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sufi
05-07-2010, 10:41 PM
(Now i see why woebot never gets comments on his website, so we'll have to rehearse this discussion over here)

i almost posted this some time back when i read this sycophancy
http://www.utne.com/Arts/MP3-Music-Scavengers-World-Music-Experts.aspx
bollocks, but interesting bollix nonetheless, re-package re-package, svengalis with explorer mentality
so where's the participation contribution and giving back to develop the scene

at the same time these are the same issues we deal with back at rootsfromyard (http://rootsfromyard.blogspot.com/)blog

i'm interested to catch the bot's ambivalent comments here: http://cybore.me/?p=1888#respond
i was well underwhelmed by omar suleiman, following massive hype all over the place, but then i do have a bit of familiarity with sounds of the middle east and have no need for entrepreneurial orientalist intermediaries.
thoughts?

http://i.ytimg.com/vi/YATdH_vNiQ8/0.jpg

zhao
06-07-2010, 09:11 AM
this entire article seems to have been written from the vantage point that this "World Music" is indeed somehow intrinsically different from "Normal Music", and that it is shocking that it is making such a ripple in the "Normal World" in 2010.

as if Led Zeppelin wasn't heavily influenced by Turkish psych, or the Rolling Stones wasn't by Arabic sounds (Paint it Black, Mothers Little Helper, etc), the Beatles by Indian Classical, Debussey and John Cage by Gamelan, Reich and Ligetti by African music. etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.

as if all of modern pop and dance music which strips down to rhythm, wasn't deeply, foundationally, no, not "connected to", but indeed BASED ON, various African and Asian pre-modern musical traditions.

i suppose the author thinks his views on this stuff is quite clever and progressive, pointing out certain performer's "awareness of his image as the 'other'", and pontificating on "orientalism". but he needs to check his deeply Eurocentric attitudes: the CENTER of music and dance, of rhythm, of melody, of rhythmelody, of groove, of party hard, of altered states of consciousness through trance inducing beats, is not, and has never been, "the west". and the recent 150 years of music history is just a slow process of waking up to this fact.

zhao
06-07-2010, 09:36 AM
older non-western music is often more advanced, more formally inventive, more structurally challenging, more revolutionary than, and in terms of everything from expanding minds to shaking booties, FAR superior to, any "modern" electronic dance boring shit like that new Aphex Twin.

an egyptian dance number from the 1920s, singer backed by a band, often has more ingenuity, more innovation, more power, more soul, more fire, than anything produced in the last 30 years.

electronic music's "futuristic" bullshit is exactly that: BULLSHIT. as there are sound traditions reaching back to ancient times that are thousands of years more "future" than any stupid bass and bleeps can ever fucking dream of.

zhao
06-07-2010, 09:43 AM
and Omar Suleyman is so successful in the West because what he does is a dumbed down version of Syrian traditions, boiling it down to a simple 4 on the floor that unrefined western sensibilities can hang onto.

mistersloane
06-07-2010, 09:54 AM
There's always been people who cos of their roots, or perceived roots, or cos of some weird explorer/collector thing have been digging out musics that aren't from their countries. What I like - and I'd prefer this conversation to stick to the positive things otherwise it just ends up in a zhao vs everyone argument - is that, 5 years ago, virtually no-one had heard of kwaito in the UK, and now everyone has. I think that's great.

Does there have to be participation, contribution and giving back to develop 'the scene'? How come?

zhao
06-07-2010, 10:00 AM
positivity is nice, but you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. in this case, the ignorant conceit and arrogance of the modern world.

Woebot
06-07-2010, 10:32 AM
yeah i think that article is ok.

i'm with sufi about his ambivalence about posting mp3s of this stuff though (in relation to "giving back"). the bottom line with posting mp3s as i see it interferes with perceived worth. the assumption is with things that are freely available is that they are worth nothing. this is why i would not give away my own music free - i'd rather not sell any copies. so to post 3rd world music for free - yeah it's a complex case and there's many counter-arguments, but at the end of the day i would rather see a nicely researched article about "world" music, some lovely photos, or even just sleeve scans than hear it.

@zhao. not quite sure if i share your hostility here leo. it seems like the guy is just saying that the world music field is opening up to other people. so you were on the tip before these people? in the grand scheme does that really matter? and actually your world music is *better* argument is kinda guilty of making the same errors the non-world music people make.

oh and the v00d00 funk guy the article refers to - digging vinyl in africa. honestly i can't help but feel like the guy is a bit of berk. as i've mentioned before record shops in africa always used to be more like libraries - they would be reluctant to sell stuff - they would prefer you made a cassette copy - so to actually drag vinyl back here (and i'm sure in 90% of cases he's not rescuing vinyl from scrap-heaps) it's a little like plundering the continent all over again.

grizzleb
06-07-2010, 10:36 AM
Getting heavy deja-vu here.

zhao
06-07-2010, 10:58 AM
@zhao. not quite sure if i share your hostility here leo. it seems like the guy is just saying that the world music field is opening up to other people. so you were on the tip before these people? in the grand scheme does that really matter? and actually your world music is *better* argument is kinda guilty of making the same errors the non-world music people make.

not only *better* than. but beget, cause, originate, spring, bring forth, give rise to, generative of.

the relationship between "world music" and "western music" is one of Parent and Child. and they are not 2 different entities: they are inherently, insperably connected.

