Tuesday, May 24, 2011
The Afghan Music Project
The Afghan Music Project (AMP) is a mixed media social venture, seeking to raise awareness of Afghan culture through music. All proceeds from the project will fund Afghan music teachers in Kabul who will teach music to Afghan youth, particularly young women. Explore the links below to learn more about the project.
As the country works to rebuild itself, it faces the daunting task of resurrecting a rich culture. Twenty-five years' of music censorship has left many Afghans, particularly younger generations, without important references to classic folk traditions. Furthermore, war has forced many musicians and teachers to permanently emigrate to other countries, taking with them their vital knowledge of Afghan music.
The Afghan Music Project seeks to bring Afghan culture back to its people through music education.
The rich sounds of Afghanistan and the tragic plight of its people inspired two UC Berkeley graduate students, Adam Gouttierre and Chris Becherer, to travel to Kabul, Afghanistan in the summer of 2005 and record folk musicians on location amidst kidnappings, protest riots, and civil unrest. The result is the Afghan Music Project, an 11-song album of traditional Afghan music.
All proceeds from the project will fund Afghan music teachers in Kabul who will teach music to Afghan youth, particularly young women.
Through this program the Afghan Music Project ensures that:
1) The rich musical tradition of classical Afghan music is passed from an older generation to a younger generation.
2) The level of female participation is high and emphasized.
3) Teachers can earn a living on what they love to do, educating young people.
4) Students can earn a livelihood sharing their skills with the people of Afghanistan.
5) Music becomes fun again, shared in a free and open manner.
The Afghan Music Project was recorded at the Radio Killid Studio in Kabul, Afghanistan in Summer 2005.
The AMP players were led by Ustad Ghulum Husain, a master rubaab player. Due to the ongoing uncertainty of the political situation, the female vocalist asked not to be photographed and to be known only as ZamZama.
The recordings include seven instrumental and four vocal songs. The vocal pieces were sung in both Dari and Pushto. The instrumental pieces highlighted the sounds of the tabla, sarinda, tambur, and harmonium, in addition to the rubaab.
The rubaab, or 'Lion' of Afghan instruments, is the unofficial national instrument of Afghanistan. It is a big-bellied lute which has a long history of enchanting virgin ears.
To listen to or buy the recordings, click here.