Music of Central Asia Vol. 3: Art of the Afghan Rubâb
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Music Of Central Asia, Vol. 3: Homayun Sakhi - The Art Of The Afghan Rubâb
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From Kabul to California, Homayun Sakhi is admired as the outstanding Afghan rubâb player of his generation, a charismatic virtuoso who has pushed the limits of his instrument. With tabla player Taryalai Hashimi, Sakhi plays music that is uniquely Afghan, yet resonates strongly with the spirit of Indian raga. 3 tracks, 70 minutes, 32-page color booklet, and photos; DVD contains series introduction, 24-minute film, interactive glossary, and map.
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In spite of all its suffering Afgan music has a powerful and still joyful energy, played by virtuoso musicians, the equal to those of any other culture. I personally find traditional Afgan music more approachable than the classical Indian styles. Probably, better to classify it more as semi-classical, as many tunes are built around regional, dare I say, "folk" melodies. But folk does not imply "simple structure and line". These compositions have beautiful and intricate complexity - sometimes breathtaking! Homayun Sakhi, along with a number of other artists, is doing a inspired job of preserving these ancient musical traditions. Buy this album, enjoy and celebrate the beauty of Afgan music!
In this third volume, the Afghan rubab tradition is represented by virtuoso performer Homayun Sakhi. The rubab is stringed instrument of which three strings are plucked and another three function as drones and 11 or 12 as sympathetic strings. The rubab performer is accompanied by a tabla drummer. While the rubab is squarely a Central Asian creation, but its Afghani performance tradition developed in close relationship with players in the East, and so afficionados of North Indian music will find this to be quite familiar.
As a linguist, I was attracted to the Music of Central Asia series mainly by the exotic vocal traditions in Persian or Turkic languages represented in most of its installments. I therefore find this purely instrumental offering slightly less appealing. Nonetheless, this is pretty engaging music, where endless plucking of the strings leads the listener to a trance-like state, but without ever becoming that repetitive. The virtuosity of Homayun Sakhi is stunning, all the more so on the DVD where one can see his fingers at work.
The documentary on the DVD is fun, if somewhat lightweight. We get to see the lives of Homayun Sakhi and other Afghan refugees who settled in Fremont, California, where they are maintaining their musical traditions with surprising fervor. The documentary doesn't directly mention the rise of the Taliban, but those interviewed do reminisce about happier times. There's even a scene of kite-flying, a pastime which was infamously banned by the Taliban.
I love this cd and i suggest to everyone that if they want to listen to a good, deep sound instrument of Afghanistan then listen to RABAB.
If you know Rubab music, then there is no question of getting this. He has developed the Rubab into it`s full potential unlike any other Rubab player in history.
Much love goes out to him!