Saturday, May 10, 2014

Songs the Swahili Sing

 Yaseen Mohamed & Saada – Lala Mpenzie
Yaseen Mohamed
12" x 16", oil on canvas paper, 2014
To my surprise I was able to find an image of the Kenyan singer Yaseen Mohammed. Unfortunately I could not find a picture of Saada, the female half on a duet from the album Songs the Swahili Sing: Classics from the Kenya Coast on Original Music, produced by John Storm Roberts, and released in 1983. I used to love to listen to male-female duets but it's been a while since I got excited about one. This one I had known for a long time but I never owned it, and thus forgotten about it. Well, now I have a copy of that record and the duet that closes the record is as good as a duet gets. 
The Swahili are are an Islamic people living in coastal East Africa. That the background for Yaseen Mohamed is a seascape is merely coincidental. Like the previous painting (of Mark E. Smith) the background comes from an instructional painting for a cultural center art class. It is barely better than yesterday's still life but then (to my defense) it was never intended as a painting but rather as a record of me talking to students and forwarding several technical possibilities of how to make waves. In the end what I want from my students is that they make waves. (Not that I'm creating any myself.)

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