Oum Kalthoum, Om Kolthom, Om Kalsoum, Omm Kalsoum, Omme Kolsoum, Oom Koolsum, Oum Kalthoum, Oum Kalthum, Oum Kalsoum, Oum Kaltsoum, Oum Kolthoum, Oum Koulsoum, Oum Kulthum, Oum Kulthume, Um Kalthoum,

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R.S.: Do you think you could make me a few CDRs of the best O.K. music you know? I am penniless at the moment so I can't explore this on my own. I could make you some CDRs of...well whatever you might like to hear that is in my collection (lots of pre-WWII stuff for example). If this interests you at email, please email me.

Did you ever have any luck finding anything else by Laure Daccache? I looked everywhere in Paris for the one CD that had been released (on some tiny French label), but turned up empty-handed.

|a|m|t|r|s|t| (amateurist), Friday, 13 August 2004 04:31 (fifteen years ago) link

Stupidest name of the 20th century, maybe.

Sasha (sgh), Friday, 13 August 2004 06:14 (fifteen years ago) link

fuck off sasha

|a|m|t|r|s|t| (amateurist), Friday, 13 August 2004 06:20 (fifteen years ago) link

amateurist, when did you get a burner? I still am burner-less. (No one seems to believe me when I say I can't make copies of stuff for people and when I am able to I will start contacting people.)

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Friday, 13 August 2004 10:24 (fifteen years ago) link

according to my dad, whos knowledge of arabic is slim, but still much greater than mine, Kolthoum means "pure voice." which makes he the mother of pure voice.

AaronK (AaronK), Friday, 13 August 2004 11:08 (fifteen years ago) link

I bought a cheap comp.(?) called Mother Of The Arabs a little while ago, to rry and find out what all the fuss (here, mainly!) was about.

I've only listened to it once and I know I really ought to give it another try but I'm afraid I'm not over inclined to 'cos it really didn't anything for me at all the first time.

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Friday, 13 August 2004 11:15 (fifteen years ago) link

Isn't that the one I told you would be hard to get into? The big hint is: any CD with more than three of her songs on it is probably going to contain songs from her earliest phase, which is, in my opinion, her least approachable material, and certainly quite a bit different than what came later.

Rockist Scientist, Friday, 13 August 2004 11:31 (fifteen years ago) link

"Isn't that the one I told you would be hard to get into?"

It is and you did; but alas it was too late!

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Friday, 13 August 2004 11:32 (fifteen years ago) link

Also, I want to reiterate that for me (though not necessarily for everyone), it's less to do with her voice per se, as an instrument, than with her singing. (Not that I don't enjoy her voice itself in certain songs, but I've found it harder to acquire a taste for her voice than an appreciation of how she sings.)

x-post: Oh well. I don't even like her songs from before the late 30's, except for one or two. (I think that might be due to a heavy Turkish influence on the compositions she sang in her early years.)

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Friday, 13 August 2004 11:38 (fifteen years ago) link

I just happened to hear Oum Kalthoum unexpectedly on the radio two weeks ago - well, on this international/world music show on 90.7 KPFK. The entire show was dedicated to her, with this one modern Egyptian singer, I forget the name, covering a standard of Oum's towards the beginning, in order to promote a show she was doing locally to celebrate Oum's recording centennial or something. Isn't Los Angeles wunderful ?

The sounds were very easy for me to immediatey warm to, as it sounded like a variation on hindustani music, yet I must admit that the modern singer was more accessible, voice-wise, than Oum. But she wuz still c00l.

Vic (Vic), Friday, 13 August 2004 11:41 (fifteen years ago) link

The initial impression I came away with (warning: I am about to start talking about areas of music that even I am prepared to admit I know absolutely fuck all about!) like a cross between an Arabic call to prayer and something out of a very old Bollywood movie or that I might expect to hear playing in the background in an Indian restaurant.

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Friday, 13 August 2004 11:45 (fifteen years ago) link

That's what I meant when i said hindustani - "classical" north indian, even though that in itself is the name of the style that's heavily been influenced by islamic culture. From even before the Mughal period onwards, persian/turkish/arabic and indian styles mixed to shape hindustani which developed in the north, as opposed to carnatic which remained largely untouched in the south. Both can be heard in indian cinema.

Vic (Vic), Friday, 13 August 2004 11:57 (fifteen years ago) link

Thanks Vic, you've almost made me feel as if I was really making some genuine, valid, meaningful, informed observation as opposed to talking completely out of my arse (which sadly, of course, I was)!

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Friday, 13 August 2004 12:10 (fifteen years ago) link

It's all interconnected, man.

