September 21, 2008
I feel like I have to say that every once in a while, both for anyone new who may have found themselves here, and for myself, to keep my motivation going. Excavated Shellac has been online for 18 months now, and I have shared a total of 81 different records. I still think it remains a unique spot – on the web, at least. I could conceivably do this for a long time, though I have no idea how long I will continue – just as I have no idea how long I will continue the collecting, the scheming, the acquiring, the hunting for these pieces of music that make me happy. I’ve been away for the past few weeks, so I wanted to say thank you to those who continue to stop by and listen, and for allowing me to indulge.
With that, we’re off to Uzbekistan, after World War II. Before 1917 and the Russian Revolution, quite a bit of recording was made in the Caucasus region and Central Asia, as European record companies were interested (somewhat amazingly) in exploring new markets in places like Tashkent and Tbilisi. Few original copies of those very early recordings have turned up (for a sample, I would recommend the Topic CD Before the Revolution). And, according to much of what I’ve been reading, very little recording was made in Central Asian regions between 1917 and the Second World War. However, in the early 1950s, the Russian label CCCP recorded “ethnic” folk music on 78 from the Caucasus to Central Asia and beyond. Some was imported into the United States even, with English translations on the label, presumably for immigrant communities or sold in Russian record stores. Still, even those are quite difficult to find today.
Zainab Palvanova’s piece, sung in Uzbek, is translated as “Glory” and she is accompanied by a “folk instruments orchestra” led by Y. Radzhabov. The folk instruments I can detect are at least one long-necked lute (probably a tar or dutar), the nay flute, at least one fiddle, and the unmistakable sound of the doira frame drum. It’s from ca. 1955.
For music from the CCCP label during this period, the Secret Museum’s Central Asia CD is heartily recommended.
Issue Number: 24932 (a)
Matrix Number: 24932/4-1