Song and Dance from the Pamir Mountains - Badakhshan Ensemble

Smithsonian Folkways

In Volume 5 of their Music of Central Asia series, Smithsonian Folkways take us for an exotic musical journey high up into the Pamir Mountains to meet the Badakhshan Ensemble of Tajikistan. Their unique instruments and devotional songs have evolved in splendid isolation from Persia to the south, and China to the north. The Pamir Mountains are overshadowed only slightly by the Himalayas. This Central Asian range is known as The Roof of the World and form one of the borders of modern-day Tajikistan. It’s an important intersection between the sedentary urban life of Iran to the south, and the nomadic life of the Inner Asian Steppe to the north. The Badakhshan Ensemble represents three different musical traditions from the region: popular music for festive dancing, devotional music from their Ismaili faith and healing music known as ‘falak’. The group’s founder explains that, “It is her goal to ensure that future generations of musicians will know this music and perform it with all their heart and soul.” The package includes a beautifully shot 24 minute documentary that offers plenty of insight into the world of the Badakhshan Ensemble, at home in Tajikistan and on stage at the Sacred Music Festival in Fez, Morocco.