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David Dalle
Thursday August 26th, 2021 with David Dalle
Lament for Afghanistan

My heart is breaking for Afghanistan. The war may be over for the United States, but it is not over for Afghans. One of the many losses four decades of war has wrought on Afghanistan is the loss of its music, made much worse by the Taliban's fanatical stance against music. Today we will listen to the fading music of Afghanistan. My collection of Afghan music is from two very different eras: music recorded in Afghanistan in the 60's and 70's, before decades of war; and music recorded in the past three decades, mostly by Afghan exiles in Europe, Iran, and the United States. We will begin with a grand master of Afghan music, Ustad Mohammad Omar, an extraordinarily influential figure in Afghan music in the 20th century. He was an heir to Indian classical musicians who had been imported by the Kabul court in the 1860's. These musicians all settled in the neighbourhood of Kharabat with their families, their descendants and students making it a rich musical centre in the 20th century. Mohammad Omar was born in this neighbourhood in 1905, with his father teaching him the three stringed instruments sarod, dutar, and rabab. It is this latter instrument that became his chosen instrument. Mohammad Omar spent several decades as the director of the National Orchestra of Radio Afghanistan. In this role, he broadcast Afghan folk music from all regions of the country, and his chosen instrument, the rabab, became the national instrument of Afghanistan. We hear a recording from the early 70's of Omar playing one of his compositions in the classical tradition of Kabul, which is the Afghan dialect of North Indian classical music. A stunningly beautiful piece, full of sadness and hope, it is the defining piece of Afghan music for me. We will also hear a large variety of Afghan traditional music, from the urban music of Herat to folk music from Tajiks, Uzbeks, Hazara, Pashtun, Kazakh and more. I fear for the future of Afghan music, and I fear for the future of the Afghan people.
The first set will be music recorded in the 60's and the 70's. A musical portrait of Afghanistan before four decades of war. After Mohammad Omar, we hear location recordings of folk music from ethnic Tajik, Uzbek, Pashtun, Kazakh, Turkmen, and urban music from Herat.
Naghmeh-e Kashal in Raga Yaman
Ustad Mohmmad Omar - Unknown
Nuristani Dance Song
Abdul Wakil et al. - Afghanistan - A Journey To An Unknown Musical World - Network
Nuristani Women's Song
Bibi Zulaikha and Sabruddin - Afghanistan - A Journey To An Unknown Musical World - Network
Laili and Madjnun
Sadullah Kunduzi and Ensemble - Afghanistan - A Journey To An Unknown Musical World - Network
Felak Song from Darwaz Region of Badakhshan
Adinabeg - Afghanistan Untouched - Traditional Crossroads
Ghafur Khan - Afghanistan Untouched - Traditional Crossroads
Bubulak-i Sangshekan
Abdul Mazari - Afghanistan Untouched - Traditional Crossroads
Dombra pieces
Anonymous - Afghanistan Untouched - Traditional Crossroads
Haji Birdali - Afghanistan Untouched - Traditional Crossroads
Hamra Bakhshi - Afghanistan Untouched - Traditional Crossroads
Bada Bada
Hawa - The Traditional Music of Herat - Auvidis
Wedding Song Medley Olang olang/Mobarak Bada, Bibi Gol Arus, Haina ba-Karha
Sharafoddin, Nezamoddin, Osta Main, Habibollah Jan - The Traditional Music of Herat - Auvidis
Ustad Amir Jan - The Traditional Music of Herat - Auvidis
We being and end this next set with two different versions of Ustad Mohammad Omar's composition which began the show. The first is by Gada Mohammad, a student of Mohammad Omar, who performs the master's composition on the dutar, recorded in Paris in 1995. The second features a younger generation with Homayun Sakhi, who was born in 1976 in a musical family in the famed musical quarter Kharabat of Kabul. His father Ghulam Sakhi was a disciple of Mohammad Omar. Since 2001, Homayun Sakhi has lived in Fremont, California, home to the largest concentration of Afghan immigrants in the United States, where he continues and expands on the legacy of his father and Ustad Mohammad Omar. His elaborate performance of Raga Yaman features several of the same compositions by the master and also demonstrates the newer directions Homayun Sakhi is taking. We also hear other Afghan musicians from the diaspora in Europe and Iran.
Naghmeh-e Kashal in Raga Yaman
Gada Mohammad, Azim Hassanpur - Afghanistan - Rubab et Dutar - Ocora
Lal Qalandara manzurme kasualuna
Ensemble Kaboul - Nastaran - Arion
Aziz Herawi - Cry of the Mountains - 7/8 Music
Milade Ali
Zohreh Jooya, Hamid Golestani and Afghan Ensemble - Songs from Afghanistan - ARC
Raga Yaman
Homayun Sakhi and Toryalai Hashimi - Music of Central Asia vol. 3 The Art of the Afghan Rubab - Smithsonian Folkways
Interactive CKCU
Thanks David. I cannot listen live much today, but this is IMPORTANT.

2:28 PM, August 26th, 2021