By: Rogia al-Shafee
KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - A German Musical troupe has picked five of musician Abdel Gadir Salim’s songs for presentation in the ongoing SAMA Festival here.
The SAMA International Music Festival is a project co-funded by the European Union that aims to promote both traditional and contemporary Sudanese music and traditions through highlighting the diverse spectrum of Sudan’s cultural landscape.
Dr. Salim is Chairman of the Sudanese Musical and Arts Professions Union. He is known to have presented his art, mostly drawn from his native area of Kordofan, on several occasions in Europe.
In a statement to Sudanow, Dr. Salim said he would sing during the festival’s closing concert at Alhadiga Aldawlia (The International Garden) here on 27 October. Orchestra of the German international musical academy will play for Salim during the event.
“We have engaged in a number of successful workshops, with concentration on the Sudanese musical heritage and the mardoom music of Kordofan” he said, adding that the band will perform some of his songs including: Omri ma bansah (I’ll never forget him), Bassama (smily) and Kordofan.
Salim was born in the town of Delenj in South Kordofan in 1946 and graduated as a primary school teacher from that town’s teacher training institute in 1963. He served as a teacher in the Ministry of Education’s schools and its educational administration as teaching inspector.
In 1975 he graduated from the College of Music and Drama, majoring in music.
He presented musical talk show in the local media including his program “Sudanese Tunes”. He had also composed the music of radio serials and plays.
Salim had also presented several lectures and speeches about the Sudanese music in general and that of Western Sudan in particular.
He also wrote arts articles for local publications.
Salim has gained lot fame as a singer outside the Sudan when he presented his art in European and Arab countries since 1971.
He attributed the wide circulation of his melodies in Europe to the local rythems and traditional melodies he used including jarary and mardoum. Jarary is a sort of music and dancing performed mainly by the camel grazers in kordofan and Darfur regions of western Sudan while mardoum is common among cattle breeders. Each type is characterized by the nature of the animal raised and environment. The rythem of the first is calm and lingering while the second is quick and strong.
His external musical tours had covered such European nations as France, England, Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Austria, Denmark, Greece and Finland. He had also displayed his art in Libya, Tunisia, Kuwait, Nigeria, Chad, Yemen, Algeria, Djibouti, Japan, Malaysia and the Republic of Korea.
His record at the Sudan Radio exceeds 40 songs, in addition to about 20 video clips shot in the Kordofan region, which are kept in the National TV library.
He is also an active researcher in the Sudanese musical heritage. In 1975 he was awarded the Silver Order of Arts.
He has recorded four albums distributed outside the Sudan.
In 2002 Salim had obtained an MA degree for a thesis entitled “Songs and Music of The Habbaniyya Tribe in South Darfur”. In 2005 he obtained a PhD degree for his thesis “Modes of Singing in Kordofan and the Role of the Environment in Shaping them.”
In 2006 Salim was appointed associate professor at the Faculty of Education, University of Khartoum.
Before that he taught at the Sudanese-Chadian Friendship School in Ndjamena.
“During my service in that school, I loved the Chadian People and secured secondary education opportunities for Chadian male and females in Sudan,” he said.
He said in Ndjamena he also cooperated with Chadian artists in the production of songs glorifying work and love of the country.
He attributes his success as a singer to his original job as a teacher “that teaches one patience, gives him experience, and acquaints him with arts heritage as he works in different parts around the country.”
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