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Friday, 13 August 2004 12:55 (fifteen years ago) link

RS: actually i don't have a burner, but i have friends whose burners i could use. i'm actually really happy, in a strange way, that you don't have a burner. i often feel a little left out for not having a burner, soulseek, or whatever program people are using now to get free music. (i don't have enough money to buy new music, either, at the moment.)

amateur!!!st, Friday, 13 August 2004 15:11 (fifteen years ago) link

Stewart, the compilation you got might be movie songs too, which would be a little different the material I was thinking of, but still not my favorite stuff, generally. I guess it doesn't matter really.

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Friday, 13 August 2004 20:54 (fifteen years ago) link

it's less to do with her voice per se, as an instrument, than with her singing.

I see what you're saying. I just bought the Buda Musique El Sett CD (due largely to this thread) and, yeah, her voice doesn't seem "beautiful" in a conventionally western sense (unlike, say, Amalia Rodriguez, who when I first heard her, I said OMFG) but even on first listen I'm intrigued by her vocalization. There's something there that fascinates. And this, of course, is all 30's material--the only thing immediately available to me. Thanks for the tips!

Paul Ess (Paul Ess), Saturday, 14 August 2004 02:02 (fifteen years ago) link

I just listened to some samples from El Sett/the Lady, and some of that stuff sounds pretty good to me. "Tab en-nasim Al Alil" is in a style that I like (judging from a brief sound-bite). Also, I see that the collection gathers work from later than what I was assuming. So I don't know what to say, though I would still recommend that people start with something like Roubaiyat el Khayam from 1949/50. I think it's actually harder to appreciate the straight studio recordings than the live recordings, because in the live recordings you get to hear her improvising on the songs she is singing, which is where much of her greatness lies, in my opinion.

Also, it really helps if you can see some live footage of her performances.

(I was disappointed when I finally heard some Amalia Rodriguez, incidentally. "World music diva" fite!)

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Saturday, 14 August 2004 12:39 (fifteen years ago) link

I think her singing is paradoxically phallic, penetrant. Warning: I may be saying that partly to play to gay &/or post-structuralist readers of this thread.

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Saturday, 14 August 2004 12:46 (fifteen years ago) link

Gender and half-assed nods to queer theory, etc. aside, I do experience much of this singing as penetrating, and in a pleasant way, so I think the metaphor of forceful and filling, but welcome, sexual penetration might actually be pretty good, even if sexual metaphors are overused in musical discussions (and even if I don't speak from experience). Her voice is thick and even drill-like at times, but again, in a pleasurable way.

(The complexities of what she does with her voice can't adequately be modeled by pelvic thrusting though.)

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Saturday, 14 August 2004 13:06 (fifteen years ago) link

one month passes...
I ordered a copy of Robaiayt el Khayam (among other things) to donate it to the library where I work. After checking on how the cataloging of the CD is progressing, I now discover that the CD inside was actually Sahran Lewahdi. That is also a great recording, however, a less ideal starting point, I think. (Also, something I can't listen to in just about any mood, the way I can listen to Robaiyat el Khayam.) I guess I will see if a distributor can send me a copy of Robaiyat, checking to see what disc is inside, before sending it. The Saudi recording industry needs to get its act together! While I am at it, I might as well donate Ana fe Entazark as well.

Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 15 September 2004 18:45 (fifteen years ago) link

I really like "Oum Transmissions." I wish I'd thought of that before. Maybe I should start a new thread under that title.

Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 15 September 2004 18:49 (fifteen years ago) link

I would like to listen to more Oum Kalthoum.

Ian c=====8 (orion), Wednesday, 15 September 2004 19:26 (fifteen years ago) link

The Saudi recording industry needs to get its act together!

this is a very politically sensitive issue, R.S. america's dependency on saudi arabian music is something that out government needs to reevaluate. perhaps they can look into alernative sourcse of arabian music, or more efficiently utilize relatively untapped resources of arabian music in alaska or the texas panhandle.

amateur!!st, Wednesday, 15 September 2004 19:28 (fifteen years ago) link

I would like to listen to more Oum Kalthoum.

That's the spirit.

amateurist, the whole idea of buying CDs made in a country whose official theology is anti-music (or something close to that) is baffling.

Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 15 September 2004 19:43 (fifteen years ago) link

i was just making a funny.

amateur!!st, Wednesday, 15 September 2004 20:03 (fifteen years ago) link

(funniness of funny not guaranteed)

amateur!!st, Wednesday, 15 September 2004 20:03 (fifteen years ago) link

Mr. Monetizing Eyeballs, did you ever get my address in your e-mail?

(I don't mean to bug you, but my e-mail account is kind of unreliable, so there's a real chance you didn't.)

(Unfortunately, the post office has also been unreliable lately.)

