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April 01, 2010

New Album - Rainbow: Music of Central Asia Vol. 8

We're excited to announce that our new CD/DVD Rainbow: Music of Central Asia Vol. 8 is out now on Smithsonian Folkways. Kronos is joined by Homayun Sakhi, a master of the rubâb (Afghan lute) and the Azerbaijani father-daughter singing duo Alim and Fargana Qasimov, along with their respective ensembles.

Listen to Rainbow in its entirety for free (Smithsonian Folkways), and purchase at Smithsonian Folkways (use code CENTRALASIA789 for 20% off), Amazon, iTunes and eMusic. Watch a video about the collaboration on YouTube.

Featured works include Homayun Sakhi's luminous Rangin Kaman (Rainbow), for string quartet, rubâb, tabla, and Central Asian percussion, and spirited arrangements of Azerbaijani songs performed by Kronos Quartet and the Alim Qasimov Ensemble.

Homayun Sakhi’s instrument, the rubâb, has roots in regional folk music, but his brilliantly virtuosic playing style is strongly influenced by North Indian classical music. Sakhi’s title work, Rangin Kaman (Rainbow), refers to the different sonic hues of the regional Afghan music styles heard in his work, and to the broader contrasts between the Eastern and Western instruments, which meld into a sinuous composite voice – a hope for peace – at the end.

Alim Qasimov is one of Azerbaijan’s best-loved traditional singers. For Rainbow, Alim Qasimov arranged five mid-20th century popular Azerbaijani songs, adding improvised vocal and instrumental interludes to the source material. Then Kronos arranger Jacob Garchik built on Qasimov’s elaborations in scoring the songs for the quartet, adding short instrumental intermezzos for the strings.

Listen to Rainbow (Smithsonian Folkways), and purchase at Smithsonian Folkways (use code CENTRALASIA789 for 20% off), Amazon, iTunes and eMusic. Watch a video about the collaboration on YouTube.

The Music of Central Asia Series is a co-production of the Aga Khan Music Initiative and Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. The aim of the series is to present leading exponents of Central Asia's rich and diverse musical heritage to listeners outside the region.

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