Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Enver Ismailov - Crimean Turkic Guitar

I've raved about LinkTV, television without borders, before. One of the best satellite channels, LinkTV is to television what Pacifica was to radio. Expansive, inclusive, informational and exotic programming from around the world, including news, movies and of course music. I rely on LinkTV for all three.

Every once-and-a-while I am stuck dumb with awe at some new revelation, and that was the case the first time I witnessed a video of "two-handed" guitarist Enver Ismailov. Readers of Pop Impulse know that the guitar, and its many voices, is a regular subject of attention. Lately there are a number of guitarists who are taking the instrument to new and interesting places. Artists like Kaki King and Enver Ismailov are fond of the "tap" or "touch guitar" technique. At first, I had thought this a musical distraction. The redoubt of those who simply could not or would not master traditional technique. Wrong again. The more I listen to this percussive style of guitar playing the more I appreciate its possibilities. That's why I'm liking Enver Ismailov a lot. He takes this technique, which he's used in traditional Ukrainian and Turkic music for years, to new heights. This is no gimmick, rather a master who exploits technique to coax uniquely moving music from his instrument. Read his bio here, at World Music Central. I'm including two videos. The first is Ismailov playing a traditional piece that showcases his technique. The second is contemporary, even funky piece. Note his three-necked axe. Uh huh.

A little Funky

I confess to having this real "silk road" thing going on. I've posted previously about Central Asia and a favorite female vocalist, Sevara Nazarkhan. In addition to Nazarkhan and Ismailov, my Central Asian playlist includes: Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Ozel Turkbob and Erdul Erzincan.

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