Sunday, April 27, 2014

Kesang Marstrand sings Najat Al-Saghira's "Ana Ba'ashiq al-Bahr" or "I Love the Sea" (أنا بعشق البحر)

This is kinda amazing, that a US folksinger would essay a song in Arabic. And I think she does a creditable job. Here's the original, by Egyptian singer Najat al-Saghira. My guess is the song dates from the fifties or sixties. 

Kesang Marstrand, who is of Danish-Tibetan background, uploaded the song in August 2009, shortly before she moved to Tunisia in December. Where, amazingly, she lived until recently. She's now back in the US.

Marstrand was reportedly active in the cultural life of Tunisia during the revolution, and while there she recorded a version of the Tunisian national anthem, "Humat al-Hima." Below is a video clip of Marstrand being interviewed on Tunisian television about her time in Tunisia and her experiences during the revolution. As you can see, she is quite fluent in French, and she understands some Tunisian Arabic. Apparently she performed her version of the anthem publicly in Tunisia, and the gesture of solidarity was much appreciated.

Finally, a clip of her doing a musical preview on Tunisian t.v., singing in English, before concerts she did in Djerba, Tunisia, on October 12-13, 2012.

According to her website, Marstrand's fourth album is about to drop soon.

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