Between passion, professionalism, and personal efforts, the craftsman Kamal Muhammad established his own workshop for the manufacture of lutes, which is now nearly 30 years old, to produce many ouds throughout these years, and to preserve, like other makers, a musical instrument befitting an authentic country that tastes art in all its forms according to its description.
Muhammad, nicknamed Abu Hassan, 58 years old, from the Safsafa area in the countryside of Tartous, spoke to SANA reporter about his craft and his start in it in 1993 with interest and individual effort that prompted him to learn on his own how to make sticks by observing a large number of makers and focusing on the fine details of this work and identifying the difference between one maker and another, to In addition to his knowledge of playing, which helped him a lot in knowing the secrets of this profession and developing it.
The oud for him is an integral part of his personality, accompanying him with work and various occasions and sessions, as Muhammad learned to play it since he was 12 years old and with the encouragement of his mother, indicating that in the first stage it started as a hobby until he worked hard and developed his talent and also studied at the hands of the late musician Muhammad Atmeh .
And Muhammad indicated that he spends long hours in the workshop and is assisted by his brother and his only son, Hassan, who also learned the arts and methods of this profession in addition to pursuing his educational attainment, stressing that he made thousands of musical oud instruments, as he marketed many of them inside and outside Syria over many years to the Gulf countries. Europe, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Australia, etc.
He explained that the manufacturing period of a good oud may reach about a month or less, unlike training oud machines, whose manufacturing period is faster. As for the types of wood used, it includes Indian sesame, rose, banos, mahogany, Shami walnut, and African megano, while Canadian cedar wood is used in making the oud chest, indicating the presence of Difficulty in the unavailability of imported wood and its high price.
In addition to making and maintaining the oud, Muhammad works in the manufacture of qanun and buzuq instruments, in addition to playing the violin as well, stressing that listening to music, especially the original art of Muhammad Abd al-Wahhab, Farid al-Atrash, Umm Kulthum and others, enabled him to form a musical ground and develop his abilities by playing, and this also helped him to make sure of the quality and success of any machine he makes.
Regarding the specifications of the Syrian Oud, Muhammad mentioned that it is characterized by individual specifications in terms of shape and sound and is very much needed in Arab countries, thanks to its ancient and cultural importance, pointing out that the craftsman in this profession must enjoy patience, accuracy and mastery in order to present a musical instrument with full descriptions.
And he indicated that during the terrorist war on Syria, the oud was and still is required by all ages, especially young people, calling on parents to develop their children's musical talents and guide them to choose an instrument that suits their tendencies and capabilities.
Muhammad concluded his speech by emphasizing the necessity of preserving and making the Oud instrument, which is the responsibility of everyone, in addition to the role of the musicians in influencing the youth by selecting instrumentals and songs befitting our culture and musical heritage, and constantly emulating the march of giant artists such as Sabah Fakhri and many others, noting the role of the media in shedding light on talented people and encourage them to develop their abilities.