Ahmed Mukhtar interview with Heskel Kojaman
Ahmed Mukhtar - How did the idea of your two books materialise or what were the reasons that led you to write them? What was the process of composition and how long did it take?
Heskel Kojaman - The story of writing the book, which was my Master's thesis, is an interesting one. When I fled Iraq and went to Israel in 1962, my sister took me to see an Iraqi market, which was a copy of Souq Hannon in Baghdad.
This market to date has all the characteristics of Souq Hannoon: the calling for selling goods, the bread made in Tannur, the Sambousak
Ahmed Mukhtar - Was this calling on the same tune as the Iraqi Maqam?
Heskel Kojaman -The calling had some sort of singing
Heskel Kojaman - When I reached the market I was surprised to see Daoud Al Kuwaity standing by a small shop selling pots and bargaining
Ahmed Mukhtar - Permit me, Daoud Al Kuwaity was one of the most important artists of the period before the fifties
Heskel Kojaman - One of the most important Iraqi artists
Ahmed Mukhtar - And composed many of the songs that are still live to date
Heskel Kojaman - However Daoud as a composer was less productive than Saleh.
Saleh produced a lot more compositions
Ahmed Mukhtar - He was more productive
Heskel Kojaman - Saleh and Daoud were partners in this small shop. I thought that if Daoud and Saleh reached this level, their story and the history of music in Iraq must be written