Mike's Oud Forums
Not logged in [Login - Register]
Go To Bottom

Printable Version  
Author: Subject: Have people heard this oud player?
fernandraynaud
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 1865
Registered: 7-25-2009
Location: San Francisco, California
Member Is Offline

Mood: m'Oudy

[*] posted on 12-20-2014 at 12:00 PM
Have people heard this oud player?


I just ran into this. I wonder what more traditional oud players think of it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8Y4FIOubiM

What I find interesting is that he sings the same line he plays on the oud, much as in a lot of traditional oud playing, and he's using a regular risha, though it's definitely in a different style. David Lindley plays every string instrument he's ever handled. He recorded an album with Hani Naser, who I suspect got him (more) interested in the oud.

The place, Fur Peace Ranch is a studio and music center run by Jorma Kaukonen, who was already an important figure in the 1960s acoustic guitar scene on the West Coast, I remember him playing with all the top bands like Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, etc. He's stayed active encouraging young (and not so young) musicians. This is the real music of America.

View user's profile View All Posts By User
Jody Stecher
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 1161
Registered: 11-5-2011
Location: California
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 12-20-2014 at 01:12 PM


Using oud to accompany a traditional American folk song? Sure, why not? I've done it myself. The oud is no more "foreign" to America than the guitar (Spain via Mexico and Germany via CF Martin etc), mandolin (Italy), fiddle/violin (Italy), accordion (Germany via Texas) etc.

*All * versions of Little Sadie, whether the singers/players know it or not, derive from the version sung by Tom "Clarence" Ashley. There are several recordings. Here's one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXGAj1e3SdE

In this oud-i-fied version the oud fingering is out of tune with what is sung. Both vocals and oud are viable pitch-wise but they do not match and that is disturbing.

(I did notice that 2 courses are out of tune, especially the first, Gerdaniye, but this can happen on stage, having tuned well back stage, and "the show must go on", so ok. )

Also disturbing is the waste of what looks to be a very good oud. Why amplify it like this when there are better options? In an Armenian nightclub with lots of noise and some amplified instruments in the band, sure, this is the usual sound. It's not agreeable to my ears, but it's what's been done for a long time and it goes with the territory. I think a well placed microphone would sound so much better for a solo performance such as this.

To sum up: I think that Little Sadie with oud accompaniment is a good idea that, on this occasion, was not optimally realized.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
abc123xyz
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 114
Registered: 5-17-2007
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 12-20-2014 at 06:17 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Jody Stecher  

In this oud-i-fied version the oud fingering is out of tune with what is sung. Both vocals and oud are viable pitch-wise but they do not match and that is disturbing.

What do you suppose was the cause of that?

I'd think one finds a note on a fretless lute the same way he does with his voice, by listening and adjusting, and so would perforce end up singing and playing at the same pitch.

Is he stubbornly maintaining comfortable hand positions, or what?

David
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Jody Stecher
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 1161
Registered: 11-5-2011
Location: California
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 12-20-2014 at 06:48 PM


Good question. I am sure I don't know the answer. We were asked what we thought so I gave my candid response and reported what I observed, but I did not speculate why. Now that you've asked, I might guess that the performer is in the mood of fun, and is not taking care in his pitch in either hands and voice. Or it might be that his audience does not have high expectations for pitch accuracy, that it is not a priority in this particular musical sphere. But these are guesses. I can say that it is not unusual for voice and instrument to not match. I observe this in all kinds of music, albeit mostly at the amateur level. I agree with you that it would seem to be a very natural thing for one musician to bring voice and string in alignment but that is not always the case. Sometimes it is because the musician has not trained himself or herself to be on the watch for pitch accuracy and/or has not been urged to do so by a mentor. Perhaps in this case it is because the performer is not part of a cultural environment where singing American folk songs to one's own oud accompaniment is commonplace. When there are hundreds or even dozens of folks doing the same sort of musical thing, standards of excellence (for *some* things) get raised as part of the social/cultural process. But really I don't know.





Quote: Originally posted by abc123xyz  
Quote: Originally posted by Jody Stecher  

In this oud-i-fied version the oud fingering is out of tune with what is sung. Both vocals and oud are viable pitch-wise but they do not match and that is disturbing.

What do you suppose was the cause of that?

