Music – page 1

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The clips on these pages are from simple video documentation of a handful of the music recording sessions done ‘in the field’ in South Xinjiang. The video quality is on the lousy side and the clips are short, but that wasn’t the focus at the time and unfortunately, that’s all the “man with the cam” gave me when all was said and done. They do provide a reasonable bit of visual context however, so I share them here.

In many of these you can see I’m sitting motionless, up close and personal amid the musicians, half of me relishing the musical moment and the reason I’m there, the other half a strict technician. The objects on my head are not headphones, but in fact a pair of custom DSM headworn microphones. Getting up that close is the best way to achieve optimal stereo separation between sounds, etc… I would bias myself towards some and away from other instruments & voices to essentially “mix” with the placement of my head. I’ll be posting audio clips of some of these recordings here very soon, but you can of course listen to hours worth of these sounds & music HERE.

On a few occasions, the clips here were recorded with my little old digital still camera, and were unfortunately silent. So for the sake of sharing and context, I’ve added some of the sound that I’d recorded during that specific session, but not necessarily at that moment. If you notice that the image and sound don’t necessarily match up on a couple of clips, that’s why.

* most of these clips here shot by Ablikim and a few by my multi tasking associate, Miradel.

**remember that you can enjoy hours worth of these sounds & music in a pair of 2-hour radio shows in high quality mp3 HERE.

Dolan Music in Makit

Music of the dolan people posseses deep distinctions that set it far apart from other Uyghur musical styles of south Xinjiang. Wailing, beautifully chaotic introductions lead to heavy, almost ‘rockin’ rhythms in dolan muqam songs. Instruments specific to dolan include the dolan ravap, dolan ghejek, and kalun.

This Makit dolan muqam group seen here, featuring the regionally ‘famous’ twins Assan and Hossein, is easily the most well known of all the ensembles – and amazingly, they’ve even been invited abroad since this video was taken on multiple occasions to perform!

Xuhpu Mountain Village

This was taken in a small, remote mountain village a few hours by dirt road outside of Karghlik. When it came time to record in a tiny, mud walled open courtyard outside of our host’s home, what seemed like the entire village (kids and women at least) decided to file in and quietly enjoy the sounds as well. Unfortunately, I don’t have much in the way of video of the musicians themselves here, but as a compliment to the abundance of photos and of course the audio recordings, this adds a little more life to the scene.

Village outside of Lop

Sunai (reed instrument) and naghra (drum) players in a small village outside of Lop.

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