gumdrops
06-07-2010, 11:02 AM
oh and the v00d00 funk guy the article refers to - digging vinyl in africa. honestly i can't help but feel like the guy is a bit of berk. as i've mentioned before record shops in africa always used to be more like libraries - they would be reluctant to sell stuff - they would prefer you made a cassette copy - so to actually drag vinyl back here (and i'm sure in 90% of cases he's not rescuing vinyl from scrap-heaps) it's a little like plundering the continent all over again.

hmm

scottdisco
06-07-2010, 11:22 AM
so to actually drag vinyl back here (and i'm sure in 90% of cases he's not rescuing vinyl from scrap-heaps) it's a little like plundering the continent all over again.

whoa, that is not good if that's the case. jeez. :slanted:

nochexxx
06-07-2010, 12:08 PM
and Omar Suleyman is so successful in the West because what he does is a dumbed down version of Syrian traditions, boiling it down to a simple 4 on the floor that unrefined western sensibilities can hang onto.



i was well underwhelmed by omar suleiman, following massive hype all over the place, but then i do have a bit of familiarity with sounds of the middle east and have no need for entrepreneurial orientalist intermediaries.

i really like his music. am i missing out because my untrained ears have not listened to true school shizz?? these statements reminded me of similar criticisms faced when Konono no1 first arrived here.

recommendations please.

Richard Carnage
06-07-2010, 12:32 PM
oh and the v00d00 funk guy the article refers to - digging vinyl in africa. honestly i can't help but feel like the guy is a bit of berk. as i've mentioned before record shops in africa always used to be more like libraries - they would be reluctant to sell stuff - they would prefer you made a cassette copy - so to actually drag vinyl back here (and i'm sure in 90% of cases he's not rescuing vinyl from scrap-heaps) it's a little like plundering the continent all over again.

http://www.soulstrut.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=1421192&an=0&page=0#Post1421192

Got an hour or two spare? Voodoo Frank goes mental over Nigerian disco licensing! "Boutique diggers" - what a putdown. :D

DigitalDjigit
06-07-2010, 12:44 PM
You gotta be careful in putting down Omar Souleyman not to come across as a "I've been here first" kind of snob :)

I really like the guy's music. He has a powerful voice and though it took me a little while to get into them I really like the mijwiz-approximating synths and the quasi-random melodies it plays. Unfortunately when he played live it was almost entirely made up of fast dance numbers and I find the slow, plaintive-sounding songs more interesting. I am guessing he has more than just a synth player on his recordings too and couldn't bring them all along.

Omar Souleyman has a promotional force behind him so that's why he is popular now. It is very hard to discover other musicians from the region (at least in that Dabke style) unless you can read Arabic. There's also the problem that it seems that Syrians would prefer to export other music as Omar Souleyman is deemed unsophisticated. I think this is a problem with most third-world places. Although it could just be "marketing" hype by this new ethnomusicologists to set themselves apart. Still, the roughness of these sounds gives them an perceived authenticity. I would much rather listen to that than some of the polished crap being sold in the "World" music bin.

Maybe it's supposed to be hard to discover. You know, go visit your local Middle Eastern enclave, ask around. But it's an unfair expectation in this age when we expect everything at our fingertips.

nochexxx
06-07-2010, 12:59 PM
You gotta be careful in putting down Omar Souleyman



Moondog to the thread! :p

zhao
06-07-2010, 01:36 PM
i really like his music. am i missing out because my untrained ears have not listened to true school shizz?? these statements reminded me of similar criticisms faced when Konono no1 first arrived here.

recommendations please.

don't get me wrong i like his stuff a lot too. precisely because of its reduction of 5/8 or 8/13 time signatures to a simple 4/4. of course there is a time and place for stripping things down to bare bones, and it can be positively refreshing and energizing.

there is so much Syrian music i don't know where to begin, but here is a list i just found which maybe useful for reference. give me some time and i can pick out specific recordings for recommendation. for now:


Hassan Abd Alrahman - Ya Sahi Sabrou. Impressions Of Syria
Shadi Fauzi Alashoush - Sampler
Farid Al-Atrache - Archives des années 30
Farid Al-Atrache - King of the Oud
Farid Al-Atrache - Sampler
Al-Kindi - Musique Classique Arabe
Al Turath Ensemble - Hermana de la Luna
Al Turath Ensemble - Jardines de Jazmin
Al Turath Ensemble - La Música de Al-Andalus. La Muwashshah
Amer Ammouri - Eastern Strings
Amer Ammouri - Takasim Oud
Asmahan - Archives des années 30. Vol.3
Asmahan - Archives des années 42/44
Asmahan - Les archives de la musique arabe
Abed Azrié - Epopeé de Gilgamesh
Abed Azrié - Lapis Lazuli
Waed Bouhassoun - La voix de l’amour
Muhammad Qadri Dalal - Maqamat insolites
Muhammad Qadri Dalal - Maqamat insolites
Adib Dayikh & Julien Jalaleddin Weiss - Poemes d'amour au Bimaristan d'Alep. L'art sublime du Ghazal Vol.1
Adib Dayikh & Julien Jalaleddin Weiss - Poemes d'amour au Bimaristan d'Alep. L'art sublime du Ghazal Vol.2
Sabah Fakhri - Au Palais des Congres
Muhammad Hakim & Ensemble - Chant Soufi de Syrie. Dhikr Qâdirî Khâlwatî de la Zâwiya Hilaliya, Alep
Miço Kendes - Memê Alan
Omar Naqichbendi - Luth traditionnel 'ud. Syrie. Arabesque 5
Omar Naqichbendi - Omar Naqichbendi
Omar Naqichbendi - Sampler
Rifa'iyya Brotherhood of Aleppo - Islamic Ritual Zikr
Farhan Sabbagh - Le Oud (Concert au Schloss Charlottenbourg - Berlin)
Omar Sarmini & Al-Kindi Ensemble - Les croisades sous le regard de l'Orient
Hamza Shakkur & Ensemble Al-Kindi - Musique des derviches tourneurs de Damas
Hamza Shakkur & Ensemble Al-Kindi - Sufi Songs of Damascus
Hamza Shakkur & Ensemble Al-Kindi - Takasim & Sufi Chants
Afif Tain - Sampler
VA - Église syriaque orthodoxe (d'Antioche). Chants liturgiques du Carême et du Vendredi Saint
VA - Kurdish Music
VA - Muezzins d’Alep. Chants religieux de l’Islam

