During the five days the International Music festival "Sharq Taronalari" that brought together the best artists in the world came to an end. While awarding the prizes the artists showed the peculiarities of their national music culture had a very strong feeling. We had an interview with them.
The tenth international music festival Sharq Taronalari (Oriental Melodies) completed in Samarkand on 30 August. This year’s festival, organized since 1997 on the initiative of President Islam Karimov, was attended by artists from 66 countries.
On the eve of celebration Uzbekistan's independence, ancient Samarkand lives in a special atmosphere. These days there focused on the incredible creative energy of the most talented representatives of the art of music come here from all over the world.
Famous Georgian folk ensemble "Didgori" August 27, made its first performance on the Registan Square. The group was established in 2003, its activity is mainly aimed at the revival of the ancient original Georgian folk traditions.
Within the framework of the festival "Sharq taronalari" concert programs with the participation of foreign performers are held almost in all notable places. One of these concerts was held in the fascinating culture and recreation park "Shaboda", in mahalla "Chashma ", which will be remembered to me for a long time.
“Shirvan” mugam group (Azerbaijan )
Mugam group “Shirvan” has been performing Oriental music for 15 years already. There are five professional artists who introduce the authentic musical heritage of Azerbaijan. The repertoire of “Shirvan” group consists of “mugam” – the main style of Azerbaijan classic music and also folk and contemporary songs. The group includes the soloist, Elnara Abdullaeva and four talented musicians playing on traditional musical instruments: tar - Aliasker Mamedov, kemancha - Hayyam Mamedov, balaban - Adil Muslimov and nagara - Ramin Abdullaev.
Triinu Taul, soloist (Estonia)
Triinu Taul is a solo performer of traditional Estonian folk music. Triinu grew up in a hereditary musical instruments (zither and musette) makers’ family. This condition was very advantageous for Triinu’s learning the world of European classic music. She was also inspired by runic and Tuvin songs. Triinu Taul represents a wide range of genres like classic, folk music, jazz, and includes modern improvisation.
Sayak Barua, soloist (India)
Born into a family with a profound lineage of musicians and artists, Sayak Baruais committed to sharing the sarod, an Indian instrument belonging to rich classical tradition that “uplifts the soul and spirit ”.
“Kerulen” group (Kazakhstan)
“Kerulen” ethno folk group was established in 2007. The name “Kerulen” is derived from sacred river by the coast of which lived ancient Turks. The main purpose of “Kerulen” musical group is to restore the disappearing melodies and ancient tunes, and keep the canons of singing songs transferred from generation to generation.Each group member is a qualified musician with the sense of duty on common values. “Kerulen” was awarded several times at international music festivals like “300 лет Хакасии в составе России” (“Khakassia part of Russia for 300 years”), “Ule dala sazi” (Ұлы дала сазы) - Turkish festival, “Alashtin Akmeshiti” (Алаштың Ақмешіті), “Astana is the cultural capital of Turkish world”.
“Assurd” group (Italy)
“Assurd”, founded in 1993, is one of the best and innovative bands of South Italian folk music. The band was initially made by three ladies - Cristina Vetrone, Lorella Monti and Enza Prestia. The trio has resumed the “Tammurriate” - songs and dances of the local tradition. The repertoire is enlarged and enriched with the variety of Italian songs like serenades and the tarantellas.
China National Opera and Dance Drama Theatre Orchestra (China)
China National Opera and Dance Drama Theatre Orchestra has been founded for over sixty years, since the very birth of China national opera and dance drama. The orchestra is a very active and prestigious national group in both domestic and international musical forum.
“Sorihyun Gayageum Byungchangdan” group (Korea Republic)
The Chung-Ang University founded the University of Korean traditional music for the first time in Korea. “Sorihyun Gayageum Byungchangdan”was founded in 2001 by Professor An Ok Sun and many alumni artists of this University joined the group activities.
“Dijuta” group (Lithuania)
Post-folklore group “Dijuta” was founded in 2002 in Kaunas (Lithuania).
