• Turgunaaly Zhusup Mamai is a Manaschi (“the one who tells the Manas”), a inheritor of the century-old kyrgyz tradition of story-telling. The Manas is an epic poem telling the story of Manas, the kyrgyz hero, who rallied Kyrgyz people behind him to fight for their homeland. The poem has been transmitted orally for centuries and has several versions, one of them including about half a million verses.
      Turgunaaly Zhusup Mamai is the grand son of a revered manaschi (“great Manaschi”) who was able to tell the whole story at once, taking about 7 days non stop. Turgunaaly Zhusup Mamai can tell the Manas for several hours.Telling the Manas is like being induce in a trance, where all the epic of the poem appears through the acting of the poet, which can be violent when it’s about a battle or very sad when it is about a loss. The Manas is often performed during cultural public events in Kyrgyzstan; people can listen to it for hours and get in the same trance stage than the manaschi!
      On this video, Turgunaaly Zhusup Mamai is just telling a sum up of the whole story, which tells about Manas himself and about his son and grand son.
      Recorded in Bishkek, january 2015.

      • The legend of Ketbuka, performed by Nurbek Serkebaev with qomuz, the emblematic instrument of the Kyrgyz people. To know more about the legend of Ketbuka, read the article Tales and legends from Kyrgyzstan.
        Recorded in Bishkek, January 2015.

    • A kyrgyz folk song, Suluuga (“for beauty”), performed by Nurbek Serkebaev with a qomuz, traditional kyrgyz string instrument.
      Recorded in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, january 2015.

    • The story of the horse of Djoloï, performed by Nurbek Serkebaev with Kyl Kiyak, the other emblematic instrument of Kyrgyzstan. To know more about Djoloï’s story, read Tales and legends from Kyrgyzstan.
      Recorded in Bishkek, January 2015.

    • Jew’s harp (“o’oz qomuz” in Kyrgyz) tune dedicated to the Kyrgyz horse trainers.
      Performed by Nurbek Serkebaev.
      Recorded in Bishkek, January 2015.

    • The choor is a traditional kyrgyz wind instrument similar to the turkish ney, mainly used by the horse trainers, who use to play while the horses are resting in the fields.
      Instrument of contemplation, its music is mainly inspired by the beauty of Kyrgyz landscapes.
      Although Nurbek Serkebaev is performing this tune under the grey sky of Bishkek, he confesses to me that imagining the evergreen Kyrgyz mountains helps him to make his music more beautiful!
      Recorded in Bishkek, January 2015.

    • I met Turgunbek in Bishkek, capital city or Kyrgyzstan. 15 years old, he is already animating local weddings with his accordion, covering many popular kyrgyz songs, speaking about love and  youth romance.
      Recorded in Bishkek, january 2015.

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