Sonntag, 10. Mai 2009

"La terre de nos pères"

Haunting song, a translation of a poem written by Umar Yarichev, a poet from Chechnya. 

Link: here

La terre de nos pères

comment commencer?

Recommencer à rouvrir la plaie.

L'âme pleine de souffrances se fatigue à crier,

mais garder le silence, je ne peux pas!

Tchétchénie, mon pays combien de fois 

le destin t'a-t-il outragé?

Mortelle à chaque fois comme au Caucase,

sa roue de feu t'a ravagée

Mille neuf cent quarante quatre, fin de la guerre,

l'étau du fascisme se déserte.

Mais Staline envahit nos terres

l'or noir nous apporte la misère.

Arrachés aux montagnes par les armes,

enfants, femmes et vieillards sont déportés.

Mourir, ou partir au Kazakhstan?

Quel est le choix pour nos parents?

Patrie, tu leur avais donné la vie,

et sans pitié tu l'as repris.

Nos pères, nos frères et nos fils en exil,

ont lutté pour toi et sont morts.

Treize ans, marchant dans les ténèbres,

par les chemins brûlés et gelés.

Survivant en dépit de tout,

grâce à Dieu, on s'est retrouvé!

Pendent des siècles on nous a tués,

par le fer, le feu et la faim.

Malgré l'espoir et la sagesse brisés,

nous sommes revenus de l'enfer!

Revenus, grandis par le malheur,

comme l'herbe poussant dans la pierre.

Il nous reste de l'amour de notre terre,

la révolte à l'esprit, la flamme au cœur.

Qu'il est lourd, le plomb de l'oubli,

mais pour tous ceux morts en exil.

Nous allumerons aujourd'hui

en nos cœurs un feu immortel.

Fidèles aux souvenirs amers,

nous reconstruirons encore et encore.

Mais toujours nous nous souviendrons

combien est chère la liberté!

Patrie, tu leur avais donné la vie,

et sans pitié tu l'as repris.

Nos pères, nos frères et nos fils en exil,

ont lutté pour toi et sont morts.

Treize ans, marchant dans les ténèbres,

par les chemins brûlés et gelés.

Survivant en dépit de tout,

grâce à Dieu, on s'est retrouvé!

Sultan Magomed - Compilation - 128kb

In 2002, with war and mass killing raging in Chechnya, I sat in my student room at Moscow University, like a "nation enemy" of Russia, burning incense and with a Chechen CD in my hand. 
Then, I played it for the first time.

While "pop bores" recall where they first heard "Stairway to Heaven", or "Smells Like Teen Spirit", or "Song to the Siren", the memory of pressing the Play button at Moscow State University is as fresh today as if it had been yesterday.

Prepare yourself for a musical feast unlike anything you have ever heard!!

Link: here

Sultan Magomedov is known as a nightingale and the singer of Chechnya. Ever since 1957, his very special, charming voice has pleased the ear and brought people joy. Anyone who has heard it cannot forget it. Magomedov's renditions of "Away from my motherland," "The beautiful morning of the Caucasus," "Along the mountain roads," "A Shepherd's song" and other pieces still ring the bell but no one can sing them as passionately as Magomedov could.

Sultan Magomedov grew up in the deportation years. He made concrete in Kyrgyzstan when playwright Abdul-Khamid Khamidov took notice of his naturally rich, mellow voice and invited him to join a nascent folk song and dance company.

The committee for the reconstruction of the Chechen-Ingush Republic took into account both material and spiritual needs of the repatriates. It sifted their ranks for talents. Composer Khalebski found such highly gifted people as Shchita Edilsultanov, Zulai Sardalova, Umar Deniyev, Yaraghi Zubairayev, Alvi Deniyev and Tamara Aliyeva. But it was not until a short time later that Sultan Magomedov had met his dream of returning to Chechnya. He had no home in Chechnya and had, at first, to room with 17-year-old Muslim Magomayev on the stage of the Philharmonic Society of Grozny. Then, Azeri composer Gadzhiyev invited both youngsters to move to Baku where, he said, they would be allowed to join without entrance exams the State Conservatory of music. Muslim Magomayev left Chechnya for Azerbaijn but Sultan Magomedov prefered to solo with the Chechen-Ingush song and dance company. Sultan wanted to serve his people and spared no effort to meet his philharmonic, radio,  recording, touring and other job commitments.

The Chechen-Ingush government appreciated his creative potential and the effort he put into his work. Sultan Magomedov was made a Merited Artist of the Chechen-Ingush Autonomy. Life in general was returning to normal, changes for the better were evident in his own life, too. He had a home, a wife and a son. He was doing well and it seemed he would be able to do much yet in the many years to come. But his health condition, as it turned out, left much to be desired. He passed away at the age of 35.

The memory of Sultan Magomedov is alive. A museum will some day open in his home village of Kurchaloi

Samstag, 21. März 2009

Imam Alim Sultan - Guazotan Bairakh - 128kb

Wonderful collections of songs from a great talent. Little has survived of this prodigious singer's output. An ethnic Chechen from a town in Dagestan,  he was murdered in Odessa, probably on orders of the FSB (KGB).

Link: here


Imam was born in Kyrgyzstan in 1957 to Chechen parents, who had been been relocated as a result of the forced deportations of most Chechens and Ingush to Central Asia on February 23, 1944. He returned to Chechnya and would graduate from a secondary school in the Chechen capital Grozny. Alimsultanov would later graduate from the Polytechnic Institute in Rostov, and work as a land reclamation expert.

Alimsultanov started his musical career in the mid-1980s, where he would pass on music folktales and tales of Chechen heroes with his songs. He also wrote songs to poems written by Umar Yarycheva, Musa Geshaev, and other prominent Chechen poets. Unlike fellow Chechen bard Timur Mucuraev's songs, Imam's music tended to be closer to traditional Chechen music. Some of his most popular songs include "Gazavat", "Dagestan", "Distant Homeland Anthem", and "Chechnya".

With the start of the First Chechen War in December 1994, Alimsultanov spoke to Chechen fighters, and at the request of Chechen President Dzhokar Dudayev, accompanied injured fighters to Turkey. Imam performed extensively in Istanbul, collecting money for injured Chechen fighters.

After returning to Chechnya, as a chief negotiator Alimsultanov helped secured the release of 25 builders from Odessa, Ukraine, who were held hostage. After securing their release, Odessa Mayor Eduard Gurwits opened the Imam Music Hall Theatre, where Imam would be invited to perform five times.

On the night of November 10, 1996, three men in police uniform burst into the Odessa house where Alimsultanov and his artistic team were staying, shooting Imam and two colleagues at close range. All three died, but one witness, who was in the bathroom at the time of the murder, survived. The murder remains unresolved. In one version of the Ukrainian law enforcement, the murder had no political motive; however, an investigation by Chechen special services implicated the Russian FSB for the murder.

Imam Alimsultanov was buried near his hometown of Khasavyurt, Dagestan, and a street in the same city was renamed in his honor.

Freitag, 20. März 2009

Husein Betelgeriev - Free Ichkeria - 128kb

Rather wonderful, melancholic album by Chechen singer. All but two songs are sung in Chechen. 
The album probably dates from the mid-1990's.

Link: here

The only information anywhere which could relate to the singer is a posting about a Chechen conference in Paris back in 2006-7, where a certain Husein Betelgeriev from the University of Grozny gave a speech on the influence of war on the religious conception of Chechens. And that's about it.