Albums of the year: World (Two)
Sunday 26 December 2010
The Aga Khan's ongoing project to eternalise the little-known traditional musics of Central Asia has led to a brilliant series of Smithsonian Folkways CDs.
While Kyrgysztan erupts in violence, In the Shrine of the Heart: Popular classics from Bukhara and Beyond reminds us that there's another side to the picture. In the Footsteps of Babur: Musical Encounters from the Lands of the Mughals traces the musics of Central Asia, Afghanistan and North India, with five outstanding instrumentalists creating pieces on the spot.
Meanwhile down on the Indo-Gangetic plain, Paban Das Baul's Music of the Honey Gatherers captures the music of ganja-smoking minstrel-mystics. And I loved Gopal Krishan Dhrupad's Khyal, reflecting the sound of the rare unfretted vichitra veena – majestically deep and resonant, and supported by the tabla and tempura.
From further east comes Zen Hoyo: Liturgy of Zen Buddhism, consisting of a complete Zen ritual. Nearer home, Joana Amendoeira's A Flor da Pele confirms this Portuguese artist's claim to be one of the best living fadistas. And in Bold as Light Bavarian multi-instrumentalist Stephan Micus shows what quiet miracles can be created by layering his own sound, singing and playing some exotic Far Eastern instruments.
Music Why this music festival is still the place to spot the next big thing
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 2 Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
- 3 Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Jeremy Clarkson courted by Russian Ministry of Defence TV station to present motoring show
One Direction fans campaign to buy the band after Zayn Malik quits
Kay Burley 'bias' against Ed Miliband prompts 130 complaints to Ofcom
Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest