When things don’t work properly one classic strategy is to continue doing the same thing and call it by a different name. Having trouble with the Global Strategy ? Launch the World-Wide Initiative. Is the Post Office falling apart ? Forget about repairing the roof, just call it a Data Communications Hub. This was the reaction I was instinctiveIy primed to adopt when I discovered that fifteen days had gone by from Wee Klinks 1 without any sequel. Perhaps I could rename it New Klinks and avoid any suggestion than something would happen once a week. Or else, since I defined the meaning of Klink last time, couldn’t I re-define week to mean some arbitrary extent of time ? In the end I decided to take another classic approach, make use of a brilliant mystifying slogan like Wee Klinks – once a week (some weeks) which is what the series will be officially known as – at least until we need some further obfuscation.
This week (or whatever time period it really is) we start with the legendary Egyptian singer, Oum Kalthoum.
I had intended to start with the legendary Lebanese singer, Fairouz, but then I realised that you can find Fairouz yourselves, but when someone has a name which has been transliterated a dozen different ways including Om Kalthoum, Oum Kalsoum, Oum Kalthum, Omm Kolsoum, Um Kolthoum, Um Kalthoom, it’s not easy to search for her. http://arabmusique.blogspot.com/ made me realise that almost the only Arab musicians I knew were ones you could add the adjective legendary to. This site is a compendium of clips of Arab musicians from, as it states, “Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Western Sahara (disputed, mostly under Moroccan administration), Yemen” (I would also add that there are also some from unacknowledged and unarabic Turkey). I have only looked at a tiny minority of these clips – it’s like wading into the ocean – but I have already realised that there are all kinds of music – legendary singers, oud players, sugary pop singers and rappers (even one who performs in Dutch) – I admit that to me almost every piece of rap sounds identical. If you like searching through piles of stuff in the hope of finding something fantastic, you will like this. And when you do find something special please let me know. Here’s a piece from Simon Shaheen, who is very famous, though I didn’t know.
Next, for those who love poetry and languages and listening to poetry read out aloud, there are few places to compare with lyrikline, which reminds us that there are poets writing in languages like Lithuanian, Basque, Kurdish, Finnish, Scottish Gaelic or even ones that are heard of even less frequently where I live, like Oriya, Shona and Wayuunaiki (an indigenous language spoken by just over 300,000 people in Colombia and which to my ears, just every now and then, sounds like Tagalog). There are also poems in English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, French with some very famous poets like Enzensberger, one of my favourites, and nearly all of them read by the author. This is a German site and most of the poems are translated into German, but many are also available in other languages – the link I have provided you takes you to a page where the poems are distributed according to translation language available.
Next, something which requires no explanation, and which must be very well known to some people but which makes me laugh every time I see it. Hugh Laurie out-dylaning Dylan.
Finally and, in my opinion, the best of all. I was saying previously that you might be a person who likes searching through piles of stuff in the hope of finding something fantastic. If, specifically, you like leafing through old books in search of amazing illustrations, you can stop. Someone has already done it for you. And the results of their work are available at BibliOdyssey. There are quite a lot of places which are virtual copies of existing museums on the Internet, but this is the first place which made me feel I was visiting an actual and original museum on the web. Illustrations have been collected and placed here from all kinds of ancient and special books from all over the Internet and they look really wonderful, probably better than they would in a display case. This is also the kind of place which makes me want to give up trying to be clever myself and just sit back and watch. What kind of illustrations are there ? Well, a book from the blog has been published and one helpful review states that you will love it “only if you like medieval herbals, meticulous 18th century drawings of microscopic critters, cloud maps, comet anatomy, mysterious geared machines from the Baghdad Caliphate, Renaissance prosthetics, outrageous costumes, ornate nakedness, heart-stopping calligraphy, antiquarian cookbooks and anything to do with Fr. Athanasius Kircher.” Now just look:
Have a good week (especially since we don’t know how long it is going to last).