The Adventures of Latvians in Tajikistan. Part I.
In this post I will tell about visit of Latvian music band “Baraka”. The band has arrived to Tajikistan in early August 2013. The band stay was full of events, both positive and negative. There was a protest in social media against the band concert, there were two concerts finally organized, there was injustice from Tajik officials and involvement of the Embassy of the Russian Federation. I think the story of the band’s adventures could be a lesson (good or bad) for anyone who is coming to Tajikistan.
Let us go step by step:
About the music band Baraka
As it is mentioned at www.sketismusic.bandcamp.com Baltic ethno-jazz band “Baraka” exists for over 10 years. Band leader, musician and arranger Dmitry Evsikov with his daughter Devika are exploring authentic Tajik and Pamir folklore on the basis of which they create their music compositions.
“Baraka” is a synthesis of Central Asian traditions and improvisational skills of European jazz musicians that allows modern listeners to appreciate the beauty and poetics of Eastern art. Their main task is to just add, not to change the perception of pioneers of the music world from the Pamirs and Tajikistan.
A passed away but still famous Tajik pop singer Nargis Bandishoeva http://all.tj/afisha/1033 music take an important role in the work of Baraka music band. The last music album of the band is called «Baraka – Tribute to Nargis»
The program of the music band in Tajikistan
The program of the band in Tajikistan was intense, considering the audience feedback, the concerts was quite successful. Two concerts were held in Tajikistan. One in Dushanbe and one in Khorog .Video from a concert in Khorog is in the head of this post.
The concert in Dushanbe appeared to be not the aim of the band . The aim of the band arival was concert in Khorog city. Dushanbe concert took place on August 11, 2013 at the hotel “Serena Dushanbe,”. Debates in social media Facebook around the concert were hot and has begun before the band arrival. The reason for the debates was the “hight price” as the entrance fee to Baraka concert in Dushanbe. The price was 130 TJS (approximately 27 U.S. dollars). Some Dushanbe music fans were against such high prices in the context of general bad economic situation on the coutry.
Here’s what one of the social media users write the organizers write in one of the comments:
… I want to highlight that we cannot forget about ” ordinary people “(that is, ourselves) that would be willing to go to the concert, but financially they will never be able to afford such expence … to organize a concert with such a high and not differentiated price is unethical from both side the organizers and from the group itself. I think the music band “Baraka” knows where they are going and they know the economic situation in the country. The band could demonstrate the prudence and reduce their appetite by allowing people (at list students, musicians) to listen the music originated from their own country. I would recommend everybody not to go to the concert unless of course the organizers will revise the price policy …
Foto by Kuzmin K.
The discussion turned to be a hard one , and the organizers as well as the music band leader Dmitry Evsikova, actively took part in the debates. Main arguments against the above described position were: The concert is not a commercial one and we need such high prices to cover the expense; the band performs free of charge in the Khorog city; the band performs for a much lower price than in their home country; to visit a concert of local popular artists is much more expensive; the concert in Dushanbe is not the main one and the group generally goes to perform at the concert in Khorog and so on.
In the end there was no result from the discussion and the concert took place within the initially planned entrance fee policy.
That’s one of the reviews of the concert with social networks:
Dmitry, thank you and your team for a wonderful concert! It was very interesting to hear a familiar song in the European interpretation. Thank you for having breathed new life into the song. Thank you for your professionalism! I wish your doughter Devika more recognition of her talent! She is beautiful! And most importantly, thanks for the concert in Dushanbe, I have become a jazz lover after the concert! I With you further development and prosperity!
The described above is not everything that Baraka music band have met in Tajikistan. Concerts in Dushanbe and Khorog were a success. In both cases, people actively attended the event. But the band was surprised in at most unexpected moment …at the moment of departure.
Read the continuation of the story in the next post …