World Sacred Spirit Festival


Ingie – a Qanun orchestra - Azerbaïdjan
with Mukadasi Mijiti, dance - Xinjiang Uygur

This musical ensemble of young women playing the original zither qanun, led by Tarana Aliyeva, demonstrates the vitality of the Azeri tradition of Baku and the richness of its heritage wherein the Turkish, Persian and Caucasian elements come together.

Traditional and classical music played on the qanun are based on the “mugham”, the melodic scale system from Azerbaijan. The “mugham” modes are not only based on a scale system, but also consist of a collection of melodies and melodic fragments that performers use with grace and elegance in the course of improvisation.

As the historical relative of santur from the same geographical region, qanun is thought to trace its origins back to Assyria, where an ancestral homologue might have been used in Mesopotamian royal courts and religious ceremonies.

Mukadasi Mijiti:

Proud of her Uyghur origin, the young dancer, Mukadasi, is inspired by the magnificent beauty of some of the most ancient cities of Uzbekistan, like Bukhara or Samarkand, which were described as “a very large and splendid city” by Marco Polo, while he was recording his journey along the Silk Road.

“…the dancer, without moving her place, drawing her hands on her hips, made some movements of her head and upper body. She did not look at anyone, she was impassive. The impression produced by this kind of emotion can not be better compared to that which one experiences at the seaside, when the eye constantly asks the wave to do more, to climb higher, to go farther than the preceding wave, and we listen to its noise in hope, successively disappointed, that the noise that will come will be somewhat stronger. It is thus the seduction operated on the senses by the evolutions of the dancers of Asia.”

Asian News - Arthur de Gobineau (1876)

Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur - Rajasthan