Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Cantaloupe Music is proud to present the debut recording of Kutman Sultanbekov and Kambar Kalendarov, virtuosos of the Kyrgyz jaw harp and the runaway hit stars of the 2008 Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival. This album focuses on bringing the jaw harp into the 21st century, combining the trance-like sound of the instrument with a surprisingly contemporary aesthetic. The jaw harp is a tantalizingly elemental instrument - made of wood or metal, it makes its sound by vibrating a tiny bar of metal, the sound resonating within the player's mouth. It is in the mouth of the player that the jaw harp becomes powerful and sophisticated; performers amplify the instrument's overtones by changing the shape of their mouths.
"The instruments were ancient, the music was old and new, and the presentation was subtly high-tech in "Music from Central Asia" a triple bill of ensembles from Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan. Musically and sartorially, the Kyrgyz ensemble was the concerts peak. The most striking piece was a trio of Jew's harps"-New York Times