“Takideda” quartet (Madagascar)
“Takideda” is a quartet formed by talented artists from Madagascar.
Sanam Marvi- soloist (Pakistan)
Sanam Marvi is a well-known and popular folk singer in Pakistan and abroad.
Ana Alcaide (Spain)
Ana Alcaide is a musician and composer from Toledo, Spain, who carries out research on ancient traditions and cultures. Her music is inspired by the journey of the Sephardic Jews and her city, which is why her music is commonly referred to as the “Toledo Soundtrack”.
“Catch Pop String –Strong” The Duo (Austria- Serbia)
“Catch Pop String – Strong” the duo established by charming, talented musicians - Jelena Popržan (viola, voice, jews harp) and Rina Kaçinari (cello, voice).
“Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy” group (Bangladesh)
This music group was established at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
The National Troupe for Folkloric Music (Egypt)
By the initiative of Soliman Gamil “The National Troupe for Folkloric Music” was founded in 1993. The troupe’s objective is to revive the musical Folkloric heritage of Egypt. Eight skilled musicians have been performing the diversity of music and rhythm in each region of the land by their traditional musical instruments. Their debut concert took place in Cairo Opera House and was attended by Farouk Hosni, Minister of Culture. “The National Troupe for Folkloric Music” has participated in many international festivals and earned several awards.
“Astrogeorgia” group (Georgia)
There are six highly talented singers in “Astrogeorgia” group which was founded in 2001. All musicians are from different parts of Georgia.
Rashmi Agarval- soloist (India)
An extremely versatile vocalist, Rashmi Agarwal is a leading performer of Sufi-Bhakti Sangeet, Ghazal, and Thumri-Dadra.
Her concerts are imaginative and well structuredrepresenting the rich rustic earthiness of the folk tradition of India.
Working constantly on new themes, she has wide range of experience in taking part at international concerts and festivals abroad, like in USA and Europe.
She also has a number of audio albums to her credit released.
“Irada” ensemble (Kazakhstan)
Song and dance ensemble “Irada” was founded in 2009 in Almaty under the supervision of Dilshat Nasirov and Suriya Izimova.
“Shiraz Rahavarde –Parsian” group (Iran)
“Shiraz Rahavarde –Parsian” group was established in 2008.
The ensemble has performed several concerts all over the country and abroad, but the most important performances have been the concert of China Great Wall in 2011 and lively performance in Germany Radio in Weimar in 2012.
The group tries to think globally and their pieces to be enjoyable for any nation that listens to them. This ensemble performs folk, traditional and contemporary music of Iran with the new thoughts.
The members wish they might present peace and friendship message to the world nations everywhere.
“Praminek” group (Czech Republic)
Folk group “Praminek” was founded as part of the ensemble “Visochan” in 1986.
In 2007 “Praminek” withdrew from “Visochan” and founded its own group. The group has performed at several national and international festivals. The musicians represent the traditions of special type of fiddle, which was produced in the neighborhoods of Jihlava, Czech city hundreds of years ago.
The musical instruments the musicians are playing possess high historical and cultural value.
Muscat Tunes Band (Омаn)
Muscat Tunes Band was founded in 1985 by Farid Al Blushi (lute and oud player), and includes one more musician Ishaq Al Harthi.
The band repertoire includes the difference of traditional Omani music offering mix of art music, paintings, folk and (Takht) Arab eastern combining songs.
In addition, Muscat Tunes Band can play and sing a mix of different musical languages through concerts and cultural activities. They participated at several festivals in Oman and abroad.
Diana Pirags & “Chocolad” group (Latvia)
Diana Pirags is a talented professional singer, the owner of a strong and recognizable voice. Besides the vocal arts, she plays the flute and the piano. Diana takes part in many local and international projects in cooperation with major artists of Latvia, Italy, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, the USA and South America.
