Friday, October 5, 2012

Oum Kolthoum | Awatt Eny

Listen to the first track

Get it all here.

NOTE: Please take a moment to take the survey to the right. I'll be taking your suggestions to heart.

The tracklist, should you want it:
1. عودت عيني مقدمة
2. عودت عيني الجزء الأول
3. عودت عيني الجزء الثاني
4. عودت عيني الجزء الثالث
5. عودت عيني الجزء الرابع
6. عودت عيني الجزء الخامس
7. عودت عيني الجزء سادس
8. عودت عيني الجزء السابع
9. عودت عيني الجزء الثامن

But it's basically 1. Eyes Accustomed Intro; 2. Eyes Accustomed Part I; 3. Eyes Accustomed Part II; and so on. I'm not certain of the accuracy of "Eyes Accustomed," but that's all I got for ya at present.

This is a live recording of "Awatt Eny," I'm not sure from which year. It sounds rather old to me, but that could simply be the recording quality. I just started reading Selim Nassib's I Loved You for Your Voice, a French-language novel told from the point of view of Ahmad Rami, who wrote 137 songs for the singer over the course of her career. It's a marvelous book, and the perfect companion to Virginia Danielson's scholarly The Voice of Egypt

I've been meaning to share my Oum Kolthoum collection with you for a while, and now that I'm reading this book, it seems like the perfect moment for that. This disc was found at the Nile Deli on Steinway Street, several blocks from my apartment in Astoria. The excitement of the audience is palpable throughout the recording.

Here's a video of the diva singing a portion of the song:


Hammer said...

This is one of Umm Kalthoum's most masterful pieces. It was written by 'Sha'aer Al-Shabab' (Young Youth's Poet) Ahmad Rami (أحمد رامي), and composed by maestro numero uno Riyadh A-Sunbathi (رياض السنباطي).

The recording dates back to exactly December, the 4th, 1958 in a hafla (classical tarab music listening party) held at the Al-Azbakiyah Theatre, Cairo during the height of Arab countries' Communist vs. Islamist tensions and the ineffable union between Nasserite Egypt and Baathified Syria.

Umm Kalthoum never sang again this piece live after that date because of some political trouble between Saudi Arabia and communits Egpyt that almost ended with the latter trying to invade Mecca itself.

The poem has a very religious theme (written as Awwidti Eini - 'A'ala Rouyak', You Had My Eyes Familiarised 'Seeing You'), and it comes under those lengthy munajat (مناجاة, or summoning God/conversing with the deity) Kalthoumiyat repertoire which she sang solely in her latter days.

I shall upload a full-version of this 'Hafla' and drop the link here for those of your visitors who want to enjoy the whole piece uncut.



Hammer said...

The full version, taken from The Voice of Cairo original broadcast, dating 12/04/1958 and recorded live at Al-Azbakiyah Theatre Gardens.



Gary said...

Thanks for the info and the alternate version, Hammer.

gilhodges said...

The answer I want to give to your survey isn't provided as an option:

"Do whatever the hell YOU want to do and don't feel the need to give the people what they want. What is best about this shrine you've created is that it is a gift from you, a real person making aesthetic decisions based on your own intuitions and desires. Soliciting the readership for its preferences is, I feel, a mistake. Honorable but unnecessary. You follow your bliss and I will happily follow you."

Gary said...

Thank you so much, Gil. I really appreciate what you're saying, and in general I genuinely agree with it.

I have a lot of thoughts about blogs like this, as well as a lot of questions about them, and will try and think through them in subsequent posts ...

Matt A said...

I completely agree with Gil. And thanks!