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Pop / Rock 24/05/2012

Music Of Central Asia Volume 10: Borderlands - Wu Man And Master Musicians From The Silk Route

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New York, NY (Top40 Charts/ Smithsonian Folkways Recordings) On May 29, Smithsonian Folkways and the Aga Khan Music Initiative will celebrate the tenth and final release of their award-winning "Music of Central Asia" series, a groundbreaking CD/DVD set entitled "Borderlands: Wu Man and Master Musicians from the Silk Route".

Listen to "Shadiana (Celebration)":
Listen to "Hanleylun":

Watch a preview of "Borderlands":

Wu Man, an internationally renowned virtuoso of the pipa (a pear-shaped, short-necked lute dating back to the 7th century), and Central Asian master musicians embark on an unprecedented collaboration between Chinese classical, Uyghur, and Tajik tradition bearers.

The group explores the music from the Chinese borderlands of the Silk Route, a four thousand mile passage that for two millennia has connected regions stretching north and west from the Great Wall of China to the Mediterranean Sea.

Joining the Chinese-born, U.S.-based Wu Man are Abduvali Abdurashidov (sato-tanbur) and Sirojiddin Juraev (dutar) from Tajikistan, Ma Ersa (vocals) from the Gansu province of China, and Abdulla Majnun (diltar, dutar, tambur), Hesenjan Tursun (satar), Sanubar Tursun (dutar), and Yasin Yaqup (dap) from Xinjiang, the Uyghur Autonomous Region of China. These musicians represent cultures of the Silk Route through traditional performances, with music played on the pipa for the first time in over eight hundred years.

"The collaborations made my musical fantasy come true," says Wu Man. "I often imagined what it would be like if the pipa were mixed with instruments such as satar, tambur and dutar."

The results - newly arranged traditional songs and original improvisations - make for an extraordinary listening experience, blending sounds from historically kindred musical worlds. The CD/DVD package includes a documentary film about the region, musicians, and recording process as well as an instrument glossary and detailed liner notes.

Born in China, Wu Man was trained at Beijing's Central Conservatory and has lived in the US since 1990. Her groundbreaking musical work with the pipa has led to starring roles in pieces by contemporary composers such as Philip Glass, Terry Riley, Lou Harrison and Evan Ziporyn performed by the world's leading orchestras and ensembles.

Information about concerts will follow in a separate release.

About the Music of Central Asia Series

Listen to a playlist featuring selections from Vol. 1-10:

Watch videos from the Music of Central Asia Series:

Watch an informational video on the Aga Khan Trust For Culture and Music Initiative:

The groundbreaking "Music of Central Asia" series began in 2006 with Vols. 1-3, followed with Vols. 4-6 in 2007 and Vols. 7-9 in 2010. The ongoing partnership between Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and the Aga Khan Music Initiative in Central Asia seeks to revitalize and assure the onward transmission of musical traditions in regions where they are endangered, and to cultivate the creative processes that lead to artistic innovation and evolution.

"Music of Central of Asia" is a co-production of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and the Aga Khan Music Initiative, a program of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. Each disc features a full-color booklet with extensive liner notes, an instrument glossary and a DVD with a documentary film about the music and performers.

The "Music of Central Asia" series is co-produced and curated by Dr. Theodore Levin, an ethnomusicologist on the faculty of Dartmouth College and Fairouz Nishanova, Director of the Aga Khan Music Initiative. Levin earned the 2011 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for the liner notes to volumes 7, 8 and 9.

Both "Music of Central Asia Vol. 8: Rainbow" and "Music of Central Asia Vol. 9: In the Footsteps of Babur: Musical Encounters from the Lands of the Mughals" won Independent Music Awards for Best Music Video, Long Form and Best World Traditional Song, respectively. Production and liner notes for Volume 10 were conceived in consultation with ethnomusicologist Dr. Rachel Harris, department head of the music faculty at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

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