“Azеm” group (Kyrgyzstan)
“Azem” is a traditional folk ensemble established in 2002 at Karakul music study center. Highly professional musicians are graduates of Kyrgyzstan State Conservatory.
“Talsi” group (Latvia)
Folklore group „TALSI” was founded in 1990. Several generations from 12 to 75 are represented in a folklore group. The group works in Talsi Culture house, Lija Dunska is the leader of the group since september 2003.
“Lanaya” group (Burkina Faso)
Established in West Africa the repertoire of music group “Lanaya” (means “trust”) is based on musical heritage of ancient ethnos so called Mandingo.
The concerts where they use national musical instruments of Africa and modern bass guitar, saxophone and a flute widely are the means of delivering extreme delight to the audience.
“Lanaya” takes part in many international concerts & festivals, as well as organizes cultural seminars & events all over the world.
“Kupalinka” professional traditional Belarus folk ensemble, which firstly had been formed as ladies’ quartet. Later it was enlarged with talented artists with musical background.
“Ponglang ” group (Thailand)
“Ponglang” is a traditional folk group of Thailand.
The group was founded at the music college of Mahasarakham University.
The title of the group “Ponglang” is derived from the music instruments’ name in the North – eastern Thailand. It is sometimes called ‘Krolor’.
Musical instruments, including the Ponglang, Phin, Khaen and Wote, altogether make sweet fascinating melodies, especially when played with percussion instruments.
The group has been participating at a lot of music competitions.
“Кuala Lumpur City Hall Cultural Troupe” (Malaysia)
Established in 1988, KL City Hall Cultural Troupe was formed to promote Malaysian culture,arts and heritage through traditional and contemporary dances and music.
The Cultural Troupe is also frequently invited by Tourism Malaysia to promote Malaysia in the sales and tourism promotional mission worldwide.
The prestige of this group has been acknowledged through the achievement of awards received locally and internationally, including several Cultural, Folklore music and dance Festivals.
“Sadoi-Pomir” folk music group (Afghanistan)
For 5 years “Sadoi-Pomir” folk music group under the leadership of Muhammad MurodSarkhush has been playing an important role on spreading Badakhshan (a region in Afghanistan) music in the country and abroad.
Besides the lyric songs and traditional instrumental music the group repertoire includes the samples of makam which are completing part of “12 makam”.
The members of the group have been performing at several local and international music festivals and events.
Doira, nai, dombira, kashkarrubab, gidzhak are the musical instruments the group members use at their performances.
“Pentan” the trio (United Kingdom - Wales)
Pentan is the coming together of three special musicians to represent the best of Welsh traditional music. Each a soloist in her own right with an independent career, they have as Pentan created a group that shows Welsh music in its rich heritage, beautiful melodies and powerful lyrics.
Steeped in the cultural traditions of Wales, Sioned Webb embodies, in her harp playing, the spirit and inspiration of the land and people at the Celtic edge of Europe. She plays the Celtic harp and the Welsh triple harp.
Clara Clay brings a fresh colour to the band. Raised in the English Scottish borderlands, her early influences and her style of fiddle playing and singing blend beautifully with the traditional Welsh tunes of her adopted home.
The powerful and heartfelt songs offered by Lynne Denman claim the hearts and stir the emotions of every audience. Stories of love and loss, homesick sailors, lullabies and children’s songs all paint a picture of traditional country life in Wales.
“GRAD - Quartet” ensemble (Russia)
“GRAD - Quartet” ensemble was established in 2006 by the students of Saint Petersburg State University of Culture and Art.
The ensemble performs at various competitions and music festivals where they get immediate recognition and becomes the winner.
On May 5, 2011 the ensemble gave a concert in Cyprus within the frame of Days of Saint Petersburg there.
On January 6 "Grad Quartet" performed at the celebration of Christmas in Malta, organized by the Russian Centre of Science and Culture.
The ensemble is the Grand Prize holder of 'CITTA DI LANCIANO' international competition (Italy, 2008).
