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Nicolas Artuso-Royer's "Carte Blanche" begins with a few minutes of sweet assonance.Following Artuso-Royer's "Carte Blanche," another glass of wine and a cigarette or three, the capacity audience descended to the BAC auditorium to watch Tripoli-born guitar hero Osman Arabi perambulate through an elaborate electric guitar solo, played in remarkably soto voice.Opening solo done, Artuso-Royer hands Saliba his oud and decants his violin.What issues from the five players can in no way be confused with "sweet assonance". All the musicians are evidently playing the one piece of music. The only shard of purposeful-sounding assonance in the first half of the concert comes when Saade puts aside the nai and picks up his clarinet – a beast big enough to allow the player to bend its notes to the maqam's quarter tones.
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