Academic journal article Yearbook for Traditional Music

Ustad Rahim Khushnawaz: Afghan Rubab with Songbirds

Academic journal article Yearbook for Traditional Music

Ustad Rahim Khushnawaz: Afghan Rubab with Songbirds

Article excerpt

SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA UstadRahim Khushnawaz: Afghan Rubab with Songbirds. 2016. Felmay fy 8238. Recorded, annotated, and produced by Veronica Doubleday. 8-page booklet with notes in English. Colour and b/w photographs. CD, 12 tracks (64:56). Recorded in Herat, Afghanistan, in 1994.

This album is one pearl on the string of fine CDs produced by Veronica Doubleday and John Baily over the years as part of their forty-year project of collaboration and production in Afghan traditional music. Here, Doubleday brings listeners the fruits of a difficult 1994 journey to the city of Herat at the time of the civil war that preceded the Taliban's victory in 1996. Returning twenty years after initial fieldwork, Doubleday found a principal partner, Ustad Khushnawaz, and recorded him in the intimate space of his home. This revered musician combined a deep knowledge of tradition with a love of birds, and allowed his favourite songbirds to sing along with his playing on the rubab lute. The sounds of children and the pouring of tea add to the environmental envelope. The resulting recording anticipates the current interest in soundscapes and environmental music studies by blending the musicality of the musician, his natural friends, and the social milieu. …

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