Face Music - Catalog - Ensemble Bürler
Ensemble Bürler - Vol. I - Traditional songs of the Kazakhs




- Catalog (in stock)
- Back-Catalog
- Mail Order
- Online Order
- about Artists
- Sounds
- Workshops
- Instruments
- Projects
- History Face
- ten years 87-97
- Review Face

- Photos - Artists
- our friends
- Albis Face
- Albis - Photos
- Albis Work
- Links

- Home

- Contact

- Profil MySpace
- Profil YouTube
- Overton Network

P & C December 1998
- Face Music / Albi

- last update 03-2016


- FM 50035 - P & C 2000
more information songs - see: Ensemble Bürler

1. Ahau - arman - oh, dream of mine - traditional - 3:19
2. Buldirgen - strawberry - traditional - 3:33
3. Asykpa balam - do not hurry, my sonny - traditional - 3:57
4. Esem enem syrnaidai - a song as beautiful as my accordion - traditional - 2:26
5. Akbakai - traditional - 3:04
6. Gulderaiym - moonflower - traditional - 2:13
7. Biz zhurmiz, osy Chuide - we live in the Chuia - traditional - 2:56
8. Elim menin - my people - music: B. Tileuhan, text: N. Nazarbaev - 3:24
9. Gigigai - music and text: Nartai - 3:06
10. Kaneki tilim soileshi - do tell my tongue - music and text: Nurtugan - 2:15
11. Ezhelerge arasha - defending the mothers - music and text: B. Esekaliev - 4:51
12. Irkuzhan - traditional - 2:29
13. Elge selem - regards to the home country - music and text: A. Korazbeav - 2:48
14. Meiram basy - beginning of the celebrations - instrumental - music: Turkesh - 2:17
15. Adai - instrumental - music: Kurmangazy - 1:52
16. Samaltau - traditional - 4:52
17. Bastau - opening part of a song - traditional - 2:22
18. Zhan-kisa - if one gives away his soul - music and text: E. Zhakypbekov - 3:36
19. Jebren Altai - ancient Altai - music: A. Tozyiakov, text: L. Kokyshev - 2:53
20. Erke sylkym - frolicsome - instrumental - music: Zheldibaev - 1:33
21. Bos oramal - light grey kerchief - music: trad., text: T. Rahimov - 3:31
22. Kairan Edil - my poor Edil - traditional - 3:28
23. Azamat bolsan ayauly - if you want to be a good fellow - music and text: Nurtugan - 1:53
24. Ai karangi, tan zharyk - dark moon, light morning - traditional - 2:30


Songs

1. Ahau - arman - oh, dream of mine - trad.
- dömbra, voice: Shanajdar
- The girls are pretty, the boys are nightingales / Life passes by like a song / Maybe someone feels hurt / And thinks he lived his life in vain / But you are alive, so do live! / Oh, dream of mine, land of the universe!

2. Buldirgen - strawberry - trad.
- dömbra, voices: Shanajdar, Jerkin and Gulshat
In this song the rough but fertile land and the hard working but cheerful people of Kosh-Agash are compared with the strawberries that grow there.

3. Asykpa balam - do not hurry, my sonny - trad.
- dömbra, voice: Gulshat
Do not hurry, my sonny; to hurry is Shaitan's way / Keep out / off / away the others' senses / Hurry destroys the destiny of many / Because of that, even the strong burst into tears.

4. Esem enem syrnaidai - a song as beautiful as my accordion - trad.
- dömbra, voices: Shanajdar, Jerkin and Gulshat
This is a lyrical song of the Kazakhs from Kazakhstan. It talks about the beauty of their country and the people.

5. Akbakai - trad.
- dömbra, voice: Jerkin
- I have come from afar and worn out my horse / You have welcomed me and that means you have been waiting / Oh, my beam, you have come yourself, my dream.

6. Gulderaiym - moonflower - trad.
- dömbra, voices: Shanajdar, Jerkin and Gulshat
- If there is no moon in the sky, we get lost / If do not cheer up, we get sour / I sing this song with a sad voice / When I recall you, my moonflower.

