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Amalago, Kostas Aleksakis
Amalago, Kostas Aleksakis
12.00 €
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Music of Silk Road
0.00 €

Title: Music of Silk Road

: CD
Label: Arc music
Code: 1845
Release date: 2003

The idea of a Silk Road compilation isn't a new one, but it's a standard of world music label compilations. Where else could you compile music from two and a half continents and still toss in Central Asian pieces that don't sell so well otherwise. Still, it can be an interesting musical trip, as they wander from region to region in search of intriguing musics that are unlikely to be heard on many other albums. On ARC's stab at the idea, the music starts in Turkey, with some urban Ankaran music followed by a more rural harvest song. Passing through Armenia, they get the chance to showcase the sublime Djivan Gasparyan on duduk, as well as a taste of oud, which will be skipped in the Middle Eastern leg. In Azerbaijan, the music gets a bit rougher, with an overpowering dance on the accordion, and a female vocalist following the local aesthetic, which is something of an acquired taste to say the least. In Iran, a quick look is given to the dastgah system and the santour, before moving into Afghanistan for a jumping folk song and a very loud and brash piece for the surnai (a sort of shawm with a very metallic timbre). Turkmenistan affords a quick look at a solo singing tradition and a bit of epic poetry, and Uzbekistan combines a nice solo ney performance with an overpowering performance of the National Orchestra of Folk Music, alternating between soft and woody tones and massive orchestral sounds. Kyrgyzstan is where the Central Asian aesthetic really starts to shine, with vocals meant for the open spaces ringing and a bit of flute work combined with light string accompaniment on the comuz, as well as a solo performance on the deep chogoyno cho'or flute. Mongolia surprisingly shows neither the massively popular khoomi singing nor the morin khuur fiddle, opting instead for a basic folk song and a slower dance melody. Finally reaching the end of the Silk Road, the album ends with a pair of pieces from China, one a classical song and the other an instrumental using the high erhu and dizi against the deeper yangqin and zhong ruan for some traditional silk-and-bamboo music. The album makes a fine musical journey, touching upon the various locations along the Silk Road, but at the same time may not represent all of the sounds available from the routes. Of course, that goal would involve more than a single album. As a single-album attempt, this one makes a nice sampler from which to start further musical explorations.



1. Misket (Scented Apple) (Instrumental)
2. Findik Dalda Kalmasin (Don't Leave Any Hazelnuts on the Tree)
3. You Are a Ploughman (Instrumental)
4. Agh Im Anush Yarus
5. Shampan Ragsi (Champaign Dance)
6. Mansuriyya (Chargah-Mugam)
7. Khayam Va Koozeh
8. Zim Zim Zim
9. Atan (Nomad Dance)
11.Morning in the Desert
12.Izdep Jurom (Looking for You)
13.Koychulardyn Kongur Kuu (Shepherd's Melody) (Instrumental)
14.Horgoi Torgon Deel (The Silk Coat)
15.Tanz Melody (Dance Melody)
16.I Love You, Snow of the North
17.Yu Ge (Song of the Fishermen)

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