Kuwait: Sea Songs of the Arabian Gulf - Hamid Bin Hussein Sea Band - DOWNLOAD ONLY MCM-3051
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RECORDINGS AND NOTES BY LISA URKEVICH
The Arabian/Persian Gulf, a region that is among the world's oldest civilizations, is one of the most musical areas of the entire peninsula. Over the centuries, many categories of arts have flourished, but it is the songs of the sea that have a special place in the hearts of nationals. The musical color and texture of Upper Gulf music is like none other in the Arab world, as large choirs of men join voices to sing heartfelt, haunting melodies over vibrant, percussive timbres. Until the early 20th century, sea songs were heard constantly, sung for both work and recreation, on ship and shore, and during weddings and standard later night gatherings. When sea livelihood diminished, "bands" began to form to keep the musical traditions alive.
Today, less than a dozen groups of the Upper Gulf perform sea music. Among the most lauded is the Hamid Bin Hussein Sea Band of Kuwait, who are featured on these recordings. These men, largely descendants of pearlers and seamen, are cherished in the community, as their performances are both historically accurate and impassioned. The recordings and detailed notes, with over 30 images, provide a glimpse into a precious music of this ancient culture.
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