Dialogue of Cultures: Kamancheh and Malian kora

Dialogue of Cultures: Kamancheh and Malian kora

The annual Morgenland Festival in Osnabrück, Germany, which has gathered representatives of traditional and alternative music genres since 2005, was canceled due to the novel coronavirus, but Vestnik Kavkaza invites its readers and viewers to get acquainted with the dialogue of cultures that was performed at the festival several years ago. Participants in the dialogue: Malian kora player Toumani Diabate and kamancheh virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor.

Toumani Diabate's creativity combines flamenco, blues and jazz with traditional Malian music. At the 2016 Morgenland festival, he performed music together with Kayhan Kalhor, who has repeatedly said that music must cross cultural boundaries.

During his long career, Kayhan Kalhor played alongside the famous Iranian vocalists Mohammad Reza Shajarian and Shahram Nazeri, Turkish Baglama player Erdal Erzincan, American string band Kronos Quartet, American cellist of Chinese descent Yo Yo. According to soloneba.com, last year Kayhan Kalhor shifted his accents from ethno-classical tradition to jazz, recording an album with famous jazz pianist and composer from the Netherlands Rembrandt Frerichs and his trio. Thus, the kamancheh virtuoso confirmed his reputation as a multi-genre performer, able to combine ancient melodies with current musical trends.

Kamancheh, spread in the Caucasus, Asia Minor, the Middle East and Central Asia, has an unusually gentle, soft and captivating sound. Its music captivates the listener, makes him think. It is no accident that, according to founder of Azerbaijani professional music Uzeyir Hajibeyov, kamancheh was the most melodic musical instrument.