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Wednesday, 15 September 2004 21:03 (fifteen years ago) link

Rockist...can you send me you e-address too? i have something to ask you re Oum K that is not for here.

gaz (gaz), Wednesday, 15 September 2004 21:35 (fifteen years ago) link

Okay. This address should work, except I forgot the password. :( I am going to have to write them down.

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Wednesday, 15 September 2004 21:39 (fifteen years ago) link

so its fine to email you but you won't be able to read it???

gaz (gaz), Wednesday, 15 September 2004 21:40 (fifteen years ago) link

Exactly.

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Wednesday, 15 September 2004 22:19 (fifteen years ago) link

If I can't recover the password, I will e-mail you.

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Wednesday, 15 September 2004 22:19 (fifteen years ago) link

RS, yes, I did get your address. It came through loud and clear. Unfortunately, the only thing possibly less reliable than your email account is my timeliness when it comes to burning CDs (just ask Julio...) But rest assured, I will get it out to you!

Reed Moore (diamond), Wednesday, 15 September 2004 23:26 (fifteen years ago) link

I didn't get my September Harper's either.

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Wednesday, 15 September 2004 23:29 (fifteen years ago) link

:(

Reed Moore (diamond), Wednesday, 15 September 2004 23:29 (fifteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
http://www.strangechord.com/potd/umm.jpg

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Thursday, 7 October 2004 21:43 (fifteen years ago) link

I'm listening again to Riad el-Sounbatti's own recording of his composition Roubaiyat el Khayam, which throws Oum Kalthoum's performance (which is hard for me to forget while listening to this song) into sharp contrast. Riad el-Sounbatti is a pleasant enough singer, but remembering what Oum Kalthoum does with certain lines he is singing practically makes me giddy. (Of course, I also remembmer some of the orchestra parts (notably the kanun at the very beginning) in this performance limited to oud and vocals.) But because el-Sounbatti's performance fails to compare to Oum Kalthoum's, it makes me appreciate him more as a composer for Oum Kalthoum.

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Tuesday, 12 October 2004 23:37 (fifteen years ago) link

And Songlines is going to have a beginner's guide in their next issue. It better be good. It better be someone who knows at least as much as I do (not that I'm making myself available for hire).

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Tuesday, 12 October 2004 23:41 (fifteen years ago) link

The live recording of "Hazihi Leylati" appears to be available on CD again! Awwww yeaaaaaah! I'll say more once I actually get it, but I've just ordered it. As I've mentioned above, this is my favorite among the Abdel Wahab songs she sang, and one of a handful of favorites in her late career output.

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Sunday, 24 October 2004 00:38 (fifteen years ago) link

If you can call that great sprawling Egyptian prog. opera of a song a "song."

(And I just got the contract ratification bonus check today. Wheeee! And I took some decongestant because I'm getting a sinus infection! Wheeeee!)

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Sunday, 24 October 2004 00:48 (fifteen years ago) link

(You know they kind of bribe you with bonus checks. "Well, we're taking this and this away from you, so you'll have less long term, but here's a few hundred bucks.")

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Sunday, 24 October 2004 00:49 (fifteen years ago) link

decongestant usually puts me to sleep!

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Sunday, 24 October 2004 03:21 (fifteen years ago) link

It's still just the studio version of Hazihi Leylati, so back it goes.

gaz, you can e-mail me at my new normal ILX e-mail address: oumtransmissions@go.com. I have even written down my password.

Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 27 October 2004 19:37 (fifteen years ago) link

It's very disappointing that the two best Oum Kalthoum recordings of Abdel Wahab songs do not appear to be available on CD.

Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 27 October 2004 19:38 (fifteen years ago) link

btw, RS did ya get my e-mail?

H (Heruy), Thursday, 28 October 2004 07:46 (fifteen years ago) link

No. You sent it to my current address? The other one is dead.

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Thursday, 28 October 2004 12:05 (fifteen years ago) link

two months pass...
I was looking through the NPR Curious Listener's Guide to World Music yesterday and they surprised me by recommending an Oum Kalthoum recording that is from the 30s rather than the 60s, and by Dawoud Hasni, rather than by Abdel Wahab, Baligh Hamdi, or Riad el-Sounbatti. As far as I know, I haven't heard this song.

I also saw yesterday that Women's Voices Across Musical Worlds has an article on the subject of this thread by Virginia Danielson, which looked like a really good compact introduction to Oum Kalthoum.

RS LaRue (rockist_scientist), Friday, 31 December 2004 17:53 (fourteen years ago) link

is that last title a book?

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Friday, 31 December 2004 20:55 (fourteen years ago) link

Yes, they are both books. I don't remember much about who else was in it.

RS LaRue (rockist_scientist), Saturday, 1 January 2005 01:35 (fourteen years ago) link


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