Gigs, dance, art

November 15th, 2008: Annamyradova / Baïbusynova / Issatayeva / Pirmatova / Kasymova / Baigashkaeva

@théatre de la ville

Despite the limitations of the format, this proved a great introduction to music I didn’t know anything about. Still don’t, actually. But I know have motivation to expand my musical interests westward: there seem to be an ensemble named Tengir-Too that I’d definitely like to check out. The limitation came from the concept and setup: there were six performers from four countries sitting in a semi circle on stage, and apart from the two musicians from Kyrgyzstan who played together, each would play for a short while in turn. Good for an introduction, but they were good enough to make it frustrating as well, as each would have been worth a full length concert. There are a few extracts of the performance here (that blog is in French, seems to be interesting stuff there about this region, most about Turmenistan).

The first was Uljan Baïbusynova from Kazakhstan — her name is also spelled Ulzhan Baibussynova — who sang and played dombra — a two stringed lute. Her voice had a raspy quality that was a bit unsettling at first but that quickly won me over and by the end was my favorite voice of the whole. Her costume was dazzling enough, but not as much as her playing. On the other hand, she was the one I felt would have most benefited from having more time.

The two performers from Kyrgyzstan were Zalina Kasymova on Kyl Kiak, Komuz and Jigatch and Gulbara Baigashkaeva on Komuz and Timur Komuz — head over here for pictures of these. No singing here, but their music was the one I liked best, and they’re part of that Tengir-Too ensemble that I’m hence very interested in. I don’t know exactly why, in a sense it was more diverse because of the different instruments, but maybe I was also influence by there being two of them playing together. Their jew’s harp duo was definitely standing out, but that kyl kyak was the one I liked best. They also had the simplest costumes, especially Zalina Kasymova, and that probably struck a chord, or at least was less of a distraction.

Ardak Issatayeva also sang and played dombra and also came from Kazakhstan, but her voice was completely different. A powerful and clear voice, not unlike western classical music. Her playing was also different, but here there was no such occidental comparisons. I did like Baïbusynova better, but I’d gladly go to one of her full concerts. I guess it’s not a surprise the styles were so different, that place is huge.

Then Nodira Pirmatova from Uzbekistan sang and played dotar during her first song. A totally different sound, more familiar to me and closer to middle eastern or persian music. Amazing voice, though the lack of surprise made it less interesting it was most enjoyable anyway.

Finally, Tawus Annamyradova from Turkmenistan, who also sang and played dotar. And also reminded me of the same familiar music, in a different way. Both she and Pirmatova played less than the others, which was still frustrating, even though they were the ones I liked less, because I felt I had less to discover.

So it was more than one and a half hour, but still felt way too short. I guess looking at a map should have told me which ones I’d like best, but that’s pretty much moot, because I would be very happy to hear any one of these performers again. And of course any Kyrgyz music whatsoever.

One last thing. I assume they have been touring together for some time, and I think they must have been playing together — musicians tend to do such things. I know that would definitely not fit in the format of this thing, but I would love to hear such exchanges.


November 16, 2008 - Posted by | Music | , , , , , ,

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