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Sounds with an "eternal essence"
April 12, 2013 6:13 PM   Subscribe

Sometimes called the "Alan Lomaxes of India," the founders of Amarrass Records are on a mission to record and revitalize interest in traditional music from India, Turkey, and beyond. Over 100 videos on their YouTube channel chronicle their field recordings and festivals featuring artists like Lakha Khan, the Barmer Boys, Bombino, and many others.

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posted by Miko (10 comments total) 62 users marked this as a favorite

 
WOW! O WOW! What a way to kill a weekend! Bless you Miko!
posted by salishsea at 6:16 PM on April 12, 2013


SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!
posted by uosuaq at 6:39 PM on April 12, 2013


I spent a year working with a similar outfit doing work out of Jaipur. There's been a kind of up-and-down interest in Rajasthani culture and music over the years, but it's never quite taken off in the same way that, say, Gypsy culture did in the 90's.

What's most amusing (at least from my jaded perspective) is that the NY Times or some other big-name Western daily comes out and does a feature on this stuff, and inevitably it's about the last sarangi player or performers of the epoch of pabuji, or some such, and how xyz non-profit organization is working to preserve their craft for future generations. Inevitably, other non-profits who didn't get featured in the Western newspaper would get jealous and complain about the other org's representations, etc.

It's great, actually. Once poor people in Rajasthan see that there's money to be had in doing this stuff, I think the traditions will have no problems keeping themselves going.

Lest my comment be totally snide, I commend the old record "Flutes Du Rajasthan" (it's floating around online) to you. Now there were the real last players of Rajasthani music.
posted by anewnadir at 7:57 PM on April 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


lovely! alan lomax himself traveled to india in 1949, and there was a release of some of his recordings from that time, on rounder records a few years back. can't wait to dig through this.
posted by oog at 8:37 PM on April 12, 2013


One click in and I'm enamored...sure do love the incidental construction, alarms and barks in the Bombino link.
posted by SomaSoda at 8:57 PM on April 12, 2013


Just saw they have some Amarrass Records artists on eMusic. Definitely going to be downloading.
posted by orme at 5:54 AM on April 13, 2013


anewnadir, you make a great and interesting point. The Amarrass guys seem to be pretty well aware of this context. One of their frustrations was that a lot of the past efforts (and even work by larger world music record companies) did not result in the recordings remaining available in active catalogue. That's one of their goals, to keep the music available, long-tail style. Also the multimedia/digital approach is meant to enhance accessibility beyond the core world music/folk community. I agree that every generation seems to reinvent folk discovery for itself, but I just really liked their work and thought it was worth sharing in its volume and quality.
posted by Miko at 10:02 AM on April 13, 2013


Thanks, Miko. If you're really interested in this stuff I had a blog about my experiences traveling around Rajasthan and interacting (as best I could) with Langas, Manganyars, and others. Some of the photo links are dead so maybe you'll have a better time with my india set on flickr. Cheers
posted by anewnadir at 10:19 AM on April 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Your photos are amazing!
posted by Miko at 10:31 AM on April 13, 2013


OMG thank you for this!
posted by Theta States at 9:06 AM on April 15, 2013


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