Биография артиста Khalifa Ould Eide & Dimi Mint Abba
Dimi Mint Abba (Arabic: ديمي منت آبا ; 25 December 1958 – 4 June 2011) was one of Mauritania's most famous musicians. Her first international release was on the World Circuit record label, following a recommendation from Ali Farka Touré. On this album, she was accompanied by her husband Khalifa Ould Eide and her two daughters.
Later she composed famous and popular Mauritanian songs like "Hailala" and "Koumba bay bay".
Dimi Mint Abba was born Loula Bint Siddaty Ould Abba in 1958 into a low-caste ("iggawin") family specializing in the griot tradition.
Dimi's parents were both musicians (her father had been asked to compose the Mauritanian national anthem), and she began playing at an early age. Her professional career began in 1976, when she sang on the radio and then competed, the following year, in the Umm Kulthum Contest in Tunis. Her winning song "Sawt Elfan" ("Art's Plume") has the refrain "Art's Plume is a balsam, a weapon and a guide enlightening the spirit of men", which can be interpreted to mean that artists play a more important role than warriors in society.
She died in June, 2011, in Casablanca, Morocco following a stage accident in Aioun ten days earlier when she was singing for Sahrawi public.
She died of a cerebral hemorrhage.Her death was described as "a national loss" by Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, the President of Mauritania.
Although the music of her neighbours (Mali, Senegal, Algeria and Morocco) are becoming better known outside Africa, the modern & traditional music which is popular today in Mauritania remains comparatively little known. The dominant people in Mauritania (with a population of 3 million) are the Moors, descendants of Hassan Berber tribes who conquered the area. The desert republic is the crossroad of Africa and its musical repertoire has been formed over centuries of contact with a wide variety of African & Arab cultures (Berber, Arab, Sudanese, Bambara, Tuareg, Wolof, Peul) to produce in Moorish music a passionate, expressive singing style over complex rhythms.
Moorish music has in turn influenced the music of other countries; the impassioned singing and refined hand-clapping has been a powerful influence on Flamenco music and the late Malian guitarist Ali Farka Touré points to Moorish music, and the music of Dimi Mint in particular, as an influence. The highly evolved structure of Moorish music (governed by specific musical theory), the instruments, its complex rhythms and expressive vocal techniques are each uniquely Mauritanian.
Moorish musicians are know as iggawin and their special knowledge of music is handed down through the generation, iggawin families acting as musical conservatories. Dimi & Khalifa are from the two respected centuries-old artistic families and they began to learn music at the age of eight or nine. Girls are taught by their mothers; first to dance & play the percussion instruments, the tbal & tambourine before learning musical theory and the ardin, a fourteen string relative of Kora. Dimi’s special musical gift was recognized early; at age of sixteen she was featured with her mother on national radio and the following year she was chosen to represent Mauritania at the Oum Kalsoum festival in Tunisia.
Boys learn musical theory and the tidnit, a lute similar to Wolof halam & Malian ngoni, from their fathers. The tidnit is at the top of the hierarchy of Moorish instruments & it is essential in guiding the music within its theoretical principals.
Khalifa’s father is one of Mauritania’s great tidnit players and Khalifa was aged twelve he decided to leave school (already literate in French, Arabic & Hassaniya) to sing his fathers songs. He is now a renowned composer & singer himself.
All iggawins, both men & women, sing but vocal techniques are not subject of such strict tuition but are learnt by listening to others. Improvisation in encouraged in all aspects of Moorish music but especially in singing and the Moorish vocal art has reached an extremely high level of skill and virtuosity.
The fundamental principles governing the Moorish musical system have remained unchanged since at least the 18th century and they are studied by all musicians from the beginning of their musical education. The system is complex and I have neither space nor am I qualified to fully discuss it here; but it is important to mention the three ‘way’ which are at the heart of the system.
Moorish music is divided into three ‘ways’ which roughly correspond to three ‘modes’: the ‘black way’ the ‘white way’ the ‘spotted way’. Once a musician has decided in which of these ‘ways’ he will begin a performance he must then respect a succession of five sub-modes, which must be completed before he can move on to other ‘way’. Each ‘way’ or sub-mode chosen, once completed, gives certain options to the players as to which mode he can use as he continues to play. Although only iggawin are fully conversant with these rules (and they have to reach a high level of understanding before they are considered ready or qualified to perform) most Mauritanians followers of music can detect a player’s error or a slip from his tradition. Despite the seeming rigidity of this system artists are encouraged to make creative innovations always looking to add something to the tradition without departing from it.
Over the last century, and especially since the 1940’s, there has been a massive change in Mauritanian life from a Bedouin way of existence towards an urban lifestyle which in Nouakchott has resulted in growing fusion of local musical styles. The role of musicians is also changing and iggawins are now looked upon as creative artists rather then past singers. Khalifa & Dimi are part of a group of musicians concentrated in Nouakchott who are introducing other instruments to play Mauritanian music. Amongst the instruments which have recently been adopted by iggawins are the electric guitar which plays the part of tidnit, electric bass, synthesizer and synth drums.
Khalifa & Dimi were involved in a project with instruments from throughout the Arab world such as oud and qnun to play Mauritanian music. Khalifa said: “This group must rehearse continuously because it is seeking out everything that is new in music and it seeks to be innovative and it seeks to have a coherent direction.”
As with other Muslim societies, poetry is a very important aspect of Mauritanian culture and most Moors can recite at length their favorite pieces. Poetry is considered as important as music and the two are inseparable. Classical Arab poetry in praise of Prophet and Arabic love poetry as well as Hassaniya poetry and the compositions passed down through the generations are being added to by younger poets who write of contemporary issues. Moorish Music From Mauritania also include songs in celebration of Mauritanian independence day and a song for Nelson Mandela.
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