Galit Giat singer, actress (Israel)
Galit Giat was born in 1971 inIsrael. After the military service in the Israel Defense Forces GalitGiat began actively to act in films and began her singing career.
In 1993, she participated in the Eurovision Song Contest. In 1997, she starred in the comedy "The Sun".
In 2007 she participated in the first Israeli TV series in the genre of science fiction.
In the summer of 2008 GalitGiat took part in the fourth season of the TV show "Dancing with the Stars".
GalitGiatis actively engaged in singing career and is famous for the execution of traditional Eastern and Latin American melodies, accompanied by folk instruments, which are played by virtuoso musicians.
Jacko Bullan (Indonesia)
Jacko was born on RoteIsland in 1969. He was 13 when he started to learn to play the sasando, traditional music instrument of RoteIsland from his grandfather.
Jacko is one of only eight sasando experts known to exist in the country, and is the youngest among them.
Besides the concerts in his country, he has traveled overseas and performed at cultural events in Singapore, Malaysia, England, and Spain and recently at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York. He was also able to visit NiagraFalls, a crowning moment in his life.
The sasando is a stringed instrument from RoteIsland. Similar in shape to a harp, the sasando is slightly smaller and the strings are attached to a main cylinder, which is usually made from bamboo or wood.
His ability to play the sasando has made him an important figure in preserving the nearly-extinct instrument.
“ThüringischeSpielleut” (Thuringia Spielleut)group (Germany)
The music group Thuringian Spielleut originated in 1973 as a joint venture of the Federal Culture and local group of Zella-Mehlis region.
As a co-founder of the Museum of National History of Zella-Mehlis, former director of the group, Friedrich Schlütter also dealt with traditional music and old instruments.
In 1985, the band was then renamed “Thuringia Spielleut”.
It began its works with a simple pastoral music, continued with harp and birch leaf. Soon they also devoted great effort to the reconstruction of old folk music instruments such as the hurdy gurdy, harp, bagpipe and shawm and the ThuringianForest zither.
The group developed a special way of working. For years, the musicians deliberately reconstructed old traditional Thuringian folk music.
“Cedar Hill Refugees” group (USA)
Folk music group “Cedar Hill Refugees” was founded in 2006 in Tennesse state of the USA by American musicians and producers Jack Clift and John Carter Cash.
In 2008 the band recorded their first album “Pale Imperfect Diamond”, which had a big hit among fans of traditional music in the United States.
The group aims to represent traditional American music style ‘country’, on the basis of which new compositions including Western and Eastern melodies were created.
The team leader Jack Klift visiting for the first time in Uzbekistan in 2005, was delighted to hear the sound of the Uzbek national melodies coming from gidzhak, sato, tanbur, dutar, nai, kushnay, etc. He came to the conclusion that the American and Uzbek folklore have a lot in common.
In Uzbekistan Jack Klift met with renowned Uzbek instrumentalists with whom he recorded several joint compositions, combining American and Uzbek folk music.
“Yellow Birds Productions” by Duncan Kenneth (USA)
Internationally renowned “Yellow Bird Productions” under the direction of Ken Duncan, member of the Apache Tribe specialize in presentations that celebrate the unique spirit of the American Indian.
Yellow Bird is a professional family dance company based in Phoenix, Arizona. They include many champion dancers.
Audiences listen and follow the stories of Coyote and other traditional characters as they weave scenes of the past.
Kenneth Duncan himself performed at World Cultural Festivals in Taiwan, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Ireland, Belgium, Sweden, Austria, Norway, Finland, England and Kyrgyzstan.
Kiev Academic Ukrainian Music Ensemble, “Dnipro”, a professional youth ensemble was established in 1995. The group aims to popularize Ukrainian folk music and advance its standards to new professional levels.
The ensemble is one of the best known professional groups in Ukraine, which has received high recognition amongst the most professionals of culture and art, as well as numerous fans of music.
