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Need Ossetian lullaby

mg 08 Dec 12 - 12:41 AM
GUEST 08 Dec 12 - 03:59 AM
mg 08 Dec 12 - 03:05 PM
Jack Campin 08 Dec 12 - 06:27 PM
bobad 08 Dec 12 - 07:05 PM
Jack Campin 08 Dec 12 - 07:37 PM
GUEST,mg 09 Dec 12 - 03:46 PM
Crowhugger 09 Dec 12 - 06:33 PM
GUEST,mg 09 Dec 12 - 06:56 PM
Jack Campin 09 Dec 12 - 07:18 PM
GUEST,mg 09 Dec 12 - 07:56 PM
Crowhugger 09 Dec 12 - 08:50 PM
mg 09 Dec 12 - 10:25 PM
GUEST,Stim 10 Dec 12 - 05:05 AM
Crowhugger 10 Dec 12 - 05:34 PM
GUEST,Stim 10 Dec 12 - 06:36 PM
ollaimh 10 Dec 12 - 06:49 PM
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Subject: Need Ossetian lullaby
From: mg
Date: 08 Dec 12 - 12:41 AM

It is for the lullaby project and I must tread with etxtreme caution because of severe political considerations. The lullaby will be for the survivors of the Breslan massacre. I have been informed that they are of Ossettian and two other language groups. There are many pitfalls to be avoided here..

Does anyone know of any Ossettian singers? Preferably who might have recorded a very neutral lullaby?


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Subject: RE: Need Ossetian lullaby
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Dec 12 - 03:59 AM

This is not a lullaby, exactly, but it's the only Ossetian song I know of--so it's better than nothing. I believe, but am not sure that
Fuyayu Zerag means "Shepherd of the Black Mountain" but my Ossetic is
a bit rusty.

I tried to find the lyrics, and couldn't. I can't make them out. It's a pretty song, though.


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Subject: RE: Need Ossetian lullaby
From: mg
Date: 08 Dec 12 - 03:05 PM

Thanks..that is beautiful...couldn't use it as a lullaby because it is too vigorous....

Does anyone know any people of this community:?


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Subject: RE: Need Ossetian lullaby
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Dec 12 - 06:27 PM

Maybe Michael Church (editor of the 2-CD compilation "Songs of Defiance" of the music of the Caucasus) might know? He's a music critic for the Independent and has a Livejournal page.

Otherwise try Hasan Saltik at Kalan Müzik in Istanbul. Their collection of Anatolian Lullabies doesn't include any Ossetian material but there are Ossetians in Turkey and I bet he knows where to find them.

Both Church and Saltik will be able to tell you the implications of what you're trying to do. Choosing a song with inappropriate connotations could be massively offensive.


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Subject: RE: Need Ossetian lullaby
From: bobad
Date: 08 Dec 12 - 07:05 PM

My wife's mother, who died last year at 92 years of age, was born in Mozdok, North Ossetia. Her parents were killed by Bolsheviks during the revolution. She and her twin sister were adopted by a Ukrainian couple who fled to the British Protectorate of Palestine as it then was. She was raised in an expatriate Easter Orthodox community in Haifa from which she subsequently fled to Canada at the outbreak of the war waged by the Arabs against the Jews in 1948.

Sorry that I can't help with your request of a lullaby but I thought I'd answer your question about knowing anyone from that community.


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Subject: RE: Need Ossetian lullaby
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Dec 12 - 07:37 PM

the war waged by the Arabs against the Jews in 1948

Well that tells us where you're coming from, anyway.

This is how complicated the situation in the region gets:

Israel, Georgia and Ossetia

The obvious question an Ossetian would have for any American trying to comment on any of this would be: given what your government is doing to us, how dare you? At least recognize the US's responsibility before putting your mouth in gear.


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Subject: RE: Need Ossetian lullaby
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 09 Dec 12 - 03:46 PM

My original thought was to have a song in Russian..it is part of Russia but there are considerations there too of course. I can't keep it all straight. I have also thought of someone writing a brand new one and then there are copyright issues...mg


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Subject: RE: Need Ossetian lullaby
From: Crowhugger
Date: 09 Dec 12 - 06:33 PM

It may be easier said than done to find public information about Ossetian lullabyes. From my perusal of ossetians.com and wikipedia, it is an historically patriarchal society where women are traditionally not heard in the public sphere. While that is reported in some articles at ossetians.com to be changing, there seems little on the internet to show that is so, while said web pagesalso state that such liberations are generally frowned upon by a lot of Ossetians; the authors say that modern social freedoms are to be dialed back to as not to offend Ossetian tradition. At least that what's I took away from the articles I read.

The list of types of Ossetian music shown on wikipedia was made by a male. It does not acknowledge any music specifically for children, perhaps because traditionally it is shameful and taboo for men to participate in that sphere. It may be that such music must be found directly from the women who know and it, or it may be that babies and kids are sung to sleep with historical and other folk songs, not infantilized to the degree we see in North America.

