The author of the blog, who goes by the name teju cole, indicates that he first learned of el Din in 1992 when he was exposed to his work Escalay, the Water Wheel. El Din’s music prompts cole to write, “You wrote new songs that sounded ancient, you sang ancient songs that seemed to have originated from you, but your heart was always in Nubia, on your village Toshka, on the flood waters of Lake Nasser.” The tribute is moving.
Mr. cole relates how he and his wife met el Din at a party—they were the only Africans there. They talked about Nubians in Egypt, Nubians in Sudan, his compositions, and about being a long ways from home. Mr. cole admits he was overawed by the composer, who, he felt, appreciated that he had attended his benefit concert earlier in the evening. El Din had performed Escalay with the Kronos Quartet. Not long after, el Din died.
The blog post has a color photo of an oud, the instrument that el Din played as he sang his songs. It includes both a four-minute YouTube video of him playing an oud while he sings and a link to an MP3 of the composer singing his song Mwashah. Mr. cole concludes, “You were God’s oud.”