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Kristin Hagegård and Khaled Tawfiq go totally unplugged

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(Photos: Arthur Tainturier)
AMMAN — Within a swaying crowd, Swedish vocalist Kristin Hagegård and Jordanian guitarist Khaled Tawfiq were completely unplugged and captivating. اضافة اعلان

At the Jafra center in downtown Amman on Wednesday, the duo harmonized with an intimate crowd in a quaint and warm atmosphere. The natural delivery, paired with the venue’s exquisite old architecture and setting, created a particularly cozy atmosphere, bringing the artists and the audience together in a shared familiarity. Such setups tend to make the musicians perform comfortably, in a very relaxed and authentic manner, doing away with show-off frills, useless decor, and the like.


Unplugged pop-rock concerts were made popular for the first time by legendary English musician Eric Clapton in 1992. The idea was to play without electric guitars. The concept is still in fashion today in the music world, but rarely are performances as unplugged as Hagegård and Tawfiq’s.

At the Jafra center in downtown Amman, the duo harmonized with an intimate crowd in a quaint and warm atmosphere. The natural delivery, paired with the venue’s exquisite old architecture and setting, created a particularly cozy atmosphere, bringing the artists and the audience together in a shared familiarity. Such setups tend to make the musicians perform comfortably, in a very relaxed and authentic manner, doing away with show-off frills, useless decor, and the like.

The emotional voice of Hagegård did wonders with the selection of songs she performed, and language was not an issue. From English to Swedish to Norwegian and French, she maintained a high level of musical expression throughout.

The Swedish artist, who resides in Jordan and has already performed several times in the country, tends to focus on songs with lyrics that have insightful meaning, including Scandinavian folk songs and pieces with well-crafted, inspiring melodic lines.

All songs performed were beautiful and exquisitely rendered. Whether the Scandinavian traditional tunes, Dark Swift and Bright Swallow (by Andy Cutting, Martin Simpson, and Nancy Kerr), or Vincent (by Don McLean), the audience was left wanting more. So much so that at the end of the performance, Vincent, the song about painter Van Gogh, was sung again as an encore requested by the audience.

Several of the pieces that the two musicians played were in triple meter, 3/4 or 6/8, generating a pleasant, nicely swinging rhythm.

Tawfiq’s guitar part was second to none. The Jordanian musician's delicate touch, refined taste, and mastery of the nylon-stringed guitar sound not only provided the ideal instrumental accompaniment for Hagegård but were also an integral part and essential element of the overall beauty of the entire performance. Whether the bass notes he played gently, with subtlety, the well-controlled tremolos, or the flowing arpeggios, everything he did was just right.

Beyond excellent technique, Tawfiq played with genuine musicality, an essential trait that musicians must hold to please their listeners. Considering the Jordanian artist is also a composer, he treated the audience to one of his own original instrumental compositions, Seven Secrets.

The “totally-unplugged” performance allowed the audience to feel all the natural beauty of Hagegård’s voice and Tawfiq’s guitar tone: unaltered and pure. It is rarely the case on stage, for even the best microphones and amplification systems would never entirely do justice to natural sounds.


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