Radio Kaboul performs Afghan music at WFU

By Pam Barrett
November 9, 2005

Wake Forest University's Secrest Artists Series will present "Radio Kaboul: Ustad Mahwash & Friends" at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15 in Wake Forest's Brendle Recital Hall in Scales Fine Arts Center. A pre-performance screening of the film "Afghanistan: The Lost Truth" will also be held at 6:30 p.m. in Scales Fine Arts Center, Room 208, adjacent to Brendle Recital Hall.

Ustad Farida Mahwash

The award-winning Radio Kaboul has been devoted to the performance of traditional music and instruments from Afghanistan since their founding. The concert will feature Ustad Farida Mahwash, a vocalist who is considered the greatest female singer of Afghanistan. She received the coveted title of "Ustad" (Master) in 1977 and was awarded the BBC's Asia/Pacific Award of World Music in 2003. She has lived in California for the past 12 years and tours the world to promote a better understanding of the music of her country.

The concert will include performances of multi-ethnic Afghan music highlighting Indian, Persian and Arabic traditions, airy melodies of Tajik minstrels, festival songs and ragas (classical Hindustani songs with an Indian flavor). The music will be performed by five musicians on ethnic instruments including the zerbaghali drum (a clay goblet drum), bansuri flutes (a side-blown bamboo flute), tabla/dolak (both types of drums), rubab (a short-necked stringed lute) and other Afghan lutes.

"Afghanistan: The Lost Truth" is a documentary by Iranian filmmaker Yassamin Maleknasr. Maleknasr, the only woman and filmmaker to have traveled across Afghanistan from Herat to Balkh since the fall of the Taliban, provides a portrait of both the Afghan people and their country. The film includes an interview about Taliban repression with one of the country's only women judges and an emotional conversation with filmmaker Siddiq Barmak, director of the Afghan feature "Osama." The screening is co-sponsored by the Women's and Gender Studies Program and the Secrest Artists Series.

Admission to the screening is free. Tickets for Radio Kaboul are $18 for adults; $14 for senior citizens and non-WFU students; and $5 for children under 12. They are available through the Theatre Box Office at 336-758-5295.

The Secrest Artists Series will continue with two more concerts during the spring semester of 2006:

Feb. 28, Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg, featuring Chief Conductor Ivor Bolton and piano soloist Stephen Hough, 7:30 p.m., Wait Chapel.

March 30, Isabel Bayrakdarian, renowned Armenian-Canadian soprano, 7:30 p.m., Brendle Recital Hall.

For more information about any of these concerts, call 336-758-5757.