Friday, September 9, 2011
Soliman Gamil - The Egyptian Music (Touch - TO: 7)
Soliman Gamil is an Egyptian musician. He can be named as one of the few experimentalists in the sense that he experimented with classical Egyptian music in order to create the sounds closest to Ancient Egyptian Music. He is also one of the many names that I had a chance to listen after starting to collect records on a broader sense.
The music has a true authentic feeling with obvious roots to Egypt and Middle East. Some of the instruments used are known to people interested in the region, but among these there were a number of them which I couldn't identify. With the aim being creating Ancient music, it sometimes gives the feeling of Om Kalsoum's long ballads under the catalogue name of Arabesque while some of the compositions are outright nothing like I've ever heard. The music itself is at first surprising, then soothing and later you get an overall affection.
One negative aspect of the record is that, if we can call it negative, the compositions are scattered around the record without any road to follow them. None of them leads you to the other. This creates an atmosphere of detachment from a music that can be categorized as new to a listener (Which I was actually). However, the compositions within themselves were beautifully constructed with giving enough breathing ground to each note and instrument and providing the full scent of the feeling that Gamil wanted to serve.
The collection of compositions were recorded in Cairo and released by the reputable Touch records. The record itself is quite recent (1987). They have also released some other works of Gamil later on. It is always a challenge in listening these new, far away, but yet familiar sounds. Frankly I am quite thrilled to offer you this challenge.