grizzleb
06-07-2010, 02:03 PM
don't get me wrong i like his stuff a lot too. precisely because of its reduction of 5/8 or 8/13 time signatures to a simple 4/4. of course there is a time and place for stripping things down to bare bones, and it can be positively refreshing and energizing.

there is so much Syrian music i don't know where to begin, but here is a list i just found which maybe useful for reference. give me some time and i can pick out specific recordings for recommendation. for now:


Hassan Abd Alrahman - Ya Sahi Sabrou. Impressions Of Syria
Shadi Fauzi Alashoush - Sampler
Farid Al-Atrache - Archives des années 30
Farid Al-Atrache - King of the Oud
Farid Al-Atrache - Sampler
Al-Kindi - Musique Classique Arabe
Al Turath Ensemble - Hermana de la Luna
Al Turath Ensemble - Jardines de Jazmin
Al Turath Ensemble - La Música de Al-Andalus. La Muwashshah
Amer Ammouri - Eastern Strings
Amer Ammouri - Takasim Oud
Asmahan - Archives des années 30. Vol.3
Asmahan - Archives des années 42/44
Asmahan - Les archives de la musique arabe
Abed Azrié - Epopeé de Gilgamesh
Abed Azrié - Lapis Lazuli
Waed Bouhassoun - La voix de l’amour
Muhammad Qadri Dalal - Maqamat insolites
Muhammad Qadri Dalal - Maqamat insolites
Adib Dayikh & Julien Jalaleddin Weiss - Poemes d'amour au Bimaristan d'Alep. L'art sublime du Ghazal Vol.1
Adib Dayikh & Julien Jalaleddin Weiss - Poemes d'amour au Bimaristan d'Alep. L'art sublime du Ghazal Vol.2
Sabah Fakhri - Au Palais des Congres
Muhammad Hakim & Ensemble - Chant Soufi de Syrie. Dhikr Qâdirî Khâlwatî de la Zâwiya Hilaliya, Alep
Miço Kendes - Memê Alan
Omar Naqichbendi - Luth traditionnel 'ud. Syrie. Arabesque 5
Omar Naqichbendi - Omar Naqichbendi
Omar Naqichbendi - Sampler
Rifa'iyya Brotherhood of Aleppo - Islamic Ritual Zikr
Farhan Sabbagh - Le Oud (Concert au Schloss Charlottenbourg - Berlin)
Omar Sarmini & Al-Kindi Ensemble - Les croisades sous le regard de l'Orient
Hamza Shakkur & Ensemble Al-Kindi - Musique des derviches tourneurs de Damas
Hamza Shakkur & Ensemble Al-Kindi - Sufi Songs of Damascus
Hamza Shakkur & Ensemble Al-Kindi - Takasim & Sufi Chants
Afif Tain - Sampler
VA - Église syriaque orthodoxe (d'Antioche). Chants liturgiques du Carême et du Vendredi Saint
VA - Kurdish Music
VA - Muezzins d’Alep. Chants religieux de l’Islam

Here's a list of music I've not listened to that is better and more authentic than that sell-out Omar Souleyman who is simple and misrepresents the truth of syrian music in order to acheive fame and fortune from the ignorance of vanilla westerners who can't handle the true depth, energy and fire of all those tracks on my hard drive that I haven't listened to.

STN
06-07-2010, 02:26 PM
I dunno, I think that's a bit harsh - I'm grateful for the list and will check some of it out.

grizzleb
06-07-2010, 02:33 PM
I'm not saying the music is shit - it's potentially brilliant and I will try to find samples and have a listen when I can. I'm saying that the attitude that because something is popular (within a tiny % of the musicophile public) that this means that it's rubbish is crass. And that records of which there are only 300 copies which were made on a russian cassette standard that was only avaliable for 18 months during a brief period in the 1970's is better because it's obscure is rubbish. And the attitude that because someone hasn't heard of a particular artist that they should be looking harder is rubbish too. I spent a good while looking for some traditional gu zheng instrumental music last week because I seen a youtube video of it (and an old eastern european woman playing the zither) and thought it sounded wonderful, but I couldn't find any anywhere, and didn't really know where to start. It's just bull, everyone is limited by what they are exposed to - that doesn't make their enjoyment something that is cheap and worthless because it is avaliable to a wider audience.

