One of the first world-music releases to reach Western ears (originally issued in 1968), this album rightfully established Hamza El Din as one of the leading instrumentalists on the lutelike oud, which he taught to guitarist Sandy Bull and others. The three tracks that comprise this disc, all lengthy improvisations, showcase El Din’s remarkably fluid technique and his Nubian roots, whether on the traditional “Song with Tar” or “I Remember,” which was originally performed by Egypt’s greatest diva, Om Kalthoum. Perhaps the best example of El Din’s instrumental meditations, however, is the title track, which is his own composition. Its lines ripple and sway, then stop to ponder and work around a phrase before moving on–a style unique at the time, but which influenced a generation of oud players that followed. A masterpiece. –Chris Nickson
Archive for the ‘Hamza El Din’ Category
Hamza el-Din was born in Nubia, amongst the people of the Upper Nile. While studying engineering in Cairo he took up the oud, and later went on to study the instrument at the Conservatory of Music in Cairo during his spare time. It was at this time, and while undertaking further study in Rome, that he began to develop his unique style, which blends themes from Nubian traditional music with the more structured framework of Arabic classical music.
Thanks to ShoePac
His second album is similar in tone to his debut, featuring original compositions based on Nubian folk traditions, masterful oud playing, and soothing vocals. Serene and haunting, this was among the first world music recordings to make an international impact.
from All Music Guide
Hamza El Din, pioneering oud master from Sudan, performs mesmerizing music based on traditional Arabic forms.
As the Moors swept across the northern stretches of the African continent, they left in their wake a rich legacy of music, myths, and legends. Performing brilliantly on the oud (the Arab precursor of the lute) and on the tar (the ancient single-skinned frame drum of the upper Nile), interwoven with his hypnotic voice, he has singlehandedly created a new music, essentially a Nubian/Arabic fusion in line with both traditions and informed by Western conservatory training. This album includes an original composition,”The Visitors,” which he composed in Baghdad in 1965, in Iraqi Arabic with Egyptian melody and Sudanese pentatonic.
Other tracks feature his arrangements of traditional songs celebrating a first wedding (“Ollin Arageed”); sending a river-pulley worker’s greetings to his beloved via a pelican (“Helalisa”); and paying tribute to the incomparable Egyptian songstress Um Kalthoum (1902-1975). “Mwashah” is a classical piece from the time of the Moors in Spain, traditionally used to train voices.