Various Artists – World Circuit Presents …
I’ve been neglecting my duties as a blogger recently – sorry for that. My weekends have been taking up moving furniture round to house to allow new carpets to be laid and re-building my computer. And I shan’t be blogging for the next two weeks either as I am escaping this cold, wet country for a (currently) warm, wet one – Italy. Normal service should be resumed later on this month.
But I must post before I go as Lucky Thirteen has brought me to the end of my CD rack and unless I find a reason to post anything else, I’ll start again at the beginning. (It is a good job that the number of CDs I own is not divisible by 13)!
This week’s track is Abdel Gadir Salim’s Mal Wa Ihtagab from CD1 of World Circuit Presents … The track was originally release on the album ‘The Merdoum Kings Play Songs of Love’.
The sleeve notes tells us this: “Sudanese headmaster and master of the Merdoum rhythm, Abdel Gadir pared right down during this live performance which was recorded at The Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. It’s an incredibly easy, loping performance with a beautiful little bounce from the percussion, and some great oud playing by Salim. A very sweet, natural piece where there’s a spontaneous interaction between the performer and the audience which contained a large Sudanese contingent. Salim would ask for meticulous breakdowns of his song royalties, so that he could take those royalties back to the villages the song had come from, and give the money directly to the village school.”
A very sweet, natural piece indeed. I hope that you enjoy it.
Abdel Gadir Salim – Mal Wa Ihtagab
Various Artists – Rain in the Hills
I’m late. Who to blame. How about daughter dear. She is not here to defend herself. She is off, swanning round the world. Lucky so and so. Follow her progress here.
On to the music – appropriately enough a track called Parting by Mohamed Badri Hassan. It is taken from the Original Music CD Rain in the Hills. I paid £0.99 for this and £0.99 each for two other Original Music CDs when Chappells had a sale at their Milton Keynes store prior to closing it down. Each of the CDs is fantastic – my best ever bargain CDs by a long chalk. (If you’d like a copy you’ll probably have to pay upwards of £40.00).
On this track Mohamed Badri Hassan is accompanying himself on a basankop. According to the sleeve notes Mohamed Badri explained that “before a musician can play the basankop properly, he has to spend the night in a graveyard.”
Mohamed Badri Hassan – Parting
Various Artists – Rain in the Hills
The final of my three Original Music albums is Rain in the Hills subtitled Beja Ballads of Port Sudan. The songs were recorded in 1995 by John Low when he was working for Oxfam in Port Sudan on the Red Sea Coast of northern Sudan
The music of the Beja people is quite distinct from the mainstream Sudanese music, sung in Arabic, from the Nile valley. It has a much more sparse, rural sound as you might expect from a tribe who were, until recently, livestock herders. The Beja sound is certainly not as “easy on the ear” as the more readily available Sudanese music but truly rewards listening.
When I started this blog a year ago, my intention was to dust off some of the CDs I didn’t play on a regular basis and to get reacquainted with them. Listening to Rain in the Hills again, I know exactly why I chose to do this and why I plan to continue for a little while yet.
(If you like the track posted here and would like to buy the album, Sterns are showing this on stock and at a sale price. Buy it – you probably won’t find another copy.)
Next month, beat the January blues with … January Blues!
Mohamed Badri Hassan – Rain in the Hills