Saturday, 28 April 2012

Orifxon Xatamov - A great master of the Maqam tradition of Uzbekistan

Although only very few visitors of this blog seam to be interested in the classical music of Uzbekistan - for me the last musical treasure still to discover - I can't help it to post some more treasures from it. In the last 15 years a small number of excellent CDs have been published in the west, mainly in France. But still the older - and in my opinion more interesting - singers from this tradition are almost completely unknown outside of Uzbekistan or Tajikistan. Earlier we had already presented here Mamurjan Uzakov, Fattohxon Mamadaliev, a double LP of masters from the Ferghana Valley and a complete Shashmaqam. In the future we will post some more legendary singers from that area.
Now we present one of the greatest masters: Orifxon Xatamov (his name is given sometimes also as Orif or Arif Xatamov, and both versions can appaer in different spellings). I downloaded these (and many more) recordings a while ago from some Uzbek websites and put them for myself on CDs. Here we offer one of these CDs. These recordings are probably from the 1960s, 1970s or 1980s and were probably published originally as Melodiya LPs during Sowjet times. The cover picture above does not correspond to the content (although the song which gave the album the title appears here). If I remember right I downloaded the picture about 10 years ago and it looks like the cover of a cassette. 
Orifxon Xatamov (born 1924 or 1925) belongs to the Maqam tradition of the Ferghana Valley and was a student of the legendary Jurakhan Sultanov (1912-1977), who was also the teacher of Mamurjan Uzakov. Theodore Levin devoted a very beautiful chapter to Orifxon Xatamov in his very interesting book "The Hundred Thousand Fools of God - Musical Travels in Central Asia". Some excerpts from this chapter, named "The Avatar of a Master", which is based on talks with the master in the early 1990s, can be read hereOrifxon Xatamov is depicted here as a master musician deeply rooted in the musical and spiritual (Sufi) traditions of his country. 
For anybody interested in these musical traditions it's worthwhile to get this book, though I don't agree with all statements of the author, especially not the one regarding Shashmaqam. He must have heard mostly later versions, performed by much bigger ensembles.

01 Aqli rasolaring (4:51)
02 Buxoro Iroqning Sokinomasi (6:03)
03 Guluzorim (7:31)
04 Kam-kam (3:48)
05 Mehr Ruhsoring (6:11)
06 Qarab Qo'y (4:39)
07 Qoshi Yosinmu Deyin (5:44)
08 Sallamno (4:30)
09 Sani Layli (4:39)
10 Senziz (4:38)
11 Yolg'on Demang (3:52)
12 Bo’lmaydi (5:29)
13 Ishqingda Zor (6:00)


John B said...

There is a portrait of Arif (sic) Xatamov T. Levin, The Hundred Thousand Fools of God (Indiana U Press, 1996), 69-76.

Doug Young said...

My interest has grown with the Uzbekistan music on this site. Thanks

Tawfiq said...

Dear John,
thank you very much. I completely forgot to check this book. In effect it's a very beautiful chapter. I will incorporate the info into my post.

Giri Mandi said...

Ah, shahbaz! Being one of those few, I send my gratitude for your commitment (and for all your fantastic sharing). Wa billahi at-tawfiq!

Anonymous said...

yeah, i love it! having gotten first into Indian classical, that led eventually to Persian classical, and that now leads me to some of the less well-represented parts of their former empire, and related people's with whom influence was shared. This is one reader who notices and appreciates the more rare and obscure (on this side of the world, anyway) posts...

AmbroseBierce said...

Ah, wonderful! Thanks once more, Tawfiq!

David said...

... And another thank you from me. Always a pleasure to hear the old masters, and I've not heard much of Orif yet. I must finish reading the book too - had to buy my own copy after the library one went back, and somehow forgot to keep reading!! :-P

roberth said...

i just found your site. i love this music. and i found the book 100,000 fools of god about 5 years ago at a library book sale. excellent.
thanks for the treasures