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Ensemble Burler "Volume One"
[FM50035]
$19.99 $13.99
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The Kazakh vocal ensemble B?rler (= rungs) was founded in 1995. The ensemble has specialized in performance of authentic Kazakh folk and traditional music, keeping the methods, tricks and peculiarities that are characteristic in the authentic tradition. However, they also sing stylized folk songs and works of contemporary authors.

With their first album, the three young folk singers and musicians from Kosh-Agash present beautiful and peculiar Kazakh songs characteristic for this region of the Altai.

Two members of the ensemble, Jerkin Ashimkanov and Gulshat Ashimkanova, were students at the Kosh-Agash high school of the Altai Republic. They began with their studies in 1995 at the Faculty for Music Education of the Altai Institute of Art and Culture in Barnaul and graduated in 1999 in the subjects of folk choir singing, choirmaster and leader of folklore-clubs.

The third member, Shanajdar Nursalijev, studied from 1990 till 1997 at the State Conservatory in Almaty (ex. capital of Kazakhstan) at the Department for Folk Music Instruments, in the d?mbra (2-3 strings long-necked lute) class. He got prices at the "Yrystu-95" competition and at the regional folklore-festival "Young Siberia-99".

About Kazakhs from the Kosh-Agash - Aimak
The Chuiskaya (or Chuia) steppe in the Altai is a little known place inhabited by a small group of Kazakhs. Now it belongs to the Kosh-Agash aimak (district), this is one of ten aimak of the Republic of Altai, which borders on Kazakhstan, Mongolia and China.

The first settlements of the Kazakhs in the Chuia steppe date from 1860. One part of the Buhtarminsky Kazakhs lived in Russia and another part migrated to China and Mongolia. Later they came back by small groups and started to inhabit the territory of the Telengits (the Tele are a group of the Altai people). They received the land in return for their gifts and presents given to the Telengit zaisans (nobles). In 1908, the governor of the region officially allotted the lands in Chiua to the Kazakhs.

The Kazakhs, like the Altai peoples, are divided into seoks or ru (kin groups and tribes) according to their lineage, but nowadays they live in mixed groups. Four such groups, the Naimans, Uak, Kerei and the Alchin form the biggest of three Kazakh dzhuz (hordes). The Kazakhs of Kosh-Agash are exclusively shepherds and cattle-breeders, because they live at high altitudes (about 1700 metres above sea level) where agriculture is impossible. They breed cattle, sheep, camels and yaks. The Kazakhs' most impressive textiles originate in the northeast, near the four corners region of Altai, Kazakhstan, China and Mongolia. The various cultural influences are reflected in their wall carpets and rugs, which are unmatched in their striking colour combinations and the intricacy of their geometric designs. The Kazakhs' preferred form of hunting is that with the falcon and the most popular sports are baige (horse race), k?k beri (a kind of polo with a goat's carcass in place of a ball) and kures (wrestling).



Kazakh ail (house) interior

Today, the Kazakh population of Kosh-Agash counts about twelve thousands people. They are a nominally Muslim (Sunnite) people who speak a Turkic language of the Northwest, written in a 42 letters version of the Cyrillic alphabet. There is a Muslim mosque in Zhana-Aul, where the young are taught in the Islamic religion and the reading of its holy book, the Koran. The Kazakhs had their first significant contacts with Islam in the 16th century, when Sufism and Islamic mysticism was spread throughout western Asia by wandering Sufi ascetics. That occurred long after the Arabs' conquests of the southern Asian areas in the 8th century and the introduction of the conquerors' religion to the Central Asian peoples living there.

The most popular musical instruments among the Kazakhs are the d?mbra (a two-string long-necked lute) and the sibisgi (a long end-blown flute). Also worth mentioning is the tradition of improvisation contests called aytyspa that are held by the Kazakh singer-improvisers Akyny.

Among the Kazakh songs of congratulation, the patriotic, philosophic and lyrical songs the narration of epics containing information about the history, the aesthetic ideas and the spirit of the Kazakh nation takes a central position.

History of Kazakhstan

Central Asia was the scene of pendulum-like shifts of power between nomadic hordes and the sedentary civilisation of Eurasia's periphery along the Silk Road. From the 6th century until the beginning of the 8th century was the period of the Mongol invasions. Their expansion was only held off along the boundaries of the Amu Darya (Oxus River) established by the Persian Achaemenid Empire. Several states in this region had to give in to the pressure from the western Turkic kaghanate, the Huns, the Arabs and the Chinese who all ventured into the region during this period.

In the 13th century, the Mongol hordes under the leadership of Genghis Khan swept through to Europe. The ravages inflicted on the region were so harsh that no settled civilisation developed in Central Asia until the Russian colonisation.

With the rise of the tyrant Timur the Lame at the end of the 14th century, peoples split up and along with that a division of the various religions occurred. This was the first time the Kazakhs emerged as a distinct people. They were a mixed offspring of Turkic and other peoples and as such consolidated the world's last great nomadic empire stretching across the steppes east of the Caspian and north of the Aral Sea as far as the upper Irtysh River and the western approaches to the Altai Mountain. From the 1680s to the 1770, the Kazakhs were involved in a series of wars with the Oyrat, a federation of four western Mongol tribes, among which the Dzungars were particularly aggressive and succeeded in subjugating eastern Kazakhstan along the Tian Shan range and part of Xinjiang to form the Dzungar Empire. The Kazakhs were savagely and repeatedly pummelled, particularly between 1690 and 1720. The "Great Disaster" made them susceptible to the Russian expansion of the 19th century.

1. Ahau - arman - oh, dream of mine
2. Buldirgen - strawberry
3. Asykpa balam - do not hurry, my sonny
4. Esem enem syrnaidai - a song as beautiful as my accordion
5. Akbakai
6. Gulderaiym - moonflower
7. Biz zhurmiz, osy Chuide - we live in the Chuia
8. Elim menin - my people - music: B. Tileuhan, text: N. Nazarbaev
9. Gigigai - music and text: Nartai
10. Kaneki tilim soileshi - do tell my tongue - music and text: Nurtugan
11. Ezhelerge arasha - defending the mothers music and text: B. Esekaliev
12. Irkuzhan
13. Elge selem - regards to the home country - music and text: A. Korazbeav

14. Meiram basy - beginning of the celebrations instrumental - music: Turkesh
15. Adai - instrumental - music: Kurmangazy
16. Samaltau
17. Bastau - opening part of a song
18. Zhan-kisa - if one gives away his soul - music and text: E. Zhakypbekov
19. Jebren Altai - ancient Altai - music: A. Tozyiakov, text: L. Kokyshev
20. Erke sylkym - frolicsome - instrumental - music: Zheldibaev
21. Bos oramal - light grey kerchief - music: trad., text: T. Rahimov
22. Kairan Edil - my poor Edil
23. Azamat bolsan ayauly - if you want to be a good fellow - music and text: Nurtugan
24. Ai karangi, tan zharyk - dark moon, light morning

This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 27 December, 2005.
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Copyright 2006 Deep Down Productions
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Toronto ON M6R 2M3
416 535 5247

Deep Down Productions is a project of Rainbow Songs Inc.