Dialogues and Poems
before the first narration:]
O Heavenly Wheel you
have spun me round and round!
[ I was in Koulab, and
you brought me to Balkh!
I was in Koulab,
drinking sweet water!
brought me here to the bitter waters!]
last shot of Amir statute]:
the poor one who is separated from homeland
Obayd Rajab, Stage
Manager of Dawlatmand and Head of Tajik TV:
Dawlatmand created new rhythms which were adopted by other folkloric
and professional ensembles. He knows how differently songs can be
played using various musical instruments. In other words, he
deliberately avoids prevalent clichés. For example, he knows that it
is better to play a piece of music using specific instruments, or that
the volume of this instrument should be higher. He also knows which
part of the music should be played by an ensemble, and which part
should be accompanied by the back-up singer. He knows these things
inside opera hall]
O My Tulip! May I be
May I become a cloud,
casting my shadow over you!
Talib Shahidi, Conductor
of Dushanbe's Symphony Orchestra
days, Dawlatmand Khalov used to perform frequently in Dushanbe and
Moscow symphony halls. I was in Moscow when I found some of the
recordings of his performances which were based on popular poems and
also a Falak recital which I wanted to use in the Yusuf and
Zulaykha ballet. It went like this:
plays the piano)
I used this
in the Yusuf and Zulaykha ballet which required such specific
music. Afterwards I used it in the symphonies that I composed and
performed, for instance in Moscow and Tashkent.
(The song continues.)
May I be a cane in
the hand of your chaperon.
I am the sincere
slave of your love.
By your dark eyes I
You are my only cure!
Khalov's voice is always echoing in my ears. I always try to compose
my music based on Falak, especially the Falak as interpreted by
Dawlatmand, to give it a unique national character.
What is your favorite Dawlatmand song? What is most typical of his
like Dawlatmand's performances of Jami’s and Rumi's poems best. I
really like it when he sits down and performs a piece with only two or
Poem : on home made video shots]
Let go of stratagems,
Moth-like, Go to the
heart of the hearth
Fire! Face the Fire!
Make yourself a
Turn your home into a
With the lovers of
together in one place, in one place
you ‘ you are my only beloved’,
you that you are like a fresh bud,
clean your path with my eyelashes,
have not visited me even once
burning with your love!
you would be like a New Year’s Gift
would see you at least once a year!
Falak Song of the South
Until then, I
had never met Dawlatmand Khalov. When we arrived at his home, he was
up to his ankles in hay and mud. He then washed his feet and we sat
down and talked. He sang a few songs. I invited him to come the next
morning to the House of Civilization so he came there. I asked him to
sing me the "Charkh-o-Falak" song in the same manner that people sang
it in the villages, and to sing it really loud. He did so and I could
sense that his singing had echoes of songs sung in the mountains. I
said: "That's it. This is what I want."
O My heart, sit only
Who know and
understand a heart’s worth.
Sit only under a tree
That has fresh
Not every sugar cane
every ‘UP’ has a ‘DOWN’
every eye has a ‘vision’
every sea has a pearl!
Laleh Taless, Composer
Dawlatmand Khalov has a
really strong voice. Unlike other singers of Falak, he had a formal
training. A wide range of people got to know him and he performs on
stage. He also has a master. His master is Adineh Hashemov. Moreover,
what separates him from other singers is that he has advanced musical
knowledge. He has studied at the School of Art. That is why he creates
a synthesis of Falak with contemporary music. He even performs it with
a symphonic orchestra with a chorus. He creates a synthesis of
traditional art and today's music.
Ill-wishers of others
will never achieve their aim
For whatever evil you
commit, you will suffer evil yourself,
I want only good for
you while you want evil for me,
will see no good in life and I will suffer no evil!
Musicologist, Director of Tajik Composers’ Union
Today a great
part of traditional music has been revived by the accomplished
musician, Dawlatmand Khalov. Of course, this music with its novel form
and style is accompanied by his own voice which is a rare voice
compared to other vocalists. He has revived this type of traditional
music which resonates with the past and was hidden for decades. For
instance, during the reign of the Manghiti emirs in Bukhara and its
vicinity, such music was not so common. This music was hidden in
Khatlan and Badakhshan provinces and other mountainous provinces.
However, in the twentieth century it was revived by many artists such
as Ma'rouf Khajeh Bahadorov in Khojand, Adineh Hashemov in Khatlan and
other genuine artists. Following these great masters, Dawlatmand
Khalov in turn revived other forms of this tradition.
On archive footage:]
Folkloric poem from Koulab
.... O By God and His
Accept the Prayer of
I, Your Humblest
Music is a conservative
art; it evolves by small increments through history. But when a
genuine musician approaches music, he definitely makes changes in the
style of the lyrics, changes the songs as well as the performance of
old rhythms. This is what Dawlatmand has done with performance of
Falak. He utilized the Falak tradition, its rhythm, and changed them.
The basis of Falak is folkloric quatrains , but he introduced Persian
mystical poems in Falak. As a matter of fact, one can credit him with
reviving the performance of Rumi's poems in Tajikistan.
[ in the Charkhi’s
shrine and mosque:]
O Caravan Leader!
See the camels in one
row, all drunk!
The Master is drunk,
the Servant is drunk!
The Beloved is drunk!