STN
06-07-2010, 02:37 PM
sure, but Zhao does start that post by saying he likes Omar Souleyman too. I think a large negative feature of the attitude you're (rightly) complaining about is gatekeeping/jealously guarding one's knowledge (that 'well if you don't know, you don't deserve to know' attitude), which it doesn't seem to me is what's going on in Zhao's post.

grizzleb
06-07-2010, 02:39 PM
Actually you're right, I didn't read what zhao said properly. Fair enough, my bad.

zhao
06-07-2010, 03:00 PM
this is not Syrian, it's Egyptian, but a 4/4 banger comparable to Souleyman:

http://almahata.com/media/188/AHMAD_ADAWEYA_-_02_Salametha_Om_Hassan/

just started playing when i went to the page, but if not just click the player...

edit: shit this track just fucking BURNS. turn up volume, close eyes, scrunch up face, and wave at least one arm in badman gun salute.

Woebot
06-07-2010, 03:47 PM
not only *better* than. but beget, cause, originate, spring, bring forth, give rise to, generative of.

Er, old bean, there are indigenous music traditions right round the world.....


the relationship between "world music" and "western music" is one of Parent and Child. and they are not 2 different entities: they are inherently, insperably connected.

You might need to read your sentences before you post old boy - you're saying on the one hand that the relationship between "western" music is that of parent to child (er two entities the last time I spoke to my daughter) and then go on to say they are inseparably inter-connected.

You are a bit of a funny wee chap!

-

Pulpit polemics aside I'm sure we could agree that there is musical traffic to and fro - it's just common-sense isn't it? And also that "The West" is often ignorantly superior.

zhao
06-07-2010, 04:15 PM
dear Woebot,

apologize for apparent confusion. let me attempt to clarify:

there is no "otherness" to speak of. and the term "world music", which lumps all "non-western" music into one group, separate from "western music", needs to be abolished altogether, as does the bullshit dichotomy it describes.

if you trace the history of the guitar, you find that it was descendent of the Oud, the first record of which appears in ancient Mesopotamia during the Acadian period (2359-2159 BC - yes it is 7 thousand years old). the Romans around 40 AD made a version of it, the Cithara, which spread to the Vikings in Europe; and later Gypsies living in Islamic Spain created the modern guitar based on that and the modern Oud.

Continuities exist everywhere. i don't need to recap my crude but basically sound lineage of modern dance music back to African forms.

it is all connected. common sense? in some ways, yes. but still people forget, and insist on seeing black and white.

the order of things needs to be gotten right. sure there are many cases of cross pollination and mutual influence between Europe and Africa and Asia, but fundamentally, one is much younger, and the others, much older, and certain strands are derivative of others.

Europe has produced amazing classical music DESPITE its lack of rhythm, its artificial division of melody and rhythm, its privilege of one over the other, its relegation of rhythm based music to a false "primitive" sphere.

the last 100 years have seen rhythm come back in a big way -- a process of being re-united with long lost roots.

listen to the first 2 Kraftwerk albums. that is some tribal archaic revival "world-fusion" shit right there.

zhao
06-07-2010, 07:20 PM
what i am interested in is

1. re-establishing the deep connections between so called "east" and "west", so called "modern" and "ancient".

2. re-asserting the rightful primacy of African and Asian traditions in the development of world culture.

3. dial back the conceit and arrogance born of ignorance of both the modern world and western-centric world views.

soul_pill
06-07-2010, 07:47 PM
its artificial division of melody and rhythm, its privilege of one over the other, its relegation of rhythm based music to a false "primitive" sphere.

Interestingly, the brain processes the rhythm (and structure) component and the 'melody' (or pitch, and relative pitch, intervals etc.), separately. So in a way rhythm and melody are perceived (on some level) separately. That is not to say that rhythms don't have melody and melodies don't have rhythm - of course they do. Also all music is percieved in the so called "primitive brain" and apparently evolved way before language. (mainly courtesy steven pinker and oliver sachs, sorry if i got any of it wrong)

sufi
06-07-2010, 08:12 PM
this is not Syrian, it's Egyptian, but a 4/4 banger comparable to Souleyman:

http://almahata.com/media/188/AHMAD_ADAWEYA_-_02_Salametha_Om_Hassan/

just started playing when i went to the page, but if not just click the player...

edit: shit this track just fucking BURNS. turn up volume, close eyes, scrunch up face, and wave at least one arm in badman gun salute.
haha that is adawia, whose picture i posted on the original post - he's my favorite, bar none, he's done masses of albums, but that track is off his best, in my humble opinion,
he is like the don of egyptian 'shaabi' (= street music) i did a mission to see his son play in cairo, which i'm sure i wrote up on dissensus years ago,
he could do an 'omar sulaiman' except...
he is not presentable and is only just getting reevaluated/rehabilitated in the arab world, and has been getting on the telly occasionally in the last couple of years - shaabi is not generally seen as proper music, + adawia had a stroke or something following alleged castration/poisoning by a gulf sheikh he apparently cuckolded, apparently - details are sketchy & disputed, but he can barely walk or talk,
probly a bigger factor is his extensive back catalogue - unlikely to be an asset for him doing a crossover to the west, as it is entirely unregulated (far as i can see), cassettes have been around for years and mp3s freely available, so no $ to be made.
http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2008/918/adawia4.jpg
so, while i'm probably guilty of whatever elitist/gatekeeper tendencies mentioned above, i have to say that it's not at all difficult to get access to arabic music that is unreleased outside the middle east, there are masses of forums, mostly in english, where you can download all sorts of great stuff - they come and go but for checking out music, educating yourself, there is a massive choice - i've posted links up here lots of times before (e.g. http://www.dewaniya.com have been going a while, and is in ingleezi) youtube, vimeo etc have tons too.
i think a big part of it is that without some sort of endorsement, folk are generallly not confident to listen to unfamiliar styles of music and be brave enough to decide whether they like it enough to share the joy. & what i like about the sublime freq approach is that they basically are bootlegging, bravely getting music out there without letting rights or royalties be obstacles, obviously the flipside of that is exploitation, and the easy way to pay back/contribute would be to pass the proceeds back to the source, if not to the artists themselves, then to the up&coming youngers, fund some studios, gigs, tours even?improve the opportunities and break the barriers down...

