Monday, June 16, 2014

From the Steppes to the Stage ~ Bardic Divas at Fes Festival

For centuries female musicians and dancers have been an important part of the social fabric of central Asia. Now the voices and instruments of the Bardic Divas are making a deep impact on the soundscape of central Asia

The art of bards is rooted in oral poetry, storytelling, and lyrical song. These women use a combination of entertainment and social storytelling to deliver their personal philosophy from Central Asia in an accessible musical language.

Three of these world famous Central Asian diva's performed at the Batha Museum this afternoon.

A feature of the music is melodic trance like singing that transport the audience to the steppes of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Ulzhan Baibussynova performed with a luth dombra a long necked lute. The music she performs was created between the steppes and the skies and she says “the songs I sing are from very old teachings that were passed down to me from my ancestors. It is impossible to learn this singing it has to be in a person’s blood even before their birth. The spirit and strength to sing jyr are given by God and by the spirit of ancestors.”

Today’s performance included a  kuī, a two-stringed fiddle and Kazakistan's Raushan Urazbayeva is a master of the instrument’s repertoire. She uses the bow to express a range of emotions taking the audience on a journey of joy,  love and sorrow. She plays with a deep sense of feeling and the soft rhythm of her instrument wafted through the open air venue.

The young Nodira Primatova (pictured  above left and below) has chosen the difficult path this traditional music demands and she performed several of the popular songs from the traditions of the women of Bukhara.

Text: Stephanie Kennedy
Photographs: Vanessa Bonnin, Stephanie Kennedy

Tomorrow at the Fes Festival (Tuesday June 17)

Fez Forum at 9 at Batha Museum:  Giving Soul to Globalisation. What chance peace in the Middle East
Batha Museum 4pm: Jordi Savall - Spain
Nights in the Medina 8pm Dar Adiyel: Canticle of the Birds - Musical lecture .
Dar Adiyel.10pm: Qawwali Marifat Band  Pakistan
Dar Mokri 8pm & 10pm Khalil Abu Nicola - Palestine
Batha Museum 9pm Tomatito Sextet - Spain
Festival in the City 4pm: Jnan Sbil Garden: Nasr Migri
Festival in the City 6.30pm Bab Boujloud Square: Sefrawa Fusion, Ribat Fusion
Sufi Night at Dar Tazi 11pm:  Naqchabandia Brotherhood
Tomorrow's Weather:  Cooler - Max 31 degrees Celsius (87.8 Fahrenheit) 
Fez Medina Map

The View from Fez is an official media partner of the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music

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