The Silk Road refers to the trade route that was used through Central Asia to link China with the West, up to Rome. Especially in Central Asia, the exchanges were not limited only to goods, but also to art and music. Music is important among the people of this part of Asia, in particular among the Uyghurs, which are considered one of the world's most musical people. Music is heard everywhere and for every possible occasions. All children are encouraged from a very young age to learn music. On this CD, you hear two different kinds of music: excerpts from muqams and folksongs. Muqam are formalized suites of religious and epic songs, romantic narrative, and instrumental and vocal improvisation. They can last at times for more than 12 hours. Muqam can be considered Uyghurs' classical music. The muqam excerpts and the following folksongs are performed on typical traditional instruments by great Uyghur masters, as well as some of Chinese origin. An unusual music for our Western ears, yet still a mesmerizing music that deserves to be known.
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AllMusic Review by Bruno Deschênes