Music of Central Asia CD/DVD Series - Aga Khan Music Initiative - AKDN
Aga Khan Development Network
 

CD - DVD Anthology Music of Central Asia

Music of Central Asia was co-produced with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, and represents the first comprehensive series of newly recorded music (as opposed to licensed tracks) from the region to appear on a Western record label. Each of the ten volumes in the anthology includes an audio disc and a DVD with a documentary film about the featured musicians as well as a map, interactive music glossary, and short video that introduces the Aga Khan Music Initiative. Thumbnail descriptions of the ten volumes are provided below.
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VOLUME 1
Tengir-Too: Mountain Music of Kyrgyzstan

Jew’s harps, fiddles, plucked stringed instruments, and powerful voices transmit the vibrant rhythms of nomadism and the serene atmosphere of the Kyrgyz countryside in a musical language as contemporary as it is ancient.

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VOLUME 2
Invisible Face of the Beloved: Classical Music of the Tajiks and Uzbeks

Amid the mosques and minarets of Samarkand and Bukhara, generations of vocalists set the mystical, Sufi-inspired verse of Hafiz and other classical poets to lyrical melodies, creating a spiritual art music of great refinement and sublime beauty called Shashmaqom. In this haunting performance, a young ensemble from Tajikistan breathes new life into the Shashmaqom, confirming its important place among the great art music traditions of Eurasia.

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VOLUME 3
Homayun Sakhi: The Art of the Afghan Rubab

From Kabul to California, Homayun Sakhi is admired as the outstanding Afghan rubab player of his generation, a charismatic virtuoso who has pushed the limits of his instrument. With tabla player Toryalai Hashimi, Sakhi plays music that is uniquely Afghan, yet resonates strongly with the spirit of Indian raga.

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VOLUME 4
Bardic Divas: Women’s Voices in Central Asia

Vibrant traditions of women’s music have old roots in Central Asia. Bardic Divas introduces 13 remarkable women whose voices and instruments revitalise older traditions, and reinterpret musical performance genres once reserved for men.

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VOLUME 5
The Badakhshan Ensemble: Song and Dance from the Pamir Mountains

In the majestic Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan, poetically called the “Roof of the World,” trance-like rhythms and piercing melodies propel these vivid performances of Badakhshani folk songs, dance music, and mystical religious poetry that can embody the spiritual power known as baraka.

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VOLUME 6
Alim and Fargana Qasimov: Spiritual Music of Azerbaijan

“To be a musician, there has to be a fire burning in you,” declares Alim Qasimov, Azerbaijan’s most beloved traditional singer. In these deeply spiritual recordings of Azeri classical mugham and lyrical bardic songs, Alim merges his own consummate musicianship with that of his talented daughter Fargana, and with the energetic accompaniment of a young ensemble performing on tar, kamancha, balaban, oud, and drums.

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VOLUME 7
In the Shrine of the Heart: Popular Classics from Bukhara and Beyond Generations of Uzbek and Tajik singer-songwriters bequeathed a remarkable legacy of lyrical ballads, devotional songs, and instrumental pieces to gifted master-musicians who perform on these tracks. Rooted in the sophisticated urban song traditions of Bukhara, Samarkand, Tashkent, Qoqand, and Khiva, these popular classics come alive in superbly recorded new performances.

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VOLUME 8
Rainbow: Kronos Quartet with the Alim Qasimov Ensemble, Homayun Sakhi, Salar Nadar, and Abbos Kosimov

A bold collaboration between America’s premier new music quartet, Azerbaijan’s best-loved traditional singers, and the leading Afghan rubab player of his generation. Featured works included Homayun Sakhi’s luminous “Rainbow” for string quartet, rubab, tabla, and Central Asian percussion, and spirited arrangements of Azerbaijani songs performed by Kronos and the Alim Qasimov Ensemble.

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VOLUME 9
In the Footsteps of Babur: Musical Encounters from the Lands of the Mughals

Exploring the common ground of musical styles, sensibilities, and the instruments from Central Asia, Afghanistan, and North India, five brilliant instrumentalists illuminate the musical legacy of the Mughal Empire, founded five centuries ago by emperor Babur.

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VOLUME 10
Borderlands: Wu Man and Master Musicians from the Silk Route

In these exuberant recordings, pipa master Wu Man and her Uyghur, Tajik, and Hui collaborators explore connections between the musical worlds of China and Central Asia. Featuring the stirring vocals of Sanubar Tursun and Abdulla Majnun along with newly arranged and composed instrumental pieces, Borderlands is a masterful blending of kindred traditions.