Did not realize till the other night that there’s a song in the Tony Award winning musical, The Band’s Visit, called “”Oum Kulthum and Omar Sharif.” One of the stars of the show who sang it on the Tonys, gave a shoutout when she won an award, to the late Kulthum.
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 13 June 2018 04:07 (two years ago) link
Anyone seen 'Looking for Oum Kulthum'? I wasn't that big of a fan, Shirin Neshat makes it into a meta-movie that is to a large part about herself, but the recreations of scenes from Kulthums career are really good.
― Frederik B, Wednesday, 13 June 2018 11:51 (two years ago) link
Haven’t seen it.
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 13 June 2018 15:26 (two years ago) link
Hello Rudipherous and anyone else who can be of help.
I've got a note that I should start investigating Umm Kulthum at this point, but not sure where to start. What I need is a reasonably-sized (say 2CD) retrospective covering her whole recording career, and (very important!) dates of recording for each track. Does such a thing exist?
― mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Wednesday, 10 April 2019 12:42 (one year ago) link
I missed Frederik asking who else had seen the film, but I didn't like it very much either for the same meta reasons as he did. An actual biography would have been nice.
― Elitist cheese photos (aldo), Wednesday, 10 April 2019 13:59 (one year ago) link
From what I remember, trying to find decent cds is a total crapshoot if not outright impossible not knowing arabic. I ended up buying MP3s and finding random downloads mostly for my collection, which by the time I gave up searching ran about 12-15 acceptable recordings which deliver the goods (and I think 3 of them I have on cd, all excellent, and all by the same label with colorful arabesque artwork and no liner notes or recording info.) I still listen to her sometimes, her work remains interesting over time. IMO the sweet spot is any given live recording from 1950s through maybe mid-60s that runs 30-50 minutes. That stuff is invariably sublime though also invariably lo fi. Later recordings from the 70s are slicker and sound really good and hi fi but are completely ruined for this somewhat discerning listener by goofy sounding harmonium and sometimes electric surf-guitar sounding oud (or some kind of twangy electric stringed non-guitar anyway). The surf-oud and harmonium isn't part of the sonic equation earlier thankfully!!! The mid-period (I guess) longform live stuff I dig is all violins/cellos and percussion, and thoroughly righteous.
Early period for me is the studio stuff, very short tunes for 45rpm of little interest, and later would be the gross harmonium live recordings.
― liam fennell, Wednesday, 10 April 2019 17:01 (one year ago) link
Thanks for the tips Liam, and
my collection, which by the time I gave up searching ran about 12-15 acceptable recordings which deliver the goods
― mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Wednesday, 10 April 2019 17:08 (one year ago) link
Sure, check back here in a day or so. If you want I'll try to email you all of them as onedrive links. They're all different tunes, each performance its own long mp3, and I think all essentially radio bootlegs anyway because that's how this stuff was originally disseminated.
I just searched Oum Kalthoum blog and re-found the first tune/download of hers I listened to extensively, Esal Rouhak, and the download link is still active somehow! It's a pretty awesome performance and tune, and the rest I treasure are along these lines, so give it a shot:
― liam fennell, Thursday, 11 April 2019 12:15 (one year ago) link
That would be brilliant, thanks!
Checking this one out now - this - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umm_Kulthum#Selected_discography - says it's from 1970, which is very late indeed.
― mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Thursday, 11 April 2019 21:40 (one year ago) link
Listened to this last night, really good thanks, I didn't realise the length of the tracks was because each one was like an album and with so much drama and variety.
The previous thing I had was a 1924 recording which isn't really up to scratch, even for 1924, so good to get it now.
― mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Friday, 12 April 2019 09:30 (one year ago) link
Cool, you're welcome! Yeah, I guess that's what I mean by the goods; the songs when she was exclusively a live performer are all like miniature operas or something, long sonic tapestries that unfold and develop one or two simple ideas. There's always some really neat musical motives that gets put through a ton of variations and which she ornaments and illuminates with her voice. She's kind of a force of nature, really!
I just sent an email to the address connected to your profile with a onedrive download link to a folder with all the ones I have, including the later ones which I dislike solely because of some questionable instrumentation choices. As for the later ones, the tunes are still good, and the quality isn't hazy at all, it's very crisp/clear. You might dig them more than me, so!
― liam fennell, Friday, 12 April 2019 12:51 (one year ago) link