Artistic production and dissemination
Artistic production and dissemination are a vital component of the Music Initiative’s cultural development mission. Musical traditions are truly alive in a community only when they continually evolve to reflect the taste and interest of contemporary listeners. Seeking ways to represent musical heritage in contemporary artistic languages is the aim of the Music Initative’s new works commissioning programme.
Since its inception, the Music Initiative has sought out exceptional “traditional innovators” whose combination of musical mastery and artistic curiosity supports trajectories of sustained creative development. Between 2004 and 2011, the Music Initiative recorded and filmed 10 such traditional innovators and groups of innovators for its 10-volume CD-DVD series Music of Central Asia, co-produced and released worldwide by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (see full list of releases below). Music of Central Asia presents musicians who represent both a mastery of their own tradition and a spirit of innovation expressed through new approaches to performance style, repertory and technique. Several of these recordings feature newly commissioned works and new arrangements of traditional material for cross-cultural and interregional ensembles.
Audio-Video and Photo Archive Video Archive
The Music Initiative has fastidiously documented concert and festival presentations, artist-in-residence and workshop programmes, recording sessions, creative laboratories, lecture demonstrations, and other forms of artistic production in which it has been involved in a curatorial and producing capacity. These documentary materials comprise a comprehensive digital archive of the Music Initiative’s work, and once meta-data tagging is completed, the archive will be made available through a searchable online database for research purposes.
CD - DVD Anthology Music of Central Asia CD-DVD Anthology Series
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.
VOLUME 1 Tengir-Too: Mountain Music from Kyrgyzstan
VOLUME 2 Invisible Face of the Beloved: Classical Music of the Tajiks and Uzbeks
VOLUME 3 Homayun Sakhi: The Art of the Afghan Rubab
VOLUME 4 Bardic Divas: Women’s Voices in Central Asia
VOLUME 5 Badakhshan Ensemble: Song and Dance from the Pamir Mountains
OLUME 7 In the Shrine of the Heart: Popular Classics from Bukhara and Beyond
VOLUME 8 Rainbow: Kronos Quartet with Alim & Fargana Qasimov and Homayun Sakhi
VOLUME 9 In the Footsteps of Babur: Musical Encounters from the Lands of the Mughals
VOLUME 10 Borderlands: Wu Man and Master Musicians from the Silk Route