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Messages - juhlemann

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General Chat / "new folk" music
« on: March 10, 2011, 01:39:30 AM »
I began collecting recorded Albanian music about 30 years ago, both "field recordings" and LPs such as Marcel Cellier's collections.  Some of what I have is commercial recordings directed toward foreigners, and some (such as the cassettes one could buy in markets in Kosovë in the 1980's) recordings meant for local consumption.  My question regards the background of current Albanian music groups that are not "folklore ensembles" or "pop groups" , but who perform in a variant of traditional dress and use older singing styles accompanied by a mixture of traditional and electronic instruments.  (In Latvia this is referred to as "post-folk music" - a term coined by Ilga Reizniece.)  Some of these performers are highly respected singers from the old regime who have updated themselves to fit modern tastes (e.g. Irini Qirjako),  but I am not familiar with the others.  What is one to make of the duet "Bilbilet e Vrionit" (see the YouTube performance of "Xhixhile") - were these also former state-sponsored musicians?  They seem to be popular, but who, exactly, is the target audience?  My personal impression is that it is like American Bluegrass or Country Music - obviously based on older forms, but not really traditional, and that it has a subset of the listening public that connects the music with its own sense of Albanian identity.  I have no direct contact with Albanian culture, however, so I cannot be sure of my impression.
-John Uhlemann

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