In non-Western cultures, some artists come from a centuries-old family lineage or play an instrument that’s been around for millennia. Such is the case with Tunisian-born Dhafer Youssef, who plays the oud: a fretless 11-stringed Arabic lute that’s been around in some form for more than 5,000 years. Even so, Birds Requiem is far from traditional, utilizing pristine recording methods to create a heady blend of modern new age, jazz, North African folk music, and Western classical. This suite of 11 interconnected pieces works best if consumed as a whole; one piece seamlessly flows into the next as if it were a soundtrack for a North African road film. The varied settings here range from the soaring rock-jazz confection “Blending Souls and Shades” to the hymnlike “Khira: Indicium Divinum,” with Youssef singing to the moody ballad “Sweet Blasphemy.” Youssef named his second album Electric Sufi, and here he continues that ecstatic fusion of the past and future on his seventh album as well.