Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

Cocktail from Lebanon – Various Artists [#284]

on March 31, 2015

Cocktail from lebanonCocktail from Lebanon – Various Artists 

Now I’m not entirely sure that this is the name of this album. Nor am I entirely sure that the artists named are actually the artists. See, the thing is, I downloaded this album when I was looking for some Azar Habib and all the files were tagged in Arabic letters.

Back in the early noughties I discovered Flash Animutation. This was a phenomena that took the underground of the web by storm. It was long before the appearance of Facebook and Twitter and when the internet was a fun place to be rather than a chore.  Animutation is where clip art was mashed and animated by artists using Macromedia Flash, often to music and nearly always to foreign music.

One such animutation film, often touted as one of the first, was Hatten ar Din. The song, originally performed by Azar Habib, had been retranslated from Lebanese to Swedish to English and animated accordingly. The results are amusing.

At the time I was going through a Middle Eastern phase. I saw the possibility of the West embracing and absorbing Middle Eastern culture peacefully into its own. Of course, that never happened but I enjoyed eating kebabs, listening to Middle Eastern music and visiting Lebanese restaurants. This is why I have a Lebanese album in my collection.

Lebanese music is different to Western music on many levels. While some sects of Islam forbid music especially instrumental music (which is seen as Haram) there exists a rich tapestry of musical tradition from the regions where Islamic tradition is not as strict. Persian, Jewish, Lebanese and Arabic music is quite relaxing while also exciting and captivating.   This album provides a good snapshot of traditional music from the region.

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