Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Setting sun (M)oud Music: Abdel Hamid Tnnari


I’m in a ‘oud-y’ mood these days. Just have to regular fixes of those Arabic gut strings pulling on the heart strings.

I don’t know and can’t find anything out about Abdel Hamid Tnnari but assume he’s Egyptian or Lebanese. Maybe Iraqi or Syrian. Can someone help?

So I guess that about sums it up for me. Nothing much to say except, that you are in for a treat. This album, despite its rather silly name, is splendid oud playing by someone who obviously knows the instrument intimately.

In case you don’t know what the oud is, think of it as the grandparent of the European lute.  Tnnari plays solo (as you’d guess from the title of the album) as well as sparsely and tastefully accompanied by violin, derbouka (small hand drum) and mazhar (Egyptian tambourine).  Music for the setting sun.



            Track Listing:
            01 Taksim Oud
02 Ngm Al Ams
03 Taksim Qanun
04 Taksim Oud
05 Taksim Ney
06 Raqs Halafi
07 Taksim Kman
08 Laeli Tarjou Ya Lael
09 Taksim Oud
10 Nism Alina Al Hua
11 Raqset Al Hareem

Listen here.


3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The oud is closer than grandaddy.

Write it in French:

L'oud
Lute

Hammer said...

Hmm, regardless of the etymological roots of the word oud/aud/lute/luth/etc ... I shall give you here a flash-spotlight at Abdel Hamid Tinnari's life.
In Arabic, his name spells عبد الحميد تناري/التناري. He was a Syrian oud player who's born in the northern city of El-Mae'rrah in Allepo. Allepo, or as Arabs call it more so, Halab, is the city of old Tarab music nonparallel. This city has a certain style of seemingly religious singing that dates way back to early Ummaeyad Khalifats called Muwashah (موشح حلبي). This is the root of all Andalusian music that most westerners know about.
His early starts were so humble as a session player alongside some munshideen (singers) that did few parties on religious ceremonial celebrations like Ramadan and Mawlid (the birth-day celebration of Prophet Mohammed). In his town El-Mae'rrah, he couldn't achieve fame and fortune so, he left for Allepo joining some uber-singers like Sabah Fakhri as an oud player (which means that one has made it if sang alongside this bulbul).
He sang, too but his singing was not so scintillating as he did some 'qad' music, typical Allepoian twasheeh music, or classical Umm Kalthoum/Abdel-Wahab numbers. His son Hassan El-Tinnari (born 1960, died 2004), was also a very distinguished qanoun player who also played with Sabah Fakhri and had his own Ferqa or band called Al-Naseem Band (The Breeze). The father and son played for a short period of time as an ensemble (Al-Andalous Ensemble), but the father (no granddaddy here, mind) died in the late 80's leaving behind him a legacy of classical tarab music that really needs to be documented and issued for sure and soon the son followed suit.

Other well-known oud players from Allepo are Mustafah Quttini whose playing is sheer mastery, and Azziz Ghannam.

When it comes to masters of this instrument you need to look no further than Yemen where it' said the oud was originally born. The Oud is actually Indian, and a millennia or so ago, Yemeni traders who were the best ship-builders went to India to buy and sell their goods. They took some instruments with them, one was something so close to today's tar. The oud means 'the branch of wood' in Arabic, and this name was given to it by the Iraqi Arab poet-philosopher-physicist Al-Farabi who added an extra string to it. Al-Farabi did not create the oud as most Arabs think: all he did was re-invent this instrument which was very popular in Yemen way back, say 2500 years ago.
Yemenis gave it again to Sudanis people (the two countries/nations are very close), and Sudan gave it again to the western part of the Arab world (a.k.a. Maghreb/Morocco, Algiers/Tunis), and then went to Al-Anadalus or what became later known as Spain. In Spain and after the demise of the Abbasite Khalifat in Al-Andalus, the Spaniards took this instrument and made it theirs, adding still, a bunch of strings (besides re-shaping it as a whole). Ah, then the Germans took it, and with these the Britons in medieval times which they called the Lute adding this time... an extra neck! The story is endless I know, but the starts are all there. So, dig dawg.

Glad to help, and hey, no need to thank me as I do this to music and music alone.

Music is life my friendo.

Enjoy.

H.H.

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