SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts

Film: Two films on Central Asian music

Dr Razia Sultanova, Director of the Centre for Central Asian music at the Cambridge Central Asia Forum, University of Cambridge

Date: 4 March 2014Time: 5:15 PM

Finishes: 4 March 2014Time: 7:30 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G52

Type of Event: Film

5.15pm Film: Music of the Uzbeks of Northern Afghanistan
Dr Razia Sultanova, Director of the Centre for Central Asian music at the Cambridge Central Asia Forum, University of Cambridge.

In today's world Afghanistan is a hotspot, where for the last thirty years the ongoing war has thrown the country into a deep economic, social and cultural crisis. Since the 1970s the country has lived through a number of invasions and conflicts with various opponents - the Soviets, Mujahedin, Taliban and the Western Alliance, all of which have brought chaos and turmoil into the daily life of its people. The Afghan society is multiethnic in its nature. The aim of this 35 minutes film, based on Dr Sultanova’s original video recordings from Northern Afghanistan, is to demonstrate the authenticity as well as the historical development of the phenomenon of music within the Uzbek communities, featuring famous musicians like Usto Kamollitdin, Tadj Muhammad, Sabzigul and others.

6pm Film: Circassia: exploring the sounds of an ancient country
Vincent Moon and Bulat Khalilov (Directors)

"There is no narration in this beautiful and highly-precious piece of art. The "stars" of the film speak in their ancestral language [subtitled in English and Russian] about their musical and spiritual culture. Not only are they the guardians of the Circassian musical heritage, they act as the spiritual conscience of their nation.
Some of the classics of ancient and traditional Circassian chants and musical compositions are sung by present-day Circassian minstrels (джэгуакIуэ; jegwak'we), including an anthem on Nart Sosriqwe, "The Elegy of Murat Wezi" [the intrepid Circassian "abrek"], "Psixeghe" [ritualistic magic melody to recover the drowned], Schhegwasche, "My Remezan", and a song of vigil over the sick. One is transported, as if in a dream, into a musical Elysium.
In this 33-minute film Bulat Khalil and Vincent Moon succeed in capturing both the exquisite beauty of Circassia and the essence of the musical traditions of the Circassians.
Organised by the SOAS Centre of Contemporary Central Asia and the Caucasus

Organiser: Nick Gray

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