This week's World Music premiere is online! Here's what Michal Shapiro, Link TV's Director of Music Programming had to say about it over at World Music.
"Reason #85 why I love my job: So you may love the video premiere this week, or it may really be just too much for you. But I can tell you that this video has quite a history. I heard Aygun in Samarkand, singing at a banquet with any number of amazing singers, all of whom had extraordinary voices. But she stood out for the soulfulness of her interpretation. It took me a year to get my hands on the tape of her performance, and another two to get a signed license. So you’d think that would be the end of it; I'd be in the clear and ready to put the thing on the web. But NO! After all, what was the name of the song, what was she singing about, etc. etc. etc. another two years went by and lo and behold, in a DVD of another festival in Samarkand I heard another group sing a song that bore a tremendous resemblance to part of her performance. I was able to make out that it was "Semai Shams" (my Cyrillic is very rusty). So I contacted Ted Levin, the Dartmouth ethnomusicologist who helped put together the wonderful Central Asian music documentaries we've been showing, and asked him if he could help me. And he said "ask Jeffrey Werbock." Eight emails later, I had my answer (and some cautionary advice), and was ready to present the song to you. Thanks, Ted! Thanks, Jeffrey!"