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Uyghur Muqam

Uyghur Muqam

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CD 
Price: $32.48

Product Notes

In 1997, the UNESCO passed the \'Proclamation of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.\' And since April 2000, a selection mechanism was put in place in the hopes to, through the awarding of international honors, encourage governments, NGOs and communities to take the lead in recognizing, safeguarding and passing on their oral and intangible cultural heritages. On May 18, 2001, the UNESCO announced a first batch of 19 masterpieces of oral and intangible heritages. The much celebrated Chinese Kun opera was among these first to be chosen. Then on November 7, a second batch of 28 masterpieces was added, of which gu-qin (or ancient Chinese lute) was chosen. The muqam of the Xinjiang Uyghur and Mongolian folk long-songs were both included in the third batch selected by the UNESCO on November 25, 2005. The Uyghur Muqam Sung among the rough terrains and waters of Xinjiang and passed down through generations, the muqam of the Uyghur have been recognized as a masterpiece of oral and intangible cultural heritage of humanity. Recognized as a masterpiece of oral and intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO, the muqam of the Uyghur are large-scale suites consisting of sung poetry, dance, and instrumental music with characteristics unique to the Chinese Turkestan in the Xinjiang region. As a musical genre, the muqam spread widely among the Arabs, North Africa, Turkey, India, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, in addition to Xinjiang. However, the Uyghur muqam boast to be the largest in number and the most complete in repertory format. The Uyghur are rightfully proud of their muqam tradition. The muqam we know today could be traced back to as far back as the Han Dynasty and Tang Dynasty when the "great western music" flourished under the clashes of civilizations at one of the most important stops on the route of the Silk Road. The Uyghur had already roamed among the deserts and mountains of this part of Xinjiang since ancient times, making their living by fishing and hunting around the Taklimakan Desert. It is no accident therefore that they called the improvised songs that they sang in the wilderness \'bayawan,\' meaning \'deserts.\' The music that began to be called muqam in the 15th century naturally was the descendant of these bayawans and the great western music. The evolution of the Uyghur muqam have produced close relatives that share names and forms but have separately developed their strong regional characteristics. Then in the mid-16th century, an imperial concubine of the Yarkant Kingdom Amannisahan, who was herself an accomplished poet and musician, took the pains to compile the scattered music among the Uyghur in a collection and produced the 12 compositions, or the Twelve Muqam, that became the standard canon of the Uyghur muqam. Known as the \'mother of Uyghur music,\' the Twelve Muqam, are grand and are complex in form and in the display of musical imagery. Refined and often referred to as the \'classical music\' of the Uyghur muqam, they are performed in court and seen as a kind of elevated genre that is fit for religious sentiments. The muqam of the Dolan, on the other hand, are deeply rooted in folk tradition, giving artists freedom to use instrumental patterns and vocal style. Indeed the Dolan muqam are unique in that each of the instruments in the performing ensemble follows different rhythmic or melodic patterns, therefore earning the reputation of being the \'jazz\' of the Uyghur muqam. It is clear then that the sources of the Uyghur muqam are firstly the suites and songs developed from ancient traditional music, and secondly the Uyghur folk tradition. It is fit also to say that the Twelve Muqam are the backbone of Uyghur muqam, while folk muqam are the nourishing sources of the Twelve Muqam. The Muqam of the Dolan This album showcases the world-renowned muqam of the Uyghur Dolan from Makit County of Xinjiang. The muqam of the Dolan are the heritage of the Dolan's hunting culture and way of life. A folk art with unique characteristics of the Dolan people, the Dolan Muqam, like it's relatives, also embrace elements of Uyghur literature, music, dance and folk tradition. But the tunes and lyrics are very much their own and without much contamination from other regional muqam or folk music. The Dolan muqam differ from others in their rhythmic patterns and their use of powerful and dynamic drumming. Performers display high degree of individualism by following different melodic patterns but nevertheless achieve a unique heterophonic and heterorhythmic harmony. The Dolan muqam display the following artistic characteristics: (1) Performers each plays or sings his own tune while collaboratively working under a united form and spirit; (2) Performers follow an improvised tradition; (3) Singers make full use of their voice as if screaming their heads off. This is their way to express their