7. Biz zhurmiz, osy Chuide - we live in the Chuia - trad.
- dömbra, voice: Jerkin
In 1900, many Kazakh families moved back from China to the Altai and the governor of the region gave them the land on the left coast of the Chuia River. In 1912, the land-surveyors measured this land and made it officially over to them. There were rumours at that time that the people who live in Chuia became rich.
- We live here in Chuia and sing along on flying horses / In the broad steppe of these Chuia / We breed our herds of sheep / The Kazakhs' heritage are their songs and tunes / The love for them has been transmitted for centuries / Our songs are like the pure water of the Chuia river.

8. Elim menin - my people - music: B. Tileuhan, text: N. Nazarbaev
- dömbra, voices: Shanajdar and Jerkin
This patriotic song praises the happiness and peaceful life of the people and the beauty of their homeland with its high mountains, spacious steppes and green forests. It also encourages the people to be united, strong and proud of their country.
- For posterity, for the people, for the Motherland and for unity and wealth may happiness come to you.

9. Gigigai - music and text: Nartai
- dömbra, voice: Jerkin
- In my hands - my dömbra and my accordion / I will sing a song with all my heart / I will sing like that horse in the distance / I will play my accordion in the rhythm of its race.

10. Kaneki tilim soileshi - do tell my tongue - music and text: Nurtugan
- dömbra, voice: Shanajdar
- Do tell my tongue, show your art / My tongue is eloquent and a master from birth / On our earth everything is alive, black and white / But the most important thin in life is to be impetuous / The adroit falcon lives in the high mountains / On the peaks of the Altai. All excellent fellows / Believe in themselves and in the power of their talent.

11. Ezhelerge arasha - defending the mothers - music and text: B. Esekaliev
- dömbra, voice: Gulshat
I admire the heart of a mother / We still underestimate your value / Insensible sons, heartless fiancées / We get older, don't we, you and me / Tomorrow, your son will grow up / He is surely following your actions.

12. Irkuzhan - trad.
- dömbra, voice: Gulshat
This song tells the story of a fast horse called Irkuzhan, which takes a shepherd to his beloved lady.

13. Elge selem - regards to the home country - music and text: A. Korazbaev
- dömbra, voice: Gulshat
How are you, my dear folk? / You have a fine custom to respect the old / Be healthy my mother and father / We know you always wish us well / How are you my brothers and sisters? / If it is not you, who else will put us on the right way? / How are you my maids and friends? / Without you my dastarkan-table is poor / If it is not you, who else will start our wedding.

14. Meiram basy - beginning of the celebrations - instrumental - music: Turkesh
- dömbra: Shanajdar
This tune reflects the happy life of the young people, who are full of love and joy.

15. Adai - instrumental - music: Kurmangazy
- dömbra: Shanajdar

16. Samaltau - trad.
- dömbra, voices: Shanajdar, Jerkin and Gulshat
This historical song tells of the Kazakh people's tragedy, when they had to leave their homeland and go to Siberia, as it happened to most peoples of the USSR in the 1930ies during the regime of repression.
- What will become of us captured ones? Far from our homeland Samaltau, / My dear folk and the broad lakes; where are my old parents? / I remember my Samaltau where I lived in freedom / Like a lost herd and without horses we come up in Omsk / My song is sad because of this misfortune and our troubles in nineteen thirty-seven.

17. Bastau - opening part of a song - trad.
- dömbra, voice: Jerkin
The akyny (narrators of epics) start their singing with these couplets rich of metaphors. Such opening parts are used for any kind of song, not only epic ones. They are considered as a kind of separate song with its own style, generally called "opening part".
The singer sings blessing words to his dömbra and the surrounding people, asking them to be a tolerant audience, when they come to listen to his performance.

18. Zhan-kisa - if one gives away his soul - music and text: E. Zhakypbekov
- dömbra, voice: Shanajdar
Alas, life of mine! / All the hopes have gone / My head is swaying like a poplar / Immersed into hard thoughts / My sleepless nights and my days are / Without joy. Everything has passed away.

