Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Instrumental Music of Turmenistan
Genres: World Music, Pop
Wild beauty, fierce hearts
kat karsecs | Oakland, Ca | 07/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's a crying shame this is only available used in the states now: if this kind of music were to american children I think we'd become a more intelligent, noble, and soulful nation. Polemics aside, Turkmen music is breathtaking. At first it sounds very sad, but once you get inside it there's a wildly passionate joy in it, almost animal (in the best sense). The melodies are so fluid and alive one might think it's all improvised, but closer listening reveals clear structural sense, but as in the best Delta Blues, the emotion is so powerful that it melts down into liquid the rhythm and melody and recasts them in constantly changing ways. Something about several of the flute pieces, I don't quite know what, reminds me of Bach, as if the one musical line carries its own counterpoint that can be heard by one's "spiritual ear". The dutar (an ancient 2 stringed lute, ultimate ancestor of the tanbur and sitar) playing here is also excellent. the mans tone is pure silver (or quicksilver, it moves so fast and unexpectedly). The last piece, composed by a 'dutarchi' on his last night (he refused to play for the emir, a corrupt man, who ordered the musician's hands cut off) is wonderfully exhausting, and a testimony to the memories of people in oral traditions, that something so complex could be handed down for hundreds of years just by ear. Of course, no doubt other baxshi (Turkmen bards/healers) have given of their own souls to it, but given the rather conservative nature of most Central Asian music, I'd wager this is close to the songs original form. At any rate, I wish our musicians had that baxshi's commitment to his art! I highly recommend this disc for those who want to hear something unusual and very beautiful. Also, the Songs of Turkmenistan, a companion volume, gives a generous taste of the equally amazing Turkmen singing style. I'm sorry, but after hearing these, I can't understand why people would dig on Ashkhabad and their rather limp Russian-pop derived music. I guess they're good if you likeRussian pop, but they ain't playin' Turkmen music!"