Rainbow emerged from an ambitious process of collaborative creativity that reached across continents and cultures, and across musical categories and conventions. It represents at once a continuity and a turning point in the Smithsonian Folkways–Aga Khan Music Initiative CD-DVD series Music of Central Asia, whose previous seven releases each focus on a particular region or musical idiom, or on the artistry of a particular musician.
Like the artists featured on earlier releases, the lead performers on Rainbow are all consummate masters of their own musical domain. Indeed, Azerbaijani singers Alim and Fargana Qasimov and Afghan rubab player Homayun Sakhi have already debuted on Music of Central Asia (Sakhi on volume 3, The Art of the Afghan Rubâb, and the Qasimovs on volume 6, Spiritual Music of Azerbaijan). But how could it be otherwise in our era of cultural globalization that in their sonic imagination, these inquisitive artists, no less than the famously intrepid Kronos Quartet, should hear their own music both enriching, and being enriched by, sounds and sonorities from elsewhere?
Music of Central Asia is a co-production of the Aga Khan Music Initiative, a program of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, and the Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. The aim of the series is to present leading exponents of Central Asia's rich and diverse musical heritage to listeners outside the region.
Year of Recording: 2009