Cleopatra Recorders

I found out about this music store, Cleopatra Recorders, from the blog 248. It has been open since 1969 and is located in Hawalli on Tunis street across from the Promenade Mall. Through the cassettes I purchased there I’ve been learning about Kuwaiti music, such as the late singer Yousef Al Mutref (his name is spelled different ways in English, in Arabic it is يوسف المطرف). Al Mutref died in February of 2002 after a fire broke out in his apartment along Bin Khaldoun street in Hawalli. His son, Mutref Al-Mutref, is also a musician and performs today. I read in a thesis paper by Ahmad Alderiwaish on music education in Kuwait that “the acquisition of Kuwaiti folk music skills is primarily through informal learning” and that “music is often a family affair in Kuwait; performance skills and repertory are passed down from generation to generation in an informal manner.” Mutref, who was 16 when his father died, learned much of his technique from him. This article contextualizes the music of al-Mutref in a larger historical tradition of Arabic poetry. You can listen to some of the music of Yousef Al-Mutref here and here. This instagram account posts clips of his music.

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