Ahmed, Abdulla Saleem, Saad Abdulla Ahmed, Mohamed Omer Abdulla, Dawoff Nooh - 2013​-​03​-​20 - Shouab - Qanone singing group: Ahmed, Abdulla Saleem, Saad Abdulla Ahmed, Mohamed Omer Abdulla, and Dawoff Nooh

from Socotra Soundscapes: Field Recordings from the Archipelago (BENEFIT RELEASE) by Socotra Soundscapes



This recording was made on a remote beach near the village of Shu’ab (Shouab). The style of singing heard in this song is called qananeh or qanone, derived from the Greek word κανών (kanon), which refers to a measuring rod. These songs are usually performed by groups of people in their homes at night, although they can be sung by one or two people as well. They are only found in the western part of Socotra.

The singers are Ahmed, Abdulla Saleem, Saad Abdulla Ahmed, Mohamed Omer Abdulla, and Dawoff Nooh.

A loose translation of the text:

Wa Degezalen da da’aen — yeboush letarhbeneten
Degezaleen mountain, crying for the Tarhbeneten caves

Yektelben lebqal gahi — ledasheranoh lesharqah
Thinking deeply to go to visit Tarhbeneten

Lethour ho debak metaked — leqar Reqafaf lehofa
But I am in a hurry; why don’t I go to rich Reqafaf (a village) by the sunset

Leksa hah a’afou saheten — desharberen de gedah
To find people there in good health, people who are asking the arrival about the news of the others (exchanging news about one other, their community, their goats, whether there is rain)

Wdesh Hegereh de qa’aer — leba’a esh min de tesseqen
And this woman who gave and divided all she has between the people

Endeq hes Allah ara’aher — kaha seh al haremotshen
God gifted her springs and she didn’t destroy them (springs in this case referring to sources of life like goats, ships, or fish; she has been generous even with the poor)

Shebatek edhelham al touseeb — deararehon atokela
I am scared if she moved to Dhelham and stalled in Deararehon (i.e., far away from the people who need her warmth)

Lamyha qoshoa di Shouab — tereh bek ta’atethfen
If the grass of Shouab receives rain many times (i.e., so that she will not have to move to somewhere else with more rain)

Wketah al Ma’aleh meshaeq — asbah baadabheneten.
or Meshaeq of Ma’aleh become in Adabheneten (the speaker wishes that she should receive good grass like that of the Ma’aleh plateau in her village of Adabheneten)





Faulty Machine Recordings Service Los Angeles, California

Myke Dodge Weiskopf is a songwriter, radio producer, and field recordist from Los Angeles. He records and performs as Science Park, and recently launched the monthly Faulty Machine Recordings Service.

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