19. Jebren Altai - ancient Altai - music: A. Tozyiakov, text: L. Kokyshev
- dömbra, voices: Shanajdar, Jerkin and Gulshat
Lazer Kokyshev and Aleksandr Tozyiakov are famous and talented singers from the Altai, whose songs have become very popular in the republic. They talk about the past ways of life in the Altai.

20. Erke sylkym - frolicsome - instrumental - music: Zheldibaev
- dömbra: Shanajdar and Jerkin

21. Bos oramal - light grey kerchief - music: trad., text: T. Rahimov
- dömbra, voices: Shanajdar, Jerkin and Gulshat
I run away from your radiant eyes / Beautiful was your kerchief, fluttering like a flame of youth / You left me for someone else, but is he a kind-hearted one? / Pain and sorrow are mixed up with a mirage, and your beautiful kerchief got worn out, my sunshine.

22. Kairan Edil - my poor Edil - trad. (from the Kazakh national epic Kaztugan)
- dömbra, voice: Shanajdar
This song is taken from a big national epic, which tells of the nomadic peoples' peaceful life full of happiness as well as of the bitterness of wars, when they were expelled from their home land so dear to them and had to migrate to alien and hostile places all over Central Eurasia. The part of the epic presented here is a song dedicated to the river Volga, where the Kazakhs used to live, but later they had to leave those lands (in Kazakh the Volga is called Edil).

23. Azamat bolsan ayauly - if you want to be a good fellow - music and text: Nurtugan
- dömbra, voice: Shanajdar
This song is meant as a kind of edification for the young men, telling them how to serve their people: "There is always a place for noble actions, if you want to be a good fellow".

24. Ai karangi, tan zharyk - dark moon, light morning - trad.
- dömbra, voices: Shanajdar, Jerkin and Gulshat
This is a lyrical song of the Kazakhs from Mongolia. It talks about the beauty of their country and the people, who live in the Mongol-Altai.


Instruments:

Dömbra (Topshur)
- a two-string long-necked lute of the Altai and Tuva peoples, of Mongolia and Kazakhstan. The body and the neck are carved from cedar wood and the body is often covered with the leather of wild animals, camels, or goats. The strings are wound from horsetails and tuned to an interval of a fourth.

Sibisgi (Shoor)
- an open end-blown flute of the Altai and Tuva peoples similar to that of the Bashkirs and the Caucasians. It's basically a 70 cm long pipe.

left: Factory for the mare milk (horse milk) "kumys"
- right: Mosque in Zhana-Aul, Kosh-Agash aimak


Ensemble

The Kazakh vocal ensemble
Bürler (= rungs) was founded in 1995. The ensemble has specialized as a performer of authentic Kazakh folk and traditional music, keeping the methods, tricks and peculiarities that are characteristic in the authentic tradition. However, they also sing stylised folk songs and works of contemporary authors.

With their first album, the three young folk singers and musicians from Kosh-Agash present Kazakh songs and music in their entire beauty and peculiarities characteristic for this region of the Altai.

Two members of the ensemble, Jerkin Ashimkanov and Gulshat Ashimkanova, were students at the Kosh-Agash high school of the Altai Republic. They began with their studies in 1995 at the Faculty for Music Education of the Altai Institute of Art and Culture in Barnaul and graduated in 1999 in the subjects of folk choir singing, choirmaster and leader of folklore-clubs.
The third member, Shanajdar Nursalijev, studied from 1990 till 1997 at the State Conservatory in Almaty (ex. capital of Kazakhstan) at the Department for Folk Music Instruments, in the dömbra (2-3 strings long-necked lute) class. He got prices at the "Yrystu-95" competition and at the regional folklore-festival "Young Siberia-99".


Kazakhs from the Kosh-Agash - Aimak

The Chuiskaya (or Chuia) steppe in the Altai is a little known place inhabited by a small group of Kazakhs. Now it belongs to the Kosh-Agash aimak (district), this is one of ten aimak of the Republic of Altai, which borders on Kazakhstan, Mongolia and China.
The first settlements of the Kazakhs in the Chuia steppe date from 1860. One part of the Buhtarminsky Kazakhs lived in Russia and another part migrated to China and Mongolia. Later they came back by small groups and started to inhabit the territory of the Telengits (the Tele are a group of the Altai people). They received the land in return for their gifts and presents given to the Telengit zaisans (nobles). In 1908, the governor of the region officially allotted the lands in Chiua to the Kazakhs.