feelings in their natural environment. As a result, the Dolan muqam are often referred to as "the songs that are cried out in deserts." (4) The dance of the Dolan muqam is the manifestation of the Dolan's hunting activities. The Musical Instruments of the Dolan Muqam The instruments used in the Dolan muqam include the qalun (a plucked dulcimer), a Dolan rawap (a plucked lute), a Dolan ghijek (a bowed fiddle), and three types - high-pitched, middle-pitched and low-pitched - of dap (or frame drum). A Dolan muqam performance begins with an overture by the qalun, the Dolan rawap and the Dolan ghijek, with each playing it's own melody and with a leading musician singing on a different tune and pitch at the same time. Although the instruments and vocals follow different melodic patterns, they work in unison, creating a unique heterophonic and heterorhythmic harmony. The Art of the Dolan Muqam from Makit The term "Dolan" means "living as a group" or "living in scattered groups." And the Dolan that we know today refer to the Uyghur scattered in places around the Taklimakan Desert such as Makit, Bachu and Awat Counties. Makit is known to be the birth place of the Dolan culture. Hard-working and unmannered by nature, the Dolan of Makit are reputed for their Dolan maxirap, Dolan muqam and peasant paintings, and their music and dance are typical of the Uyghur. Makit therefore is known as the treasure trove of traditional Uyghur culture and art, and a natural museum in it's own right. The esteemed poet and musician Amannisahan who compiled the Twelve Muqam was herself a native of Makit, so are the Dolan Muqam Troupe of this album. Therefore, the authenticity of the music in this album is guaranteed. The Dolan Muqam Troupe was also the gold prize winner of China's Aboriginal Music Contest in 2004. Their performance had in the past brought them to the Netherlands, France and the UK, among others. They are a living treasure of our time and living testimony to the best of Uyghur culture. About Wang Sen-di, Producer Wang Sen-di has received his Master degree of Music and Ph.D. degree of Agriculture in the Princeton University in America. "String Glamour", produced by Wang Sen-di himself, has won the Traditional World Award/AFIM (Association for Independent Music) indie Awards in U.S.A. in 1999. Intensely devoted to popularizing classical Chinese music, Wang has produced hundreds of albums, including \'Gu-zheng Melody - Praising and Reciting in the Name of Buddha,\' \'Buddhist melody played by Guzheng Series,\' \'Crystal Music Series,\' and \'Solar Music Series,\' all of which are renowned worldwide. He works enthusiastically collecting and recording classical Chinese music, as well as teaching classical Chinese music in a number of schools. About Wu Judy Chin-tai, the Producer Wu Judy Chin-tai, Director of International Music production at Wind Music, is also a music producer and composer. She has won Golden Melody Awards for "My Ocean" (Best Music Producer, 2001) and "Colors of Childhood" (Best Children's Album, 2004). In 2006 she was nominated in the Best Producer category for "Holding Ina's Hand - the beauty of Tabalong Music," an album that won Best National Folk Album and Best Vocal Album for the Formosa Aboriginal Song and Dance Troupe. After studying music in the US, Wu returned to Taiwan and has worked at Wind Music ever since. Involved in producing numerous albums related to the cultures and natural scenes of Taiwan, she has recently devoted her time to focusing on new Folk songs as well as on various unique instruments. She produced a series of albums of Ocarina performances and created a trend that has motivated over a million people in Taiwan to learn this instrument. In 2006 the album "Over the Way," produced for Huang Europa, garnered widespread public recognition and positive feedback for it's innovate approach to original folk music. About Kavichandran Alexander, Recording Engineer: Kavichandran Alexander, a Tamil from Ceylon with broad western education, has great interest in preserving genuine ethnic music and tries to overcome recording difficulties while keeping the original quality of the music intact by using double-tract recordings. A Meeting by the river, recorded by Kavichandran Alexander, won the Best World Music Album the 36th Annual Grammy Awards. In \'The Absolute Sound\' his products are described as \'the best we are pursuing.\' For the recordings of the "Solar Music series," he chose an old church in Northern California for it's acoustic richness. Always sticking to his beliefs, Kavi established a very popular record company of his own: Waterlily Acoustics. In order to capture and bring the magic of music to listeners, he insists on analog techniques and vacuum tubes electronics for music recording. The high standard he demands in producing and recording makes him a master in his field and has won him praise worldwide.

Details

Artist: Makit Dolan Muqam Troupe
Title: Uyghur Muqam
Genre: International
Release Date: 10/08/2012
Label: CD Baby
Media Format: CD
UPC: 600568102828

Credits