A new international arts venture called the Silk Road Project, spearheaded by world-famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma since 1998, features Azerbaijan's music along with other works from Mongolia, China, Korea, Iran, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
According to Yo-Yo Ma, "The Silk Road Project seeks to illuminate the Silk Road's historical contribution to the cross-cultural diffusion of arts, technologies and musical traditions, identify the voices that best represent its cultural legacy today." The project is funded by Ford Motor Company, Siemens and Sony Classical.
Azerbaijan is represented by two pieces composed by Firangiz Alizade (1947- ). In addition, the well-known mugham singer Alim Gasimov (1957- ) is scheduled to perform at several concerts.
Alizade's "Dervish", a piece written for voice, kanun, tutak, violin, cello and percussion, will be among the pieces performed in Cologne, Germany on January 31, 2002. Azerbaijani musicians Ilham Najafov (tutak/ney) and Tarana Aliyeva (kanun) contributed to the CD recording.
Alizade's "In Habil's Style", written for cello and piano, will be performed in Amsterdam on January 25, 2002, in Brussels on January 29 and in Cologne, Germany on February 1. The piece has already been performed in four different cities in Japan in December 2001.
The Silk Road Project is working in partnership with the Aga Khan Music Initiative to preserve and promote traditional music in Central Asian countries. This summer, the Silk Road Project will co-produce the 2002 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, held outdoors on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. (June 26-30 and July 3-7, 2002) www.folklife.si.edu.
Visit: www.silkroadproject.org. Read more in Azerbaijan International, "Famous People: Then and Now, Firangiz Alizade," in AI 7.4 (Winter 1999) and "Alim Gasimov: Master of Mugham" in AI 9.1 (Spring 2001). Search for both articles at AZER.com.
From Azerbaijan International (9.4) Winter 2001.
© Azerbaijan International 2002. All rights reserved.