Saturday, September 18, 2010

(V/A)- The Hundred Thousand Fools of God: Musical Travels in Central Asia (And Queens, New York)

Here's the CD included with this book by Theodore Levin. All tracks except 1 & 2 recorded by him. 320kbps.

"The Hundred Thousand Fools of God: Musical Travels in Central Asia (and Queens, New York) was written by someone with a lot of knowledge about traditional music of Central Asia--or, more specifically, the music of Transoxania, the region "beyond the Oxus River" that includes parts of Turkmenistan and Tajikistan and most of Uzbekistan.

Levin spent time in Tashkent as a graduate student in the 1970s, and he has returned to this region on several occasions, both during the Soviet era and after. This book is, in part, a summary of his experiences and thoughts concerning this region of the world, the people who inhabit it, and the musicians who seek to maintain their culture's music in spite of fierce opposition (first from communism, where Moslems were forced underground and music was "Europeanized," and now from capitalism, for although religion is relatively tolerated, Western culture's influence on music and life has begun to eclipse the traditional cultures of Central Asia).

...A "fool of god," he notes, is a Sufi term identifying "one who has given himself to the life of the spirit and is under the special protection of God, but also a dervish or an ascetic--a person not entirely 'of this world.'" As Levin notes, he and his Uzbek companion, Otanazar Matyakubov (OM for short), began using this phrase "fool of god" to "describe a particular musician who, in both his musical activities and his personal life, seemed to embody the high ethical standards, humility, and altruistic spirit that characterized the figure of the...fool of God." Levin goes on to say, "We knew at best several dozen [fools of God] in Transoxania whose life spans overlapped, or had overlapped, with ours. But there might have been a hundred, a thousand, or even a hundred thousand who had come before. Others would surely follow" (37-38).

Levin's book, then, chronicles his journeys throughout this region, as he and OM search out these "fools of God," traditional musicians who have managed to preserve and sustain their culture's beliefs and music despite the intense pressures of the modern world. Some of these people are professional musicians, such as Turgun Alimatov and Munajat Yulchieva. Levin's encounters with these professionals suggest that these artists struggle to make ends meet, largely because the music they play is typically classical maquam, or Islamic court music, and there haven't been emirs in Samarkand since the 1920s. These artists survive playing at state-sponsored concerts or at weddings and other festivals (called toys)--though, thanks to Levin and others (like Yo-Yo Ma), they are starting to gain a wider Western audience." (source)

Mediafire Download Link: (V/A)- The Hundred Thousand Fools of God: Musical Travels in Central Asia (And Queens, New York)

1. Schoch Va Gado (Tashkent) / Yulduz Usmanova 3:57
2. Night In A Ferghana Garden (from "Lola", Tashkent) / Alexei Ferdorovich Kozlovsky 9:39
3. Bâyât-I Shirâz Talqinchasi (Tashkent) / Munadjat Yulchieva 3:59
4. Segâh (Tashkent) / Turgun Alimatov 6:15
5. Saraxbär-I Segäh (Tashkent) / Maqam Ensemble of Uzbekistan Radio 2:54
6. Mogulcha-I Segâh (Queens) / Ilyas Malayev 6:17
7. Yarlarim (Tashkent) / Mutavaqqil Burxanov 1:45
8. Sus Xâtin (Baysun) / Baysun Ensemble 1:35
9. Shahd (Bukhara) / Mahdi Ibadov 2:29
10. Taralilalalai (Bukhara) / Tohfaxan Pinkhasova 2:54
11. Yâr-Yâr (Khiva) / Shirin Jumaniyazov (xalfa) 1:22
12. Setting Of Poem Attributed To Ahmad Yasawi (Tashkent) / Arif Xamatov 2:44
13. Dâstân: Ashiq Gharib Va Shâhsanam (Khiva) / Qalandar (baxshi) 4:48
14. Suvâra / Azad Imbragimov 2:55
15. Terma (Xâja Mahmud) / Qahhar (baxshi) 4:12
16. Ode To Maxtum Quli / Jumabay Bazarov 1:43
17. Jew's Harp Solo (Xâja Mahmud) / Xushvakt 2:26
18. Afarid (Yagnâb) / Sattar Adinaev 1:32
19. Yak Dâna Gul (Yagnâb) / Sattar Adinaev 1:38
20. Naqsh (Dargh) / Zalmirza Mirzasayi, Niyazi Baba, Jumai Baba 3:07
21. Field Hollers / Girls in Dargh 1:57
22. Zarb / Dargh Mosque 2:15
23. Excerpt From Koch (Shahristan) / Nasri-oi 1:45

1 comment:

Uzbekistan said...

Central Asian music is rich in soul, Instruments are very simple but Central Asians love to dance, play, and sing music.