Music of Central Asia Vol. 10: Borderlands: Wu Man and Master Musicians from the Silk Route
by Various Artists
Released: May 2012
Label: Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
This fascinating Folkways project is a history (or more accurately, cultural studies) lesson: P’ipa master Wu Man and Uyghur, Tajik, and Hui collaborators trace cultural connections along the storied Silk Road, illuminating points of overlap and exchange between musics of China and Central Asia. But that important lesson is a gorgeous, moving collection of music. You don’t need to know a bit of history to be sheerly sonically amazed by the regal, virtuosic (enigmatic!) “Improvisation for Three and a Half Instruments” or revel in the passionate vocals on the epically quiet “Hezhou Erling.”
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