Richness of Azerbaijan music is unique for me - Sylvain Barou - VIDEO | Eurasia Diary -

5 August, Wednesday

Richness of Azerbaijan music is unique for me - Sylvain Barou - VIDEO

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One of the well-known flute players, Sylvain Barou, traveled to Azerbaijan to learn the balaban. His passion for Azerbaijan music brought him to Azerbaijan. Eurasia Diary conducted an interview with him to know more about his career and interest in Azerbaijan music.

-Please introduce yourself. Who are you? What do you do?

-I am Sylvain Barou. I am a musician. I am a flute, balaban player. I come from the Brittany region in France. I have been playing music for 30 years, 20 years professionally. I play the balaban only for 5-6 years. I traveled Azerbaijan to learn techniques and styles of playing the balaban. This is important for me.


-What music projects did you have before? What kind of plans do you have in the future?

-When I started professionally, I was playing music from my own culture, Celtic culture. Brittany is a part of Celtic region. Therefore, I started to play Celtic music, Irish music from Ireland. Then, my mind became more open to other kinds of music with traveling. Especially when I started to travel to Turkey, Iran, I learned music styles of these countries. Through time, I developed my own style under this influence. Finally, it brought me to Azerbaijan today, to improve my playing, to learn specific things and other things.


-What do you think about Azerbaijan music?

-I love it so much for many reasons. I have been playing Turkish, Iranian and Kurdish music. We can find this influence on Azerbaijan music. For me, it is very different. The richness of Azerbaijan music is unique for me. The repertoire, the compositions, the instruments, dynamics of the music are specific only to Azerbaijan. It is fantastic for me. I think that is why I like to listen to it. 


-How did you know about the balaban?

-First of all, we had the chances to go Alim Gasimov’s concerts in France. In his group, there was a balaban player. I saw the balaban for the first time in Paris, in Alim Gasimov’s concert. I was so impressed by the balaban player, of course by Alim Gasimov also. In France, Armenian people play a version of the balaban, they call it ‘duduk.’ They have their own music and style. The music I want to develop is closer to the balaban, to Azerbaijan music. This is why I come here. It is my preference. 


-Why did you choose Azerbaijan to learn the balaban?

-Because for me, the origin of the balaban is Azerbaijan. When I listen to very old recordings, I feel the details, creation of playing of this instrument. It is really from Azerbaijan, Karabakh. For me, the only possibility to know about it is to come Azerbaijan.


Interviewed by Islam Mammadov

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