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My Trip to Cairo


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#46 Edward Powell

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 02:06 PM

couple of great concerts and the NUBIAN Performance Club "MAKAN", in downtown Cairo.

the first one was traditional nubian music modern style with some western instruments...

the second and third clips are of the the second gig which was purely acoustic pure nubian music...
this music is essential from North Sudan.

the MAKAN club is a wonderful funky little arts club basically an old garage turned theatre - perfect atmosphere!




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ou0uuPz-YQs
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#47 Edward Powell

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 10:18 PM

I was at a concert tonight at the National Theatre... classical Arabic music is almost completely dead in Egypt although Oum Kalsoum recordings can still be hear everywhere. But as a performing art, it is dead.... if it was not for large government funding it would not exist in concert form - is my guess.

...what happened tonight, in my opinion, really shows this deterioration very vividly.

The orchestra leader was an Iraqi oud player/composer visiting Cairo to present his works. It seems the orchestra did not learn his pieces properly, and half way thru the 7th piece, he stopped the orchestra and screamed at the violin section..... as you can see on the video.

He later told the audience (before he was cut-off by the theatre security) that there was a conspiracy against him to make him look bad...

I watched the whole thing and could see that the orchestra was honestly struggling with unfamiliar music, and for sure not purposefully blundering... it is obvious that they just didn't work hard on his music - and why should they when only 20 people show up for the gig??

Classical music is dead in Cairo --- if it exists then it is only when they play famous pop-classics from the past... and even then they struggle to get an audience.


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#48 Edward Powell

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 07:17 PM

I finally got around to visiting MAURICE (mauriceouds.com) who is considered the best oud maker in Egypt.
Very nice guy - rather humble workshop... no powertools and just a couple of guys working away... Maurice in his office surrounded by beautiful and AMAZING ouds. I had a very good feeling from the whole operation. I tried out some ouds and they all sounded very resonant and rich... but each one was very unique and different from the next one... also in how they looked.

Maurice seems an expert in decorating the backs. One on them was decorated with tortoise shells (foto below)... just amazing!

His shop is rather out of the way and tough to find . otherwise I would hang out there daily...
He said his least expensive oud is $1000... and I am sure the top custom super decoration models go thru the roof. I was interested to see fotos of one oud he made for the King of Oman... because when I was at Faruk Turunz's place (also 2 years ago) Faruk was making 2 ultra-super quality ouds also for that King... so, quite a collecter that guy!

Maurice also told me about several supposedly great arabic oud players, and none of them I had heard of... so this give me some more research material :-)

enjoy the fotos. . . .

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#49 Edward Powell

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 10:12 PM

on the subject of Egyptian mosque singing... check this out.

Amazing singing - and even tells you what maqam.
My favourite is SIKAH

http://www.youtube.com/user/basilazah
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#50 jahloon

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 06:41 PM

Yes, remarkable, I like Nahawand.

Well spotted Eddi!
Play the blues guitar with your soul, but play the fretless guitar with your spirit.
Author of the book "Fretless Guitar The Definitive Guide" fretlessguitar.co.uk

#51 Edward Powell

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 08:12 PM

Yes, remarkable, I like Nahawand.

Well spotted Eddi!



.... actually this guy is from Malaysia!!! I noticed!
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#52 Edward Powell

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 11:42 AM

Just got my laptop back...

Here is a clip of the gig I did with Mohammed Antar. The volume is very low because we played acoustically. Very nice feeling at this gig. I'm really happy about it. We have a couple more totally duet concerts coming up in 10 days or so here in Cairo. A nice way to finish off this adventure :-)


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