Musician Ronnie Malley performs one-man production of Ziryab at MNSU

Maria Ly
Staff Writer

Ronnie Malley, a Chicago-based performer, tells the life of Ziryab through music, theatrical reenactment, and dramatic lecture Thursday, Jan. 31. 

Malley started off the show with a retelling of his childhood and love for instruments as he jammed out on his electric guitar with an ode to rock n’ roll classics. 

In the show, he told the story of Ziryab and his modifications of the middle eastern instrument “the oud” – and it’s five strings representing the five components of the human soul made of silk and the gut of a lion. Ziryab was a polymath known for his music, social influence, and fashion. 

Malley, throughout the show, talked about historical context, personal stories, as well as an reenactment of Ziryab and his musical journey to becoming a court musician with his beautiful songs on his oud. 

Through performance, Malley teaches building bridges between people while expressing their circumstances and understanding others cultures. 

The story of Ziryab, told through Malley, taught one to believe in yourself and your talents, embracing your culture, and the importance of being true to yourself to inspire others in a social revolution. 

Malley gave a mesmerizing and enlightening performance that not only taught important lessons but also the legendary history of Ziryab: the songbird of Andalusia. 

Feature photo by Maria Ly | MSU Reporter.

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