DigitalDjigit
06-07-2010, 09:45 PM
The other problem with tracking down Arabic music is how many different ways the names are transliterated. You write Adawia, they write Adaweya. Dabke is also written as Dabka and Dabkeh.

sufi
06-07-2010, 09:58 PM
The other problem with tracking down Arabic music is how many different ways the names are transliterated. You write Adawia, they write Adaweya. Dabke is also written as Dabka and Dabkeh.

that's true, i have searched every conceivable spelling of adawia on google, funnily enough, 5 years or so back when i was blogging there was nothing much, but now there's loads.
in fact searching stuff in arabic is not difficult - the alphabet is simple enough to learn, so you can read artists' names, without necessarily getting into the grammar and vocab bit of actually learning the language

as for dabke.... i don't love it that much tbh, and i guess it's very ignorant of me to say it all sounds a bit the same - that was my first thought on omar suleiman - "o it's dabke", it's a very closely defined style i guess and different artists don't seem to get far from the standard template,

that said, this was on me blog years ago too and it gets into dabke - great video too!

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4114236502879422115# ya alooooosh!

nochexxx
06-07-2010, 10:24 PM
Hassan Abd Alrahman - Ya Sahi Sabrou. Impressions Of Syria
Shadi Fauzi Alashoush - Sampler
Farid Al-Atrache - Archives des années 30
Farid Al-Atrache - King of the Oud
Farid Al-Atrache - Sampler
Al-Kindi - Musique Classique Arabe
Al Turath Ensemble - Hermana de la Luna
Al Turath Ensemble - Jardines de Jazmin
Al Turath Ensemble - La Música de Al-Andalus. La Muwashshah
Amer Ammouri - Eastern Strings
Amer Ammouri - Takasim Oud
Asmahan - Archives des années 30. Vol.3
Asmahan - Archives des années 42/44
Asmahan - Les archives de la musique arabe
Abed Azrié - Epopeé de Gilgamesh
Abed Azrié - Lapis Lazuli
Waed Bouhassoun - La voix de l’amour
Muhammad Qadri Dalal - Maqamat insolites
Muhammad Qadri Dalal - Maqamat insolites
Adib Dayikh & Julien Jalaleddin Weiss - Poemes d'amour au Bimaristan d'Alep. L'art sublime du Ghazal Vol.1
Adib Dayikh & Julien Jalaleddin Weiss - Poemes d'amour au Bimaristan d'Alep. L'art sublime du Ghazal Vol.2
Sabah Fakhri - Au Palais des Congres
Muhammad Hakim & Ensemble - Chant Soufi de Syrie. Dhikr Qâdirî Khâlwatî de la Zâwiya Hilaliya, Alep
Miço Kendes - Memê Alan
Omar Naqichbendi - Luth traditionnel 'ud. Syrie. Arabesque 5
Omar Naqichbendi - Omar Naqichbendi
Omar Naqichbendi - Sampler
Rifa'iyya Brotherhood of Aleppo - Islamic Ritual Zikr
Farhan Sabbagh - Le Oud (Concert au Schloss Charlottenbourg - Berlin)
Omar Sarmini & Al-Kindi Ensemble - Les croisades sous le regard de l'Orient
Hamza Shakkur & Ensemble Al-Kindi - Musique des derviches tourneurs de Damas
Hamza Shakkur & Ensemble Al-Kindi - Sufi Songs of Damascus
Hamza Shakkur & Ensemble Al-Kindi - Takasim & Sufi Chants
Afif Tain - Sampler
VA - Église syriaque orthodoxe (d'Antioche). Chants liturgiques du Carême et du Vendredi Saint
VA - Kurdish Music
VA - Muezzins d’Alep. Chants religieux de l’Islam


thanks, will try and find some of this. haha, stupid question and sorry to be such an audiophile but i'm guessing vinyl releases are few and far between?

zhao
06-07-2010, 10:26 PM
most or all of that stuff is classical. i would think there are vinyls floating around...

Slothrop
07-07-2010, 11:12 PM
what i am interested in is

1. re-establishing the deep connections between so called "east" and "west", so called "modern" and "ancient".

2. re-asserting the rightful primacy of African and Asian traditions in the development of world culture.

3. dial back the conceit and arrogance born of ignorance of both the modern world and western-centric world views.
I pretty much agree with you but I think you make this point a lot better when you deal with the myriad specific unappreciated examples - as you do in a lot of threads and with your DJ sets - than when you come in with sweeping histrionic generalizations.

