Rakhshani Love Songs And Trance Music From Balochistan


Abdulrahman Surizehi

kr 300

EM58 / 2010

The music on this album is from both sides of the border separating Pakistan (East- Balochistan) and Iran (West- Balochistan), just south of the Afganistani (North- Balochistan) border. Featuring Abdul Rahman Surizehi, the album focuses on the Rakhsani music of northern Balochistan in the Rakhsani area – a border region includ- ing parts of Iran and Pakistan and south- ern Afghanistan. The album is presented as 2 CD Long books with plenty of room to present the traditions of a region that is split into three countries. We will attempt here to answer the common question: What is Balochistan and where is it?

With his great knowledge of the traditional mu- sic of Balochistan, we are presented here with a world premiere of two categories of Rakhshani music from northern Balochistan: Love songs and trance music. One CD contains love songs and the other contains trance music. Rakhshan is a large region in Balochistan, and Rakhshani is the name for one of the two main languages spoken here. The music often has an oldfashioned quality, improvised elements are minimalistic and the music is characterized by repetitive pat- terns. There are no exact borders, however Rakhshani is spoken in mid and Eastern Balochistan, while the other main dialect, Makorani, is more prevalent in the southern part of the region. Also typical for Rakhshani music is the string instrument called Tamburag. In the south this instrument is primarily used for ac- companiment, while in the north it carries the melody. It should be mentioned that Rakhshani music of Balochistan has never previously been released. Since the area is divided among three nation-states, no one has taken responsibility for preserving the intangible cultural heritage of Balochistan. One of the world’s best perform- ers of Balochistan’s music and tradition is a Norwegian citizen.


Abdulrahman Surizehi comes from Iranian Balochistan, but he lives in Norway and is a Norwegian citizen. He plays a traditional instrument called Benju, and, according to those who know the tradition, he is consid- ered the world’s best and most virtuoso performer on this instrument. He has par- ticipated previously on several other al- bums on the Scandinavia EMlabel, as well as the prestigious French label, Ocora. He tours currently in Scandinavia and increasingly in other countries as well. He won the Norwe- gian Folk Music Award [Folkelarmpris] in 2006, in Open Class for the double album «Love Songs and Trance Music from Balochistan». For the same album he also was awarded the prestigious German record award «Preis der Deuschen Schallplatten Kritik».

Varenummer: EM58