Sunday, February 27, 2005


Cairo Feb 26, 2005

“Erda Magnuna” - My New Arabic Name

It’s a beautiful hot breezy sunny day.  Today I have my Rababa lesson
in the afternoon.

Our landlady is here now in the apartment putsing around.  She feels
very comfortable here and comes here often.  The other day we came home
from the market and she was sitting here in our apartment with two
other people watching TV!

Last night we were at Saiid’s again until the morning.  We usually drive
over there at around midnight because traffic is not bad then, and we
sit with him until the morning call to prayer.  I know its time to go
when he comes around and puts perfume on everyone in the room.

He is showing me some really difficult stuff that I’ll have to sit for
hours to practice!  It’s the kind of stuff I could never get from
listening to recordings or even from seeing him play live.  He told me
he hardly shows anyone this stuff cause they wouldn’t understand it. I
feel so honored to be receiving this precious knowledge!  He hasn’t
written a book or made a DVD or anything like that, so this stuff
hasn’t been documented yet.  I’m filming, recording and writing down as
much as possible.

It’s amazing for me to have found the source of the music I’ve been
dedicating myself to. I’m still having trouble speaking and
understanding Arabic, but as soon as I pick up the tabla I have a
crystal clear connection and communication with the people here.

Speaking of communication, last night we brought Andrea Zembehiko to
Saiid’s.  She sat there and kindly translated everything that Saiid
said for me. The problem is that she doesn’t really speak Arabic, so
most of the things she translated were from her imagination and then
Rami had to tell me what Saiid really said.  Her most successful
translation attempt was when the composer was speaking to us in
English, and Andrea translated everything he said in English (this time
correctly).  For example he would say, “this song has a lot of feeling”
and she would say to me “this song has a lot of feeling”.

Oh – Saiid gave me a new name in Arabic – “Erda Magnuna” which means
“Crazy Monkey”.  Believe it or not, it’s a compliment, cause they call
someone clever a monkey.

LOL! Raquy, please tell the landlady to not enter your apartment when you aren't present. Funny story!
And I love the 'erda magnuna' nickname. I can't wait for the hafla on March 11, post a lot of pics for us.

Fan in CT,
MagnunaI miss you!
I can't wait to see some of the cool stuff! so i am sending my baby over to get some preview :)
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