I think there's a lot more positive stuff to be had from talking about the influence of turkish psych on US / UK rock or how african influence actually manifests itself in hip hop (as in, what was the music culture that people were growing up with and how did that influence them, not just facile generalizations to the effect that foregrounding of rhythm is inherently african) or about the dozens of exciting scenes that are going on globally that noone's heard of because they aren't from the UK or the US than there is from nebulous arguments over a statement about the 'primacy' of a some set of traditions over some other set of innovations that's so generalized and ill defined as to be basically meaningless.

zhao
07-07-2010, 11:28 PM
I pretty much agree with you but I think you make this point a lot better when you deal with the myriad specific unappreciated examples - as you do in a lot of threads and with your DJ sets - than when you come in with sweeping histrionic generalizations.

I think there's a lot more positive stuff to be had from talking about the influence of turkish psych on US / UK rock or how african influence actually manifests itself in hip hop (as in, what was the music culture that people were growing up with and how did that influence them, not just facile generalizations to the effect that foregrounding of rhythm is inherently african) or about the dozens of exciting scenes that are going on globally that noone's heard of because they aren't from the UK or the US than there is from nebulous arguments over a statement about the 'primacy' of a some set of traditions over some other set of innovations that's so generalized and ill defined as to be basically meaningless.

fair enough regarding sweeping generalizations. but given time restraints i say what i have to say in broad strokes. nah apologize! :D

but speficially:


facile generalizations to the effect that foregrounding of rhythm is inherently african


If the core of European music was to embellish a melody via the counterpoint of a number of melodic instruments, and incidentally set it to a rhythm (which was sometimes specified only in vague terms such as "adagio" or "allegro"), the core of West African music was to color a rhythm via the counterpoint of a number of rhythmic instruments, and incidentally dress it up with a melody. Thus the key elements of West African music were rhythm and timbre, not melody and harmony. Instead of melodic counterpoint, West African music was about rhythmic counterpoint.

Slothrop
07-07-2010, 11:42 PM
Well, that seems like a fairly myopic assessment of European music. I mean, if he's talkign about 'largo and allegro' then he's talking about classical forms which have a lot of their origin in church choral polyphony rather than any of the dozens of local dance traditions so it's no suprise that there's a lack of groove being busted...

But more to the point, I want to know about why and how and when and where that influence is tansmitted and why and how and when and where it's replicated. I mean, I assume that there's more complexity to it than Kool Herc listening to traditional west african stuff and then one day thinking "hey, maybe the best way of reproducing this given what's available to me would be to start juggling the breakdowns from funk records while someone talks over the top..."

But if the influence is passed down through blues to funk to hip hop and then (say) jungle then you actually seem to have a progressively increasing amount of emphasis on the percussive rhythm as you get chronologically further from direct contact with the African roots. Which doesn't negate the point, but does open up more interesting questions than just agreeing that more percussive = more african and moving on...

zhao
08-07-2010, 12:01 AM
Well, that seems like a fairly myopic assessment of European music. I mean, if he's talkign about 'largo and allegro' then he's talking about classical forms which have a lot of their origin in church choral polyphony rather than any of the dozens of local dance traditions so it's no suprise that there's a lack of groove being busted...

yeah he's specifically talking about classical:


The music for the aristocracy became more and more sophisticated, both because it could buy the best instruments on the market and because it could hire the best singers and instrumentalists in the kingdom. It came to be called "classical" music. Through the invention of polyphony, it greatly reduced the emphasis on rhythm, which came to be considered a rather primitive and plebean element.
On the contrary, folk music relied heavily on rhythm, both for dancing and for singing.
Rhythm became, in a sense, the main discriminant between classical and folk music.

and

certainly the African polyrhythms were wildly different from the linear rhythms of European folk music.


But if the influence is passed down through blues to funk to hip hop and then (say) jungle then you actually seem to have a progressively increasing amount of emphasis on the percussive rhythm as you get chronologically further from direct contact with the African roots. Which doesn't negate the point, but does open up more interesting questions than just agreeing that more percussive = more african and moving on...

i think of the development in the "west" during the last century or so as a steady and progressive return to rhythm (to our long lost african roots), after being largely divided from it for so long. so yes, things have been getting more percussive and poly rhythmic, (thank god).

mistersloane
08-07-2010, 02:21 AM
I was in Luderitz in Namibia recently. It has a population of 15,000 people, it really is bumfuck nowhere. We managed - by 'chance' - to meet three very gay guys there and they took us out for the night. It was amazing. I got into a long talk with one of them about kwaito (Namibia is capital of kwaito now) and he was just going on at me about how great the UK was, because it was the home of pop music, and that rhythm and blues and everything else were NOTHING compared to the majesty of pop. And he gave lots of examples.

The man knew fucking loads more than me about rhythm - he was frightening explaining what some of the records we were dancing to were doing in terms of his knowledge of rhythm - but what he loved, loved, was pop music. I felt blessed to have met him and felt like I learnt something.

Which was probably that really, nothing is going home; there isn't any home to go back to.

zhao
08-07-2010, 07:27 AM
home? who said anything about any kind of "home"?

