Kyrgyzstan 2015 Rehearsals for Gala Concert Bishkek
Candida and Michael organised rehearsas from 19th July until the concert. We were kindly lent a room at Nurlanbek Nyshanov’s School. It was a logistic success that we managed to organise this with all the different busy musicians.
19th July : Collaborate with members of Vis-A-Vis band, local young musicians who play electric guitar, electric bass, violin and drums. They mainly do covers. The guitarist Suli attended our first concert and liked our Wheel of Life medley so we worked on this complex arrangement for the Gala show later in the month. The 7/8.7/8.7/8.6/8 cycle proved a challenge for them. They eventually mastered it.
20th july : Morning Collaboration with Nurbek Serkebaev. Nurbek is a very hard working professional musician, again a multi-instrumentalist. He taught Candida a song “In the Village” that we will combine with Altai Magtaal. We teach Nurbek some of the basics of Khöömii singing. Work on Sufi Maazar Dance, our collaboration with dancer Ilona Sultanova. She is now away in the countryside so we need to employ another translator and organiser, Almagul. She turned out to be an essential asset to the project.
July 20th : Afternoon Collaboration with Zalina, Jusup and three of his students from Art School no6. They were supposed to be in Uzbekistan to perform at a festival but this was cancelled due to severe flooding. So it was decided that they would present a piece at the gala concert and that all seven of us would work on a Jews-harp medley combining the work we had already been doing on the Hmong Ncas, plus the two Kyrgyz Jews-harps and the Mongolian bamboo jew’s harp.
July 24th : Morning collaboration with Jusup, Zalina and Nurbek. Introduced them to Michael’s new composition, Three Silver Birch, started in the UK and completed in Kyrgyzstan. Worked on all the other collaborative pieces.
July 27th : Morning collaboration with Manaschi (Epic singer), Duulut Sidiskov and Nurbek. Duulut demonstrated a very very small section of this 20,000 verse epic. His reciting became more and more involved and emotional and Duulut seemed to go into a trance. Nurbek had to gently prod him to ask him to stop. We worked out a piece that used, Native American Flute, Choor, Morin Khuur, Drum, throat Singing, Rams Horn and wind gong. The section of the Manas was about when the wife of Manas revealed to Manas that he had a son who was now 18 years old.
July 27th : Afternoon session with Batma Sultanova. We worked on a combination piece of a Buddhist protection mantra and one of her own songs. Batma then demonstrated her self taught throat singing. It was like a very high undertone singing. Nurlanbek was in his office at the time and so ensued a Khöömii lesson for them both.
We created a flier for the concert, advertised it with a company and managed to receive 10,000 hits on Kyrgyz facebook.