In conjunction with a 2007 North American tour by a selected troupe of Central Asian musicians, the Aga Khan Music Initiative and the Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage released a series of beautiful CD compilations intended (like the concerts) to introduce these traditions to people worldwide. Vol. 4 is Bardic Divas, a one-hour, 18-track collection of traditional Central Asian folk tunes, laments, love songs, humor, and nomadic poetics performed by some 15 virtuosic women of Kazakhstan and Qarakalpakstan, an autonomous republic within Uzbekistan. Many of these women have breached the constraints of patriarchy to master performance techniques that had long been exclusively learned and sustained by men. The words "Bardic" and "Diva" denote visionary empowerment, majesty, wisdom, and a fully grounded intensity. All of these elements are strongly manifested throughout this superb compilation. Its full-color booklet contains lyrics, photographs, and informative texts. The CD is enhanced with a DVD featuring a 24-minute film, a map, and an interactive glossary.
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AllMusic Review by arwulf arwulf
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2