"return to african roots" in the context of this conversation merely means rhythm, and specifically African poly rhythms, re-entering "western" music.

in the bigger context of the last 300 years, in the ascendancy of popular music which gave rise to what your Namibian friend loves;

or in the smaller context of the last 20 years, its increasingly important role in urban and dance music (UK funky anyone?).

i speak of drawing from ancient bodies of knowledge in order to move things FORWARD (much like modern art taking cues from pre-modern sources - Picasso anyone?), into some crazy fucking wicked hybrid future (which is of course already happening).

give a FLYING FUCK about "going home" bro.

mms
08-07-2010, 08:44 AM
here are two interesting blog posts about the mardi gras indians and the history of native americans in new orleans funk n soul

http://cleanlivingindifficultcircumstances.blogspot.com/

muser
08-07-2010, 09:50 AM
I don't think you can draw as much distinction between rhythm and melody. Melody is rythmic by nature (the only exception being ambient melody/ drones etc). Its also worth noting that African drums are tuned to each other and are not atonal, each drum sits in a different register in tune with the others. Neither of the above points are relevant to this thread.

mistersloane
08-07-2010, 10:38 AM
home? who said anything about any kind of "home"?

"return to african roots" in the context of this conversation merely means rhythm, and specifically African poly rhythms, re-entering "western" music.

in the bigger context of the last 300 years, in the ascendancy of popular music which gave rise to what your Namibian friend loves;

or in the smaller context of the last 20 years, its increasingly important role in urban and dance music (UK funky anyone?).

i speak of drawing from ancient bodies of knowledge in order to move things FORWARD (much like modern art taking cues from pre-modern sources - Picasso anyone?), into some crazy fucking wicked hybrid future (which is of course already happening).

give a FLYING FUCK about "going home" bro.

Sorry, misinterpreted what you were saying. No need to swear at me though, you foul mouthed cunt.

zhao
08-07-2010, 12:53 PM
here are two interesting blog posts about the mardi gras indians and the history of native americans in new orleans funk n soul

http://cleanlivingindifficultcircumstances.blogspot.com/

thanks! real interesting. the existence of these kinds of continuities between traditional and modern should be just common sense, but they still need to be pointed out as people want to pretend like what they do is completely new and original.


I don't think you can draw as much distinction between rhythm and melody. Melody is rythmic by nature (the only exception being ambient melody/ drones etc). Its also worth noting that African drums are tuned to each other and are not atonal, each drum sits in a different register in tune with the others. Neither of the above points are relevant to this thread.

agree absolutely. and this kind of undifferentiated sense of rhythmelody (my coinage btw :cool:) found in African music, of which the Shangaan stuff is the latest expression, other examples being obviously the various Mbira thumb piano traditions, and even Soukous guitar... but in Western classical the distinction seems to be made most pointedly, one being of celestial bodies, and the other, of the lower animal kingdom.


The status of European classical music remained a bit odd. It steadfastedly refused to accept African music (still regarded as some form of inferior animal expression) and all its mulatto offspring. Thus the gap between classical and folk music increased dramatically during the 19th century until the Sixties.


Sorry, misinterpreted what you were saying. No need to swear at me though, you foul mouthed cunt.

it's all good bro. but last time i checked, saying "i don't give a fuck" is hardly a personal insult? straight up calling someone a cunt on the other hand though...

also, there is an anti-Afrocentricity book by the name of something like "No Home to Go To", which i was browsing online the other day... your post reminded me a little of that... apologize if my demeanor was a bit aggressive.

Slothrop
08-07-2010, 01:21 PM
Yeah, after I wrote that post I wandered off and thought about the fact that while there's more to rhythm in european music than first movement mid pace in four, second movement slow in four, third movement fast in three fourth movement fast in four, it's hard to think of a european tradition that really does percussive rhythms as hooks. I mean, viewing melody and harmony as being entirely disjoint from rhythm doesn't really work - even something as classical Beethoven 5 wouldn't be identifiable by the notes alone - but always in european music you're talking about the rhythm of the melodic line rather than the rhythm of, er, the rhythm.

If you want to you can go back to Debussy's comment to the effect that percussion in Europe is "the art of barbarians."


i think of the development in the "west" during the last century or so as a steady and progressive return to rhythm (to our long lost african roots), after being largely divided from it for so long. so yes, things have been getting more percussive and poly rhythmic, (thank god).
I'm vaguely annoyed that you edited out the UK funky reference - because it seems interesting that some of the influence on funky is specifically about second gen west african kids a lot of whom presumably have a much more direct contact with traditional percussion and music directly derived from it than most of the people involved in the increasing focus on rhythm and groove through soul to funk to hip hop to jungle... in the latter case it feels more like a combination of tradition, functionalism and technology all moving things in the same direction.

massrock
08-07-2010, 02:14 PM
this kind of undifferentiated sense of rhythmelody (my coinage btw :cool:)
Just to be pedantic, isn't this one of the neologisms used quite a bit in More Brilliant Than The Sun?

massrock
08-07-2010, 02:28 PM
Maybe it's a slightly facile point but however apparently different they are in terms of affect it's also true that pitch is frequency and frequency is rhythm. Therefore harmony is a kind of poly-rhythm. I mean that's actually what it is, even if that's not what is generally directly perceived. In terms of physics it's more than an analogy. Interesting to think about how that works on a neurological level, and what the relationship between the different time scales is. Is it a continuum of frequency all the way through?

Slothrop
08-07-2010, 02:41 PM
Maybe it's a slightly facile point but however apparently different they are in terms of affect it's also true that pitch is frequency and frequency is rhythm. Therefore harmony is a kind of poly-rhythm.
Not in any particularly meaningful or useful sense, though.