About the song link provided by unnamed GUEST: What is thought to be suitable for kids in 21st century North America ain't necessarily so elsewhere and else-when. Think Grimm's Fairy Tales for an obvious example, and I wonder how many kids of the British Isles not to mention early Appalachia or early Mexico or the wild west were sung to sleep with heroic war songs or love ballads or cautionary songs.

With that in mind I'm thinking about the Shepherd of the Black Mount linked-to above. If the lyrics are politically acceptable for this project, I wouldn't necessarily rush to dismiss it on the grounds of too much vigour. On purely musical grounds what you hear as too much vigour is to me simply a result particular arrangement and recording: Those voices (other cultures have different sounds that are considered desirable), the chord progressions, and the busy accompaniment. Imagine the same verse-melody in your own voice along with sparsely-plucked guitar, and for the chorus your voice plus a couple of lower or higher ones "ooo-ing" notes from the chords and/or descant-y stuff (with or without guitar. Just a thought...

Whatever you end up doing, it appears that you have taken on quite a task for which I applaud you, and I wish you every wonderful success! I do hope you'll post a link to the result.


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Subject: RE: Need Ossetian lullaby
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 09 Dec 12 - 06:56 PM

Thanks..for all the songs and this one in particular I have to make absolutely sure what the lyrics are and what they mean....in the Beslan situation we have a great tragedy combined with various historical and present conflicts and darned if I can sort it out. Surely there must be one song about little butterflies and lambs etc.


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Subject: RE: Need Ossetian lullaby
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Dec 12 - 07:18 PM

The liner notes for the Kalan "Anatolian Lullabies" CD are startling. Think about the situation of a young mother in an exogamous traditional society (Christian, Muslim or Jewish makes no difference): she's been dumped in a distant village where she knows and is related to nobody, mostly confined to the house, and with in-laws who are likely to be hostile and treat her as not much better than slave labour. Her husband probably spends very little time with her and has a social life mostly taken up with his male friends. She will have nobody to talk to about her loneliness and anger except the baby, who can't understand. So the texts of traditional lullabies are usually full of despair, bitterness and frustration. You can see why they aren't often brought out into the public sphere.


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Subject: RE: Need Ossetian lullaby
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 09 Dec 12 - 07:56 PM

I don't know the complexities of it all but those were some of the bravest men in the world running into gunfire and explosions to rescue their children..mg


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Subject: RE: Need Ossetian lullaby
From: Crowhugger
Date: 09 Dec 12 - 08:50 PM

Jack I would think so too. And possibly there are songs containing layered language, a code of some sort to express those emotions amongst those privy to the code, in way some Soviet-era theatre, music and literature contained double meanings.

mg, I encourage you to contact Alan Gasser, co-director of Echo Women's Choir, e-mail info DOT echo AT gmail DOT com. Both Alan and Becca Whitla are wonderful people who likely can help you source the sort of thing you seek. Alan has directed a Georgian choir in Toronto for a long time so I would fully expect hime to be well aware of the political subtlties relating to the ethnic mix in Georgia and its music as well as to know the music itself.

Click for the public bit of Alan's Linkedin profile.


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Subject: RE: Need Ossetian lullaby
From: mg
Date: 09 Dec 12 - 10:25 PM

I am more confused by the minute...this was not in Georgia was it?


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Subject: RE: Need Ossetian lullaby
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 10 Dec 12 - 05:05 AM

Southern Ossetia(which is across the mountains from Northern Ossetia) has significant ethnic Georgian Population. Remember the Russian-Ossetian-Georgian War during the 2008 elections, when John McCain said, "We are all Georgians?"

Breslan was part of a different conflict though, between Northern Ossetia and Ingushetia, or, actually, between Ossetians and the Ingush who had been driven out thru war and ethnic cleansing in 1992.

I think you have a bit of a challenge here, mg, for a few reasons--first, the extreme political sensitivities, and second, that
it's hard to know what has meaning to the victims and survivors when you're not close to their culture, then there's the point that Jack brings up....


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Subject: RE: Need Ossetian lullaby
From: Crowhugger
Date: 10 Dec 12 - 05:34 PM

Ossetia straddles the Caucasus mountains, the southern part of Ossetia being in present-day Republic of Georgia, the northern part being in present-day Russia.


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Subject: RE: Need Ossetian lullaby
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 10 Dec 12 - 06:36 PM

Actually, whether Southern Ossetia is, or should be in present-day Georgia is one of the "political subtleties".


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Subject: RE: Need Ossetian lullaby
From: ollaimh
Date: 10 Dec 12 - 06:49 PM

this is one of the oddest mudcat discussions. however i used to meet alan and becca busking in the toronto subway system. alan ran a georgian choir . very interesting music, with a microtonal scale unlike anyother.

as to ossetic lullabys--i caouldn't find one i my search. i'd ask alan.

the ossetic people are thought to be the descendants of the ancient sythians. one of the very disparate peoples who still survive in the causausus. the avars still live in dagestan. they speak a language descended from ancient hurrian spoken in subaratu.


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