The Kazakhs, like the Altai peoples, are divided into seoks or ru (kin groups and tribes) according to their lineage, but nowadays they live in mixed groups. Four such groups, the Naimans, Uak, Kerei and the Alchin form the biggest of three Kazakh dzhuz (hordes). The Kazakhs of Kosh-Agash are exclusively shepherds and cattle-breeders, because they live at high altitudes (about 1700 metres above sea level) where agriculture is impossible. They breed cattle, sheep, camels and yaks. The Kazakhs' most impressive textiles originate in the northeast, near the four corners region of Altai, Kazakhstan, China and Mongolia. The various cultural influences are reflected in their wall carpets and rugs, which are unmatched in their striking colour combinations and the intricacy of their geometric designs. The Kazakhs' preferred form of hunting is that with the falcon and the most popular sports are baige (horse race), kök beri (a kind of polo with a goat's carcass in place of a ball) and kures (wrestling).

Today, the Kazakh population of Kosh-Agash counts about twelve thousands people. They are a nominally Muslim (Sunnite) people who speak a Turkic language of the Northwest, written in a 42 letters version of the Cyrillic alphabet. There is a Muslim mosque in Zhana-Aul, where the young are taught in the Islamic religion and the reading of its holy book, the Koran. The Kazakhs had their first significant contacts with Islam in the 16th century, when Sufism and Islamic mysticism was spread throughout western Asia by wandering Sufi ascetics. That occurred long after the Arabs' conquests of the southern Asian areas in the 8th century and the introduction of the conquerors' religion to the Central Asian peoples living there.

The most popular musical instruments among the Kazakhs are the dömbra (a two-string long-necked lute) and the sibisgi (a long end-blown flute). Also worth mentioning is the tradition of improvisation contests called aytyspa that are held by the Kazakh singer-improvisers Akyny.
Among the Kazakh songs of congratulation, the patriotic, philosophic and lyrical songs the narration of epics containing information about the history, the aesthetic ideas and the spirit of the Kazakh nation takes a central position.


History of today s area of Kazakhstan

Central Asia was the scene of pendulum-like shifts of power between nomadic hordes and the sedentary civilisation of Eurasia's periphery along the Silk Road. From the 6th century until the beginning of the 8th century was the period of the Mongol invasions. Their expansion was only held off along the boundaries of the Amu Darya (Oxus River) established by the Persian Achaemenid Empire. Several states in this region had to give in to the pressure from the western Turkic kaghanate, the Huns, the Arabs and the Chinese who all ventured into the region during this period.

In the 13th century, the Mongol hordes under the leadership of Genghis Khan swept through to Europe. The ravages inflicted on the region were so harsh that no settled civilisation developed in Central Asia until the Russian colonisation.

With the rise of the tyrant Timur the Lame at the end of the 14th century, peoples split up and along with that a division of the various religions occurred. This was the first time the Kazakhs emerged as a distinct people. They were a mixed offspring of Turkic and other peoples and as such consolidated the world's last great nomadic empire stretching across the steppes east of the Caspian and north of the Aral Sea as far as the upper Irtysh River and the western approaches to the Altai Mountain. From the 1680s to the 1770, the Kazakhs were involved in a series of wars with the Oyrat, a federation of four western Mongol tribes, among which the Dzungars were particularly aggressive and succeeded in subjugating eastern Kazakhstan along the Tian Shan range and part of Xinjiang to form the Dzungar Empire. The Kazakhs were savagely and repeatedly pummelled, particularly between 1690 and 1720. The "Great Disaster" made them susceptible to the Russian expansion of the 19th century.

English translation: Chagat Almashev - Revised by Silvia Delorenzi-Schenkel

Kazakh ail (house) interior, Zhana-Aul Museum, Kosh-Agash aimak

PageTop