Mohammed El-Bakkar & His Oriental Ensemble – Port Said - Music Of The Middle East 1957
Port Said (Port Said) 3:32
Sauda Sauda (Dark Eyes) 3:31
Bint Il Geran (Girl Next Door) 4:07
Banat Iskandaria (Girls Of Alexandria) 3:03
Al Jazayair (Dance Of Algiers) 2:56
Hela Hope (Be Careful Of Love) 3:19
Haun Meelee (Sway Here) 2:43
Balady (Native Girl) 2:18
Rahks Port Said (Dance Of Port Said) 3:30
Hygalo (They Say I Love Her) 2:23
Geena Ghanneelak (I Sing Of Thee) 2:55
Ah Ya Zain (Beautiful One) 3:30
Produced By Audio Fidelity, Inc. 465 W. 51st St., New York 19, N.Y.
BACKSIDE OF THE SLEEVE:
This recording was made on an AmpexTape Recorder Model 300 with Altec, Telefunken and RCA Microphones. The Masters were cut on an Automatic Scully Record Lathe with Grampian Feedback Cutter Heads driven by specially designed 200 watt amplifiers.
Mastering was done at the studios of B & C Recording in New York with maximum stylus velocity consistent with minimum distortion realizing the ultimate in signal to noise ratio.
While the total frequency range of 16 CPS to 25,000 CPS on this record may not be within the range of ordinary human hearing, nevertheless inspection with a microscope will show the etchings of the upper dynamic frequencies.
However, it is the opinion of the manufacturer that if these frequencies were omitted trom this record a certain warmth of tone that is felt and sensed rather than heard would be lost.
For this reason and to achieve the ultimate in our "studies in HI-FIDELlTY sound" we have gone to these extreme electronic lengths.
Although any 33 1/3 RPM record playing equipment may be used in playing this recording, it is recommended that playback equipment of extreme wide range and fidelity be used so that the recordings may be enjoyed to their utmost.
Low Frequency Limit: 16 CPS
High Frequency Limit: 25,000 CPS
Crossover: 500 CPS
Rolloff: 13.75 DB at 10KC
Port Said, gateway to the Red Sea and the Middle East, strategie portal to the fertile Nile valley and the sprawling Arabian desert, colorful gern of a city that overlooks the vast realm of Egypt, a land of fabulous natural wonders, man-made wonders and enchantment.
But there is much more. Perhaps nowhere else in the world does the ancient order meet the modern with more dramatic impact. Huddled among million dollar industries - shipping, oil, spices, foodstocks, mining and silks-lies a kind of "no man's land" into which most of the non-white classes are crammed.
Here, in one of the most densely populated regions of the world, thousands of human beings from every corner of the world, live in surroundings that defy description.
Here exotic women and mysterious men of every sort intermingle. Here peddlers, dancers, wandering musicians, beggars, soldiers of fortune, merchants, thieves, prostitutes, bakers, candlestick makers and drug addicts rub elbows. Here, for western consumption, is embodied all the strange and titillating allure of the exotic Middle East.
Port Said is a place in which every individual can find something to suit his or her taste. It doesn't matter what one's favorite pastime or personal idea of pleasure may be. There are open markets where one can buy - and be fleeced - almost anything one wishes from soda pop to an oriental dagger or opium pipe. There are dancing girls who will perform their ancient ritual for a few modest coins (and for little more will take you into their tent or hut for more enjoyable entertainment). An endless parade of native women fills the streets as they go to and from the market or horne carrying urns, woven baskets or other burdens on their heads.
Almost at every turn there is a pottery merchant who plies his wares to all who cross his spot in the open street. Every now and then the wind wafts the familiar smell of the barbar through the crowded streets, reminding one that Port Said stands at the entrance to the Suez Canal, through which pours an endless caravan of vessels from all over the world. Occasionally you see a camel alongside a streamlined automobile, one of the most striking reminders that co-existence of the old and the new is still very real.
And through it all runs the pattern of music, a fascinating and distinctive variety of this form of expression which traces back to earliest antiquity with its heritage of primitive instruments and equally primitive forms of vocal expression. Compared with western music, modern Egyptian music has changed little from music of the ancient world. There is a good deal of repetition, but this is one of the elements that makes Egyptian music somewhat ritualistic, and much more interesting to listen to. Even today, for the most part, no fixed harmony or notation is used. The scale is a quarter tone, rather than the western diatonic half tone, scale.
Like ancient Egyptian musie, the modern variety makes much use of a large variety of instruments, including drums, flutes, bells, cymbals, castanets, clarinets, oboes and strings. Also, a considerable number of different kinds of percussion sticks are used to accompany the music and singing.
The music in this recording, typical of authentie Egyptian style, is the kind you will hear in every native setting, either with or without dancing. Some of it harks back to the ancient slave market, when maidens performed sensuous and provocative dances to the accompanient of native bands of musicians. It is untamed and raw, but orthodox.
In the main, Egyptian music is always dance music. It is usually lively, even though it may be sad in mood. Countless generations, through joy and suffering, have contributed to the musical art of this land. The earthiness of dancing girl and beggar breathe with equal eloquence and power in the music you hear in Port Said, for time has passed without essentially changing these simple hearts who live their lives with dance and song.