Sunday, August 9, 2015

Bizmklier 3.0 – An introduction to Azerbaijani Music and Traditions

    Couple of days ago I was amazed with a video I saw on YouTube and want to share my impressions with you. Today I would like to introduce a beautiful, yet often overlooked, musical project: Bizimkiler 3.0. This group has covered many world-famous songs relying upon Azerbaijani national instruments. Some artists they’ve covered include Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, Muslim Magomayev, Chuck Berry, U2, among many others.

    The “Bizimkiler" projects’ first edition came out on TV and in the internet in 2012, right before the Eurovision 2012 song contest, and has since been developed in order to attract the attention of tourists and visitors. The author of the project is Seyfulla Mustafayev, Samira Safaraliyeva is the project editor and the producer is Aynur Huseynova. The project immediately became a Youtube phenomen. “Bizimkiler" is not a music band with fixed team, but a project with many different invited musicians and every time changing performers and singers.

    During "Bizimkiler" project, world famous pop and classic hit songs were performed in modern improvisation, with the help of Azerbaijani instruments and mugham performers (Mugham or mugam is one of the many folk musical compositions from Azerbaijan, contrast with Tasnif, Ashugs). These musicians are true professionals and their talent is remarkable! Feel free to listen to some covers on the links below. You won’t be disappointed:

Ray Charles - Hit the Road Jack!

t.A.T.u. - Not gonna get us

Michael Jackson - They don't care about us

Chuck Berry - You Never Can Tell

U2 - With Or Without You

    So other than this music project, I would also like to introduce you Azerbaijani music instruments. Our music instruments are: the
tar (skin faced lute), the kamancha (skin faced spike fiddle), and the saz (long necked lute); the double-reed wind instrument balaban, the frame drum ghaval, the cylindrical double faced drum nagara (davul), and the goshe nagara (naqareh) (pair of small kettle drums). Azerbijanis also play the garmon (small accordion), tutek (whistle flute), and daf (frame drum).

    Azerbaijani music is the result of a long historical process, resulting from the formation and development of unique, deeply realistic traditions. Until the 20th century, these traditions were primarily oral in nature. However, over time, they developed into folk music and began acquiring the features of professional art, particularly in the works of ashugs and mugham.

    So go ahead and follow the links attached above and familiarize yourself with some traditional Azerbijiani musical instruments and styles!

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