Tuesday, June 06, 2006

100,000 Fools of God

Musical Travels in Central Asia (And Queens and New York) by Theodore Levin.

Got this link from Islamicate (who had it under the eye-grabbig title of "How the Jews saved Islam." Well, actually, how some Bukharan Jews help save indigenous Islamic music at some point.)

Here's the description from Amazon.
When a Princeton-trained ethnomusicologist returns to follow up his studies in the Central Asian nations east of China and north of Afghanistan, he stumbles into a cornucopia of music, history, and religion. With a trusty guide called OM, Theodore Levin travels back and forth through the newly liberated cities and countryside of an ancient land that is home to such exotic names as Tashkent and Samarkand. Levin writes not only about his successes in identifying and recording the musical traditions of the area but also of the experiences of the people under Soviet rule, the myths that are kept alive through music, and the healers that use music as therapy. Levin finds a complex and colorful mix of ethnic and religious traditions where music unites Jew, Muslim, and shaman. The Hundred Thousand Fools of God is more than just a travel diary: it is a snapshot of an evolving culture. And the accompanying CD is divine.
I'm a sucker for travelogs. [This reminds me of Robert Kaplan's Eastwards towards Tartary: Travels in the Balkans, the Middle East and the Caucasus. Of course, I guess this one won't be focused entirely on politics.] And this is about a region of the world I've been to (back in 11th grade no less), and it's about music! Deal! Will it be available in India is the question ... time to head to the local Crosswords to find out ... ]

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