Like Father, Like Son
Have you ever wondered how rainfall makes its way from clouds up in the Sky to the fast-flowing rivers of Earth?
Well, the slope of the Earth surface shapes areas that collect rainfall and direct it to a single point in a river. These areas can be as small as a football field and as large as covering half of the United States. We call them hydrologic catchments, and they are precisely what I want to talk to you about today. But before that, let’s talk about us, Humans.
Nice spot to take photos of Los Angeles Skyline
LA downtown has a nice skyline at Sunset. A lot people go to the area at the intersection of Grand Ave. and 3rd/4th street to enjoy Sunset or take photos. It is a nice spot, but sometimes can be very crowded.
A hidden spot that gives you an equally nice view of LA downtown is located in the 1st street (at the bridge passing above Figueroa St.). I took this photo at Sunset from this hidden spot. It is always empty and parking is never a problem there. Enjoy the view and thank me later.
Intro to Sudanese Music
Sudan boasts a tremendously rich musical culture. Situated at the heart of Africa, bridging the Arab World with Sub-Saharan Africa, Sudan occupies a cultural crossroads that gives rise to a distinctive genre of music. In this blog, I will focus solely on the music of Central Sudan, also known as Omdurman music. This genre serves as a unifying force, bringing together Sudanese people. Sudan also has other genres specific to particular regions such as Western, Northern, Eastern, and South Sudan, which I will explore in future blogs.
Omdurman Music emerged in the early 1900s, characterized by its use of simple musical instruments and a strong emphasis on vocal performance. Often referred to as "Hakiba" music, it is renowned for its lyrical depth and suitability for group/chorus singing. You can listen to an example of this music in an old recording found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4q0S26TKUzk
In the decades following the Hakiba era, Omdurman music underwent a transformation with the introduction of new musical instruments like the violin, guitar, piano, accordion, and others. This era, spanning from the early 1930s to the 1960s, produced some of Sudan's most prominent musicians, including Ibrahim al Kashif, Mohammed Wardi, Mohammed El Amin, and many others. Unlike the preceding Hakiba era, the focus shifted to innovative use of musical instruments, with less emphasis on vocals and group singing. It is challenging to select representative songs from this era due to the abundance of excellent music; however, here are three examples: Mohammed Wardi_El Tayr El Mohajer, Mohammed El Amin_You'll learn, Osman Hussein_Oshrat Elayam.
The mid-1970s marked the beginning of a new era in Omdurman music, often referred to as contemporary Omdurman music. During this time, the style of lyrics took on a unique form, drawing from the tools of modern poetry. Many lyricists from this period came from a background in acting and theater. One of the most influential figures of the 1970s and 80s Omdurman music was the late Mostafa Sid Ahmed. Here is an example of his excellent music: Mostafa Sid Ahmed_The Noble Sadness.