I'd think one finds a note on a fretless lute the same way he does with his voice, by listening and adjusting, and so would perforce end up singing and playing at the same pitch.

Is he stubbornly maintaining comfortable hand positions, or what?

David
View user's profile View All Posts By User
fernandraynaud
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 1865
Registered: 7-25-2009
Location: San Francisco, California
Member Is Offline

Mood: m'Oudy

[*] posted on 12-21-2014 at 12:41 AM


I don't understand what you mean when you say "the oud fingering is out of tune with what is sung". How can fingering be out of tune?

I guess the bottom line is that there's nothing you respect or like about this performance, and the electric use of the oud, where miking it would be much better, seals your belief in the utter incompetence of the personnel. Opinion duly noted.

But I will say that I disagree. Although it's tuned a bit off concert pitch, his oud wouldn't sound better mic'ed, since as far as I can see it's a Najarian flatback. In no rendition or permutation of this piece have I ever heard the voice and the instruments track exactly, that's just not the idea, certainly not in the 1929 version you reference.

I think Lindley's version adds some ideas to the already rich body of Little Sadie interpretations. It gave me some musical ideas to think about and (most importantly) it made me smile. So I was wondering what our friends here heard.





View user's profile View All Posts By User
danieletarab
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 211
Registered: 1-18-2009
Location: Palermo (Italy)
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 12-21-2014 at 06:26 AM


A part from the oud's sound (which I don't like), it's nice and fun. Theorically you can use any instrument as you like, or in any contest you like. I think that oud is not a very versatile instrument, and every time one tries to use it in a too much different contest, I sense a feeling of "unnatural" and "funny". I don't have the same feeling with other instruments. I have been using greek and irish bouzouki in all kind of music for example, and it always fits very well and natural. In this case, I just think that a fingerstyle guitar would have fit much better :) Thank you for sharing anyway\ that was very intresting!
View user's profile View All Posts By User This user has MSN Messenger
Jody Stecher
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 1161
Registered: 11-5-2011
Location: California
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 12-21-2014 at 06:52 AM


I meant that he placed his fingers in places that produced pitches that were nearly the same as those produced by his voice, at enough variance to be disturbing. Concert pitch has no relevance here. I think the performer is skilled in many areas. I just don't think this particular performance is well done. I can't tell if this is a flat back oud or not. If it is, then of course you are right that a mic would not be a good idea.

Quote: Originally posted by fernandraynaud  
I don't understand what you mean when you say "the oud fingering is out of tune with what is sung". How can fingering be out of tune?

I guess the bottom line is that there's nothing you respect or like about this performance, and the electric use of the oud, where miking it would be much better, seals your belief in the utter incompetence of the personnel. Opinion duly noted.

But I will say that I disagree. Although it's tuned a bit off concert pitch, his oud wouldn't sound better mic'ed, since as far as I can see it's a Najarian flatback. In no rendition or permutation of this piece have I ever heard the voice and the instruments track exactly, that's just not the idea, certainly not in the 1929 version you reference.

I think Lindley's version adds some ideas to the already rich body of Little Sadie interpretations. It gave me some musical ideas to think about and (most importantly) it made me smile. So I was wondering what our friends here heard.





View user's profile View All Posts By User
fernandraynaud
Oud Junkie
*****




Posts: 1865
Registered: 7-25-2009
Location: San Francisco, California
Member Is Offline

Mood: m'Oudy

[*] posted on 12-21-2014 at 03:40 PM


@Jody i think you raise very good points about the "mood of fun" and the culture. The whole "folk music" concept everywhere - wasn't it centered on group enjoyment or "fun"? Celebration of life and culture. Like a family gathering. It's not that skill isn't appreciated, but technique was not the priority for most participants. The moment competitive standards are applied it becomes something else

To me it was less funny than a pleasant surprise. What Lindley did was to port the Little Sadie fingerpicked banjo + flatpicked guitar combo to a single risha picked electric oud. Seems like he's tuned the bam string to E the way it would be used on fingerpicked guitar. I haven't studied the rest of his tuning but i plan to. He's got to have an open G string the same way it works on guitar. On guitar it combines E minor to G major very naturally.
View user's profile View All Posts By User

  Go To Top

Powered by XMB
XMB Forum Software © 2001-2011 The XMB Group