Eastern Voices


Alim & Fargana Qasimov Ensemble
Intimate dialogue

Catalog number 21060

German Record Critics’ Award 4/2010

“One of the greatest voices in the world” - Le Monde

“Qasimov is simply one of the greatest singers alive” - New York Times

“One of the greatest voices of the century: If you want to make a real discovery, listen to Alim Qasimov’s voice.” - FolkRoots

Press releases and audiences reactions are enthusiastic when talking about Alim Qasimov, the singer from Azerbaijan. This was also the case with the concert which this extraordinary musician gave at the Morgenland Festival Osnabrück, now available on this recording.
riental music between the Levant and northwest China is based on modes called maqam, shashmaqam, muqam or mugham according to the region.
There is no music more complicated and or requiring more virtuosity than the mugam of Azerbaijan. These mugam have also spread into jazz, opera and symphonic music, something quite unique.
Alim Qasimov is the most outstanding exponent of traditional mugham. For several years now he has been performing together with his daughter Fargana, who was also his pupil. Concerts with the Kronos Quartet and the cooperation with Yo Yo Ma on his Silk Road Project have brought Qasimov an increasing audience in the west.
Very occasionally, very very occasionally, a recording arrives that so transfixes that work stopps and pleasure, enlightenment and education take over. Intimate dialogue is one of those.  ... If there is any finer vocal duo performing art music anywhere on the planet right now, please send the details to the usual address. Intimate dialogue is the sort of stuff to send shivers down your spine.“
Ken Hunt in FRoots

“ ... and the results are spellbinding. ... what I heard on this CD really turned my head. Qasimov and his daughter perform with what devotees of flamenco often refer to as duende . (The English word “soul” approaches the meaning, but does not come close enough.) Both of these performers have remarkable voices - remarkable both in terms of range, flexibility, and expression - and when they get on a roll, it sounds as if their souls are being rent in two. Qasimov, a tenor by operatic standards, has an especially remarkable set of vocal cords. The highly melismatic vocal style might take some getting used to, but stick with it, and I think you will have a listening experience unlike any you have had before. ... The booklet notes tell you everything you need to know, and the English translations of the lyrics are blessedly provided. The live recording is atmospheric, and will involve you even more deeply in the performances.“
Raymond Tuttle in Fanfarre Magazine


Ibrahim Keivo
The voice of ancient Syria

Catalog number 21059

1          Dadi dadi / Ati wet ghazalet (Assyrian folklore)
2          Bi hobo (Syriac folklore, composed by Ibrahim Keivo)
3          Lawk (Epic mawal from Kurdish tradition)
4          Az Khalfem (Epic mawal from Kurdish tradition)
5          Kayef / Semsem (Mardalli tradition)
6          Chanci / Halimayeh (Mardalli tradition)
7          Sharfadinah (Yezidi religious tradition)
8          Dhalal Darwish Abdi (Yezidi epic song)
9          Dabkeh (Dances from Al Jazeera)
10       Akhkik Akhtchik / Iskeshir (Folcloric song from Armenian tradition)
11       Halak shalou / Kul el hala (Beduine tradition of northern Syria)
12       Massa’ el kheir (written & composed by Ibrahim Keivo)       

Ibrahim Keivo: vocals, baglama, buzok, oud, saz, al junbosh

Ibrahim Keivo - The beholder of the ancient Syrian musical heritage
Ibrahim Keivo was born in 1966 in a small village in the region of Hassakeh, in Northern Syria. Son of an Armenian family who survived the genocide, he was raised in the land where ancient Syrian (Al-Jezireh, meaning ''the island''), Mesopotamian and Western Asian cultures meet and create one of the richest and most diverse societies in the region, in term of practiced religions, spoken languages and dialects, and verbal heritage.


Since his early age, Keivo's mother introduced him to the Armenian hymns she carried with her from her motherland. She has also played a major role in familiarizing him with the Turkish, Kurdish and Mardalli (the Arabic dialect of Mardin) singing traditions of the region of Mardin – Southeastern Turkey – where many Armenians have stopped before finding shelter in other places all around the world.
Landing in Northern Syria brought other cultures to the family; in addition to the Bedouin tradition, Keivo found great inspiration in the ancient civilizations and religions that remained alive in this region: the Assyrian which main language is the Aramaic, the Syriac language and Christianity, and the Yezidism, an ancient Kurdish religion which most important holy place is Lalish temple in Mosul (old Nineveh in Iraq).
Jumana Al-Yasiri

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