This group performs perfect interpretation of Ukrainian melodies, national-classical compositions and representations of modern composer styles. They create unique artistic images, consistent and rich dramaturgical programs.
“Samo” group (Tajikistan)
The band “Samo” (means ‘sky’)was founded in 2006 within GurminjMuseum of musical instruments.
In 2007 “Samo” released its first record. Since then, the group gained audience all around the world. For several years the band had toured in the USA, France, Russia, Germany, Belgium, and Holland.
Their aim is to reach to the people and promote peace and friendship. The philosophy of “Samo” is based on the principles of “Good thoughts, Good deeds and Good words”.
The group has released 3 CDs so far already.
“The Al-Kindi” group (Turkey)
Al-Kindi is a renowned vocal and instrumental eastern classical music and Sufi ensemble that was founded and directed in 1983 by the French composer and Kanun player Julien Weiss.
Julien Weiss abandoned his career as a classical guitarist to concentrate on the kanun. He studied from 1978 inCairo, Istanbul, Tunis, Tehran and Baghdad.
The group has recorded more than 20 CDs and has played for the last thirty years in the most important theaters and festivals around the world with the collaboration of great musicians and singers from Syria, Iraq, Tunisia, Turkey, Egypt, Greece, and Azerbaijan.
The ensemble consists of five musicians of various musical instruments.
“Turkmen ovazi” ensemble (Turkmenistan)
Ensemble of national musical instruments of TV channel “Turkmen voice” (Turkmen voice) was founded within the Governmental committee of Turkmenistan for TV, Radio broadcast and cinematography.
The ensemble includes three musicians and is directed by Saparov Amanovez, National Artist of Turkmenistan.
Besides studying at the specialized school of art members of the group, Ovezov Dovlatgeldi and Yolamanov Byashim perform at the ensemble of national musical instruments of TV channel “Turkmen ovazi”. They earned several awards at the local and international festivals.
Another musician of the ensemble, Khidirov Yazberdi completed children fine arts school in 1999. During his study he gained the first place prize in the festival “Korpe-98” (Youth-98). In 2012 he went to Azerbaijan and Austria.
“FRENCH TRAD QUARTET” (France)
The “French Trad Quartet” consists of four traditional musicians with different musical backgrounds. The repertoire is rooted in the Traditional Music of Central France, mainly made in the territory of Upper Auvergne, it also includes recent compositions.
The Quartet offers a program focused on the music to dance, especially the “Bourrée”, which is the emblematic dance in central part of France.
This training consists of two flagship instruments of the region, namely the “vielle” – hurdy gurdy (Christine and Eric Demonteix Ladent), bagpipes (Sandrine Lagreulet) and chromatic accordion (Jean-Claude Rieu).
“Chikuyusha” music association (Japan)
“Chikuyusha” music association was founded 120 years ago. Since then the group members have been regularly taking part in various music festivals and competitions of national and international scale.
Members of the musical association play the ancient Japanese musical instrument-flute "Shakuhachi".
In particular, the musicians gained first place awards at the international music competition “Pola Prize” in Osaka and arts festival, organized by the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan.
Gypsy music of Alexander Dasko (Slovakia)
The band under the leadership of Mr. Alexander Dasko was formed in 1992.
In 2004 the band got the name „Gypsy music of Alexander Dasko“ and the band leader besides being the first violinist, became the artistic director and manager of this extraordinary ensemble.
Wide repertoire includes all musical genres such as: opera, operetta, swing, country, pop, jazz, world famous concert pieces so called virtuoso performances.
Besides concerts, Gypsy music of Alexander Dasko is doing many benefit concerts and “Smile” foundation awarded them as the sign of appreciation for this work. Band leader Mr. Alexander Dasko is the founder of Private Art School in Banska Bystrica where gifted children coming from underprivileged families can practice further their talents.
NADI Singapura (Singapore)
NADI, which refers to ‘pulse’ or ‘flow of consciousness’ is a newly formed ensemble made up of young dynamic and impartial musos who believe in uplifting their traditional drums and percussions like no other.
