Saturday, February 26, 2005


Cairo, Sat Feb 25

We’re now officially on the sleep schedule of Saiid- we go to sleep at
dawn and wake up at 2 pm.

Last night was the best night I’ve had at Saiid’s so far.  They
finished the recording they were working on so it wasn’t so crazy and
there weren’t many people around, so Saiid was in hang out mode. When
we arrived, Saiid was playing badgamon with this other great - a
violinist named Alfred Gamil.  I actually met him in the states years
ago at Simon Shaheen’s music camp.  He remembered how I play the bones
and told Saiid about it, so they really wanted to hear me play them,
but I forgot to bring them to Egypt, so they asked the boy to bring
four spoons and I tried to do my bones solo on the spoons (with not
much success).  They really want me to play bones now on the concert,
so I hope the girls can bring them for me.

Saiid was really inspired last night and he was showing us some cool
shit on the dumbek!  He has another dum that’s higher and it sounds
really cool when he plays it back and forth with the real dum.  He said
that the 2nd dum is like how a beginner students tries to play the real
dum. We have this joke now that after he shows off his stuff on the
dumbek he says, “so, what do you think – can I play tabla?” and I
answer, “nus nus” (so so).

He also played for us some of his old recordings – AMAZING drum solos.
He’s really an incredible composer and I’m not the only one that rips
off his compositions- drummers from all over the world copy his stuff.

Hafla Last Night at Saiid’s Studio
From Left to Right Ali, Shlum, Saiid, Me, Miles, Dr. Alfred Gamil

Saiid also talked about his philosophy of drumming – he said the dumbek
is like the sea.  You can always catch the same kind of fish (dum, tek,
ka) or you can harvest the bounty of the ocean and look for all kinds
of different fish.  He’s really opening my mind.

We met the other guy Henkish yesterday – very nice man and he had some
cool stuff on the dumbek as well.  We’re filming this stuff as much as
possible and I’m writing stuff down.  I can’t believe how much material
I’m collecting!

Today I want to go over stuff and figure out what I’m doing in the

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