Sevara Nazarkhan - Tortadur

If you contribute 5 dollars, RootsWorld survives.

If you contribute nothing, that is what will remain.

RootsWorld: Home Page Link RootsWorld: Home Page Link

Sevara Nazarkhan
Sevara Music (

Uzbekistanís Sevara Nazarkhan, best known for electronica music thatís as much techno as ethno, has here taken the sort of back-to-roots approach thatís increasingly common and seldom if ever a bad thing. To do so, she rounded up a half dozen of her countryís most esteemed traditional musicians, players advanced in age and experience who understand every nuance of the maqams (classical modes) that musically define Central Asia. The songs on Tortadur are lengthy (11 tracks adding up to well over an hour) and mainly slow with occasional mild jumps in tempo. Yet this seemingly simple music is quite hypnotic due to the extraordinary richness with which Nazarkhanís voice compliments and urges on the array of stringed instruments (doutar, tanbour, gijak, qonun), cautiously paced frame drum (doira) and traditional flute (nai).

The sources of the music range from songs sung at tea gatherings to Sufi poetry to anti-Soviet sentiments to inspirations gleaned from the sheer vastness of where Russia converges with the Islamic world. But the appreciation of it rests with the willingness to surrender oneself to the steadfastly delicate quality of Nazarkhanís vocals, which are only marginally above a whisper most of the time and adaptable to divergences like spectral male voices that chime in every so often and the train sounds accompanying the nearly acapella final song. Actually, I would have preferred the album to wrap up with more of Nazarkhan singing with her marvelous accompanists. Oh well, you canít have everything, and Tortadur has enough spine-tingling music to make it recommendable. - Tom Orr

Looking for More Information?


return to rootsworld

© 2011 RootsWorld. No reproduction of any part of this page or its associated files is permitted without express written permission.


cd cover

audio samples


CD available from cdRoots

RootsWorld depends on your support.
Contribute in any amount
and get our weekly e-newsletter.


Thanks for your support of RootsWorld