THE WORLD MIRROR / WINDOWS
Egyptian poetess, Deema Mahmoud, performs Arabic poetry in two social media channels, SoundCloud and YouTube. The poetess describes her project as a seed which is still looking for its features. One thing is clear from the beginning: Mahmoud chooses poems, with whom she desires to interact as they were her own writings.
Shurouk Hammoud, interview
Alaa Hammoud, translation from Arabic
Tell us about your project of audio recordings?
In fact, it is still a seed that has not yet ascended to be a project with clear features. I have two accounts: the first is on SoundCloud and the other is my channel on YouTube for which I record texts that satisfy my taste, and upload them from time to time.
I hope to develop the idea in the near future to be able to record texts of all cultures and races. But what hinders me from regularity in this issue is having to use simple ways to record, since I do not do it in a private studio as some may think. Sometimes that can be stressful for me, I often find myself forced to re-record again and again until I find the result is appropriate, and then I upload it which takes a long time, as you know.
“I hope to develop an audio-visual platform to present the literary arts
in high technical and content level”, poetess Deema Mahmoud says.
Do you choose poems by famous poets to record, or choose and record everything that fits your poetry taste even if the author is not well known by the audience of poetry?
In fact, I do not care if the author of the text is known as much as I care about choosing a text which I think is of high poetic value, and I have to be really impressed and able to interact with it to the maximum during the performance.
Note that my relationship and harmony with the text increases and reaches the same level as if it was mine, with repeated attempts to perform and record until I achieve a recording which satisfies me completely in terms of performing, integrity of punctuation and the technical direction.
Do poets send you their poems to perform with your voice or is the project only limited to your choices of readings?
At the beginning of sharing my recordings, some poets asked me to record some of their texts but I apologized and explained to them that I choose the texts myself and I don’t prefer receiving texts to be recorded. Indeed, I haven’t recorded any text that has been sent and all the texts I have recorded are of my own choice.
Is there a possibility to merge any other kinds of arts into your project like performing poems by Arab poets translated into other languages, for example?
Why not! I wish I could apply each development and every new, beautiful idea that enriches the recordings. Although the subject of my recordings is now very limited and small, I hope to develop it to become an audio-visual platform to present the literary arts in high technical and content level and in a different way.
There are good examples of audio channels of books or readings on YouTube and SoundCloud, but some of them have some flaws and defects, especially with regard to the linguistic aspect, in addition to emptying the spirit of the text in the sense of poor performance or exaggeration to the extent of dilution or dissolution of the text. I would like to point out that the expression of the poet Mohammed Al-Shamouti in his channel “Anthology” is one of the most mature and perfect experiences currently.
What are the difficulties you expect to face while developing your idea? And do you think that you can get help from or a partnership with someone who shares the same passion regarding recording in a studio or other facilities in the future?
Difficulty will most likely be financial and also technical because I don’t have sufficient experience and knowledge of studio equipment related to this type of work and can’t deal with it, but I’m keen on learning any related skills, even in terms of developing my performance, I will work hard. Frankly, I think, and I am almost certain of not being able to obtain financial support in this regard, but I’m sure that many can help with suggestions, technical aspects and skills teaching as well.
There is too much love in what you’re doing, what does reading poetry by poets you like, with your own voice, make you feel?
Reading literary texts and poetry in particular, gives me a great pleasure that brings me out of the world and reality, it gives me levitation and passion. Words and poetic metaphors come and go in my throat and I hold and drop them with a stunning flirtation. Sometimes I feel that both of us, me and the text are exchanging roles between sitting in the swing and pushing it from behind.
The pleasure of reading the literary text, while interacting with it, can only be imagined by those who discover it. Then you become a triad of the reader, the text and the writer together…I am convinced that this type of recordings, in addition to its role in acquainting texts and writers, it develops audio and spiritual taste.
Would you share your YouTube and SoundCloud accounts with us – for poetry lovers who would like to listen your recordings?