So are those alien to
[ On the voiceover by
The core of Sufi teachings
deals with the human being and his inner world, his good intentions
and the improvement of man's lot. Generally our classical poetry
abounds in mystical teachings. Even during the Soviet era, the
classical Sufi poems were published. But perhaps the people did not
always understand their concepts. However, a time came when they
started concentrating on the content rather than the form of the
Then came a time when a
singer like Dawlatmand appeared who sought mystical values in our
classical literature and eventually presented them.
In fact, this was a
movement in music and other creative arts in Tajikistan which became
prevalent in the late seventies and eighties. This led to further
attention to self-discovery and more concentration on the human
condition. It was this movement that manifested itself in the
Dawlatmand’s efforts to revive the traditional Sufi music.
Under the Big Trees
Mervigi Song of Bukhara:
I am totally
Here Comes the Queen
of All the Beautiful Women!
Behold her body and
gait, Behold her beauty
Here Comes the Queen
of All Beautiful Women!
[Dushanbe's Song by
Whoever Drinks from
Will forget the myth
and story of Zamzam
Every alley in you is
the path to love and youthfulness,
All cities are
mesmerized by your ambience!
I and Dawlatmand were
together on a trip to Iran. We both sang, and other Tajik
master-singers also appeared on the stage and sang. But people showed
more interest in Dawlatmand.
A true man is a person who
aspires to the sublime art and song. It is a fact that the genuine
Tajik song nowadays manifests itself in the works of Dawlatmand.
Dawlatmand is an artist who, after Adineh Hashemov, developed his own
peculiar style in Tajik music, especially in the music of southern
Tajikistan, the music in Koulab and the province of Khatlan.
He has devised new styles.
Today there are many differences between the Six-Maqam which is the
music of Northern Tajikistan with the music of the South, i.e.,
Khatlan. In the past the northerners were not greatly interested in
the music of the south, but Dawlatmand sings in such a way that even
the northerners like to listen to him.
This instrument has [its
own] secrets. Today the person who has discovered and knows all these
secrets, and who knows and performs these tunes, is our true artist,
Aside from all this,
Dawlatmand is a good instrumentalist. He plays all the popular and
professional instruments very well. He can play all the musical
instruments [in Tajikistan] without exception.
Some may think that he is a
show-off, but that is not true. He can play the instruments really
If an orchestra member is
not able to play a certain song with Qijak or Do-Tar, or if a musician
makes a mistake while playing a flute, a clarinet, or violin,
Dawlatmand takes their instrument straight away and shows them how the
song should be played.
Towards the South
I began as an architect. I
studied at College of Architecture and later became an architect. Then
I received a prize in one of the exams administered in the Tajik
republic. Then Master Karim Halimov and the late Master Majidov
suggested that I should also finish my studies at the Professional
College of Music.
When I was young, I loved
to sing while I was riding a horse or a donkey to the field, while
taking my father's lunch to him and sometimes while I brought the hay
back. I loved to sing Falak. I was a little kid when I started singing
Falak and my father would always ask me to sing Falak.
I loved it because when I
sang while passing through mountains, I could hear the echo of my
Falak. It was as if the mountains were responding to me.
Now I feel that the nature
itself is an artist too. When nature loves you, it will accompany you
in your songs.
You may want to know how I
learned the art and knowledge of music. My father was a serious
musician and man of letters. My father's friends used to visit our
house, and they used to discuss and debate classical literature. We
were kids and were not allowed in their room. Then the musicians would
arrive and would play. We could only sit outside the room and listen.
One of the newspapers once asked me when and how I received my
education in music. I said I started from the time I was a kid. I was
in the first grade when my father was holding those meetings at
Mr. Dawlatmand, these young men that you take along, and whom you said
are your pupils. What sort of instruments do they play? Do they play
traditional instruments or do they play new instruments such as
These young men are my children, my pupils and my brothers.
Essentially we perform traditional music. I am honored to do this
service. I want our folkloric music and traditional instruments to
survive. We use European instruments too, but we are mostly using
traditional instruments and folkloric, classical and traditional
music. I will then complement it with modern instruments. In other
words, I mix them together and make a synthesis to give it a modern
form. But the foundations of all my works are the traditional
instruments and Tajik music.
What is your favorite wedding song?
Answer: In wedding
ceremonies, I find a number of things quite interesting. For instance,
when they prepare the groom (or what we call the New King) to go to
the house of the bridegroom, everybody is happy. Everybody feels like
a king. "Here comes my king! Here comes my 'New King'!" That is
because he feels like a king. There are couplets that say: "The
king has gone to hunt,
riding on the gilded
How are they sung?
The songs are folkloric pieces. They do not have complicated notes,
but when you hear it performed, you think that it is quite a complete
work. (Dawlatmand sings) "Here comes my king! Here comes my 'New
King'!" The lyrics themselves say what the ceremony is all about.
When do you write your songs?
When I am traveling, or during the holidays when I work on the land.
The best time for writing my songs is when I am in the orchard, in the
foothills of the mountains, and when I am working on the land during
My Little King Is on His Throne
There are certain couplets
written for the occasion when the 'King-Child' accedes to the throne,
which express all parents’ wish that their children would someday
As the folkloric [song]
"My king is on the
he sits on the gilded
he wears a new turban
on his head,
with a kingly
- then the chorus sings...
- Could you sing for us?
My king is on the
.. in the hope that
when old age cometh, the son will be on the father's side...
the chorus sings again. Then I sing:
"Had I known you were
My king is on the
I would have scattered
petals where you tread,
My king is on the
What role did you play in forming "the family ensemble"? Was that your
idea or Dawlatmand's idea?