Friday, October 15, 2010

Jesus People USA and a Kyrgyzstani Concert

So I was getting a tour of Cornerstone a shelter created by Jesus People USA (JPUSA). Members of JPUSA live across the street from Emmuas in the Friendly Towers. 500 non-traditional Christians living together, working toeghert and sharing their income and more importantly, their faith. While I was touring the shelter I was told of a concert that night at JPUA. It was free and it was interesting. I was told there would be a Kirgizstani concert.

Kyrgyzstani Group

I was excited. I was told there would be throat singing. That was not accurate. There was a specific type of vocal music that was similar to throat music but they are not the same thing. Still, I was excited and determined to go to this unusual concert.

Kyrgyzstani Fancy pickin and a playin

The music of Kirgizstan reflected the influences of their neighbors the Kazaks and Turkmens. Russian influence can also be noticed. However, this is the music of a pastoral-warrior people. Music became a way for a pastoral people to pass the time and share a national history.

Kyrgyzstani Full Group

The music is played with some unusual instruments. There is the Timur komuz, iron instrument we often refer to as the Jews Harp. I had never before heard a song seriously played by this instrument. I now view it as a serious instrument and not just a gimmick.

Kyrgyzstani woman solo

Kyrgastani music is divided into instrumental music and vocal music. I like both.

Kyrgyzstani male solo

Some of the signing was the telling of stories, some love ballads and others epic national poems.

Kyrgyzstani variation of throat singing

The instruments were great just to look at and to hear them was even better. There was the Komuz This three-stringed plucked fretless lute. There was the Kyl Kiak This two-stringed bowed instrument had strings made of horse hair. What really grabbed my attention, just because they seemed so different to me, were the Choor wind instrument and the Jigatch It may sound something like a digeredoo,

Kyrgyzstani group with some interesting instruments

I loved the concert. I loved the customs. I love the posturing, how when a musician was not singing he or she did not display any emotion. It was very stylistic. And reminded me of how big and divers the world it.

kyrgyzstani guitar and song solo, female

Finally, I liked the concert because of the setting and the hosts. We were in the Friendly towers with the Jesus People. They are a unique people. Shaved heads, green and yellow hair, tattoos, piercings on men and/or women are common place. Ear plugs, wholly jeans or folks looking like vampires are common. So here we were with our hosts, in a room filled with beautiful windows and painting proclaiming the glory of Christ while listening to Kyrgyzstani music. This was indeed a wonderful night, Outside were the homeless, Africans, Muslims and Buddhists. Walking the streets were also Thais and Vietnamese and folks from the Caribbean. Inside the people of Central Asia and JPUSA. What a night!

Kyrgyzstani very fancy playing


Falkor said...

Well hello, Carl. I am Leah Grover. My husband, Brian, and i brought the Kyrgyz band to JPUSA. I'm thrilled you caught it on video. Where you you live/work? We know Laura Eppler et al at Emmaus.

Falkor said...

Here's where to send response.