THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: Ghada Shbeir

 |   |  2 min read

Ya Nadimi
THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: Ghada Shbeir

The arc around the Mediterranean we loosely refer to as “the Middle East” boasts some astonishing voices, not the least that of Lebanese singer Ghada Shbeir whose yearning sound conveys the passions and tragedies of that region.

School in many Arabic traditions as well as the sounds of Andalusian-Arabic songs and ancient chants, she brings a formidable personal history to the classical and folk music of that often unstable but always interesting arc at what was once the centre of the known world.

She is coming to next yea's Womad in Tranaki (details below) so it is very timely to put a questionnaire her way . . .


The first musician whose music really affected you was

Mrs Imane Homsy. I was actually affected by her efforts.

Your first appearance on stage before an audience was . . . (And you were how old?)

I was eleven years old.

If music was denied you, your other career choice would be . . .

I would have loved to be a lawyer.

The three songs (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to hear because they are so emotionally moving are . . .

Mine: Li habiboun & Rouhan

Abdel Wahab: Ya garat al wady

The most unusual place you have performed would be . . .?

“Theatre Des Abbesses” in Paris because while I was performing there was no light in the theatre and I was singing a capella, so I felt like I was singing alone and couldn’t get the interaction of the audience.

The most important book you have read is . . .? And why?

“Fan al ilqa’” for Abdel wareth ‘athar and “Pronunciation for Al Farabi”. I learned through these two books that pronunciation is the major thing in singing.

If you could get on stage with anyone it would be . . . (And you would play?)

Andréa Bocelli. We would perform a duo; a mix in Arabic and Italian.

The three films you'd like anybody watch because they might understand you better are . . .

I’m not really into films, but I like historical films and films about investigations.

The last CD, vinyl album or download you bought was . . .

I have been downloading and listening to Karem Mahmoud’s songs lately.

When you travel, what is it you most miss about your home country?

I miss the vivid life found in my country. It is true that it is sort of chaotic in my country but for me it’s an organised chaos that I like and I miss when being abroad.

The artist you most admire would be . . .

I admire a lot of artists such as: Asmahan, Najat Ali, Feyrouz, Mary Gebran, Wadih El Safi, etc.

Your favourite meal to share with friends would be . . .? (Care to share a simple recipe?)

I like Lebanese food in general.

Do you practice every day, and if so for how long?

I practice every day all day long as I teach music.

David Bowie sang, “Five years, that's all we've got . . .” If that were true, you would spend them where, doing . . .?

I would quit my job as an instructor and I would record the Syriac Chants and compose music and chants besides spending more time with my family.

And finally, do you have any unrealised goals in music?

Recording my research in Syriac chants and printing my books.

For more on next year's Womad including tickets etc check out their website here.

womad_webhead2018_10x


Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Staff Benda Bilili: Bouger le Monde (Crammed Discs/Southbound)

Staff Benda Bilili: Bouger le Monde (Crammed Discs/Southbound)

Recently while looking out music for a DJ night of African music I played dozens of tracks at home back-to-back searching for the best sounds . . . and one thing became very clear. Most of this... > Read more

Shanren: Left Foot Dance of the Yi (Rough Guide/Southbound)

Shanren: Left Foot Dance of the Yi (Rough Guide/Southbound)

I've always wanted to say this -- because it sound so archaically "Times of London" or like New Zealand Herald editorials in the Sixties -- so here goes . . . "As regular readers... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

Facing down an avalanche of releases, requests for coverage, the occasional demand that we be interested in their new album (sometimes with that absurd comment "but don't write about it if you... > Read more

DIANA KRALL INTERVIEWED (2000): Blonde ambition

DIANA KRALL INTERVIEWED (2000): Blonde ambition

Grammy-gathering jazz pianist and chanteuse Diana Krall is shameless about her musical taste. She's about to go on stage in Philadelphia with Tony Bennett, but is confessing about the music she's... > Read more