I mean, more concretely even a series of unaccented quarter notes can derive a sort of rhythm from the way that the melodic / harmonic roles of the notes relate to their positions in the series. And a lot of great melodies are made great partly by their rhythmic shape and the way that that interacts with the pitches. But I don't think anyone's arguing that rhythm has no role in older european music, just that it isn't foregrounded as the 'content' of the music in the same way as it is in some african music.

Slothrop
08-07-2010, 03:07 PM
In fact, I guess what I'm saying is that from a point of view of talking about the evolution of latin/afro/american/anglo/caribbean dance music, the statement "african music in general has traditionally foregrounded percussion" is less interesting and informative than saying that rhythm is foregrounded in burro drumming, which was directly incorporated into reggae and was also something that other caribbean musicians would have been aware of but less directly influenced by, whereas the percussive traditions in Latin america were more directly influenced by, er, whatever they were directly infuenced by.

massrock
08-07-2010, 03:16 PM
Not in any particularly meaningful or useful sense, though.
I just put it out there.

But harmony, that is to say, overlaid pitches, is, in terms of frequency content, poly-rhythmic, that's what's happening. And it's something about the relationships of those various simultaneous frequencies that has it's effect. Like I say, this might be obvious but I think it's interesting. The neurons be getting down.

I wasn't making any claims for this, other than that it might be worth mentioning with regards to relationships between rhythm and melody. Whether you find it a 'meaningful' or 'useful' observation is up to you and depends on what you want to take from it I suppose. Sorry if it doesn't fit into your preferred parameters for this discussion.


But I don't think anyone's arguing that rhythm has no role in older european music, just that it isn't foregrounded as the 'content' of the music in the same way as it is in some african music.
I see, so you think I was specifically addressing some argument that as you say no-one has made? Huh?

DigitalDjigit
08-07-2010, 03:49 PM
I am not sure that melody has to have a rhythm and i don't think ambient is the only exception. Rhythm has to have a steady tempo. But playing a melodic instrument solo need not require the player to keep to an even time grid. The notes can be longer or shorter, the player can speed up or slow down for emotional effect.

I notice that a lot of traditional western melody seems to be a succession of quarter/eigth notes with few pauses.

If you did it in Fruity Loops it would look like this (X is a note, o is a blank):

XoXoXoXo

So you can easily make the notes differ in length without really losing much information. It's just a succession of notes.

But a lot of music created in sequencers (rave, techno etc.) is more like:

XooXooXo

So a lot of the information is in the different lengths of the spaces between notes - rhythm. I don't want to say that sequencers are to blame because most italo has melodies of the first kind. It's more to do with melody as rhythm in techno and a more traditional western approach to melody in italo.

Sick Boy
08-07-2010, 04:59 PM
Just to be pedantic, isn't this one of the neologisms used quite a bit in More Brilliant Than The Sun?

No, if you trace it back 300 years, Zhao actually did it first.

michael
08-07-2010, 09:41 PM
One of the things that would've been interesting about talking about funky in this context is that it's *not* polyrhythmic. At least I can't think of any examples.


But a lot of music created in sequencers (rave, techno etc.) is more like:

XooXooXo

So a lot of the information is in the different lengths of the spaces between notes - rhythm. I don't want to say that sequencers are to blame because most italo has melodies of the first kind. It's more to do with melody as rhythm in techno and a more traditional western approach to melody in italo.

Sorry if you already know all this, but that kind of rhythm is the first half of what's normally called the clave and it's been creeping around the edges of Western pop for ages. It's all over the Carribean, you can hear it in rock'n'roll (the Bo Diddley beat), it's been big in Brazil (samba, bossanova) and in funk, fusion, etc.

This mix is a fantastic tour through some of the ways it's shown up:

Wayne & Wax - ¡Blogaritmos! 11: “Another Crunk Genealogy” (http://wayneandwax.com/?p=52)

He even lays out the FL screenshots of the clave pattern... :)

Also, at least in Western classical these kinds of rhythmic patterns can occur, although they may well not be played on percussion instruments (except piano, harpsichord, etc.) You might hear them called "dotted rhythms", cos you put a dot after a note length if you want it go half as long again, e.g. an 8th beat plus a dot is 3 16th beats.

wayneandwax
09-07-2010, 02:01 AM
thanks for the link to that mix of mine, michael!

i also feel like this conversation produces intense deja vu. but the fact that such an article as that which got this going can still be published with a straight face is evidence enough that perceptions of "world music" / "ethnomusicology" remain really (out of) whack.

as a card-carrying ethnomusicologist (and someone who spent the better part of a decade to get that card), i find the article's suggestion that these "diggers" (oh and what a misleading photo at the top!) are a "new breed of digital-savvy amateur ethnomusicologist" to be quite insulting and misleading. "the new ethnomusicology" is about as far from this kind of practice as can be imagined. what's it look like? well, a less modest man would say, look at my blog, but one could also, say, consult the latest edition of the journal of ethnomusicology (not that the field is really so cutting edge, but we're mostly beyond the exotic adventurism implied in the article).

truth is, tho, i'm not such a modest man, so, look at my blog. for instance, this post -- inspired by some talk here at dissensus -- in which i argue that people saying that UK funky is not funky is pretty much bollocks:
http://wayneandwax.com/?p=1904

anyway, cheerz, guys--

Woebot
09-07-2010, 09:15 AM
as a card-carrying ethnomusicologist (and someone who spent the better part of a decade to get that card)

come to think of it - yeah! where was wayne in that article?!?! i want my money back.