Kompang, rebana, jidur and gendang are some of the most common Malayan drums found in Singapore, and NADI Singapura proudly features these drums in their performances, in perfect rhythm and harmony.
Led by rebana artisan, Yaziz Hassan, together with prominent drummer/percussionist, Riduan Zalani, NADI Singapura strives to instill a different approach on these drums.
The members of NADI Singapura believe in maximizing the fullest potential of the art, the drums and themselves while concurrently spreading the idea of exploration in these forgotten mediums.
Gulsanam Mamazoitova (Uzbekistan)
Gulsanam Mamazoitova was born in 1981, in Ferghana city, into a family of artists. In 1999 she was a winner of the First Republican Classic Music Festival held in Khorezm and Republican Makom Performers Competition named after Yunus Rajabiy.
In 2000 she entered the State Conservatory of Uzbekistan. In 2003 she gained the first place award at the National Pop Contest “The melodies of my Motherland” and till present she has been participating regularly in public holiday events of the country.
She graduated with a Master’s degree from the State Conservatory of Uzbekistan in 2006. She was awarded the State Prize “Nihol” in 2004 and “Honored Artist of Uzbekistan” in 2006.
Abror Zufarov (Uzbekistan)
Abror Zufarov was born in 1971 into the family of artists in Tashkent. Cultural-musical atmosphere in his family played a great role on Abror to gain musical skills from his early ages.
In 1991 he was admitted to the State Conservatory of Uzbekistan. Learning both scientific education and practice of musical heritage helped him to gain experience as a musician and a singer.
His repertoire consists of not only traditional, but also pop music.
In particular, he plays solo pieces like “Chorgoh”, “Firoq”, “Qo’qoncha”, “Tanovor” with national musical instruments (tanbur, dutor, sato). Besides, he performs songs starting from lyric to large sized folk ones like “Bayot”, “Chorzarb”, “Devonalar bo’ldim”.
Salamat Ayapov (Uzbekistan)
Salamat Ayapov was born in 1993 in the Republic of Karakalpakstan.
In 2008 he won first place prize at the Republican contest that was held among the pupils of Children music and art schools.
He was awarded a first place diploma at the VII annual republican contest called “Nafosat bo’stonim manim” in 2011.
He participated in “Ural Mono- Festival-2012” (May 24-26) in Ufa, Bashkortostan Republic, and “Turon Xalqlari Qurultoyi” (“The assememble of Turan nations”) festival in Hungary on August 10-12, 2012.
The quartet (Uzbekistan)
This quartet has its own pecularities among the other ensembles.
The quartet member Mirzaeva Dilafruz is a member of “Dutorchi qizlar” (Dutar player girls) ensamble. In 1995, she won the first place award at the festival “Istiklol” (“Freedom”) in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Nargiza Azimova is a solo singer of the ensemble “Uzbekistan” since 2008.
Ozodjon Tillanazarov is the prize holder of the contest “O’zbekiston - Vatanim manim” (“Uzbekistan – my motherland”) that took place in Fergana region (1996) and the Republican contest “Makomchilar” (Makom singers) named after Yunus Rajabi (1998).
Sunnatilla Yunusov has been performing at the ensemble “Makom” named after Yunus Rajabi as a leading singer since 2010.
“Maqom” ensemble named after Yunus Rajabiy (Uzbekistan)
“Maqom” ensemble named after Yunus Rajabiywas established by Yunus Rajabiy, a People’s Artist of Uzbekistan in 1959. Then, the ensamble consisted of 14 musicians and singers.
The ensemble started its career by recording rare Uzbek musical heritage like “Shashmakom” and “Tashkent Fergana makom styles” on gramophone for the first time ever.
The process of restoring three regions’ makoms, folklore samples and compositions lasted until 1966.
Maqom ensemble named after Yunus Rajabiy has been performing at the national and public holidays for almost 54 years already.