I started the last entry to tell you guys about two good news. The first one was that I'm going to Oman this summer and that my parents have given their blessings for me to do so (may God grant them infinite happiness, good health, and peace - aameen!). I'll be going to continue my Arabic study.
The second one, I didn't get to tell y'all, cuz, you know ... I had lots to say on the first one.
But it's less of "news" than just an announcement: I'm performing a couple of Pashto songs with an ensemble next week at my university. We're mostly doing Middle Eastern/Central Asian music, including Turkish, Persian, Armenian, and Azeri, and I asked the director of the ensemble (who was a professor of mine during my first semester here) if she'd be up for letting me sing a Pashto song. She excitedly said yes! OMG I love her so much!! She's been so incredibly patient, generous, and enthusiastic about it, and that's been the main reason I don't want to back out. (But I feel like I should admit that I'm not a singer by any means. I sing because it's a fun and healthy activity for me. It makes me so, so happy, and it makes me feel wonderful. Anything to get that feeling, be it doing something I don't quite consider my forte.)
Last semester, we did Arabic music (North African and Gulf). I was a lead singer with another lead singer for the song Baba Bahri / Sidi Mansour. It's a Nigerian folk song. We accompanied with a nice little dance, too. Well, the choir did, but still. And I was in the choir for this really great song - Shwayyakh Min Ardhi Miknas. Details about last semester's experience here.
This semester!!! I'm playing percussion and then the two Pashto songs. Both of the ones I'm doing are lullabies, but the first one (Allaho Sha Allaho) is a more soothing and real lullaby for all children, and the second one is more a pop song and is specifically for daughters :) it's a celebration of daughters, girlhood, female empowerment, female education, service to humanity, etc. So it's very, very personal to me, and I am having a wonderful time practicing it. It makes my heart smile when I hear the ensemble play it! I'll be recording it from the concert, but I'll think about whether or not I wanna share them on Youtube or the blog. Here are links to the songs:
The first one - by Naghma. It's the main song I'm doing, with great instrumentalists:
The second one: Deeyah's stunning version of the Pashto lullaby Allaho sha Allaho.
I don't "do" music, but I love it to death. It's sometimes the only thing powerful enough to lift my spirits when I'm down. So since I don't "do" music (don't know how to play it yet, except percussion now, don't know how to read it, don't know how to follow it, etc.), I thought that the first song above would be much harder to sing! But it turns out that since there are many cues for me to follow, it's actually really easy to perform! :D hamdallah for that. The second one is difficult, though, lol. And thought that one would be much easier! I have a piano player accompanying me, and I do the singing. The hard thing about it is knowing what pitch to start, continue, and finish with.
Our rehearsals are so much fun! They were three hours initially, but as the concert date approaches, we're doing about 4 hours. We meet just once a week, though, so it's not stressful or anything.
Some of the other songs we're doing are:
Turkish - Felek Sen Ne Feleksen. The guy singing this song sang another beautiful Turkish song last semester, and OMG!! It was better than the original! He has a beautiful voice. This semester, he's doing this one - and just as beautifully, also better than the original I'm posting below.
Bir Mumdur / Cay Icinde
Majnon na budom (I'm singing this one, too) - it's a group of us:
Huseyni Pesrev (just instruments)
I'm crazy about this one! Also just instruments.
çayda çıra - nanay!!! It's such a pretty and happy song! :D It's a wedding song.
But the version of the above song that most resembles the one we're doing is:
My God, Turkish music is so beautiful.