. Some of the compositions capture the heritage of Omar’s Afghani ancestors (“Caravan,” “Nomadic Rhapsody,” “Gypsy Spirit”). On such a journey you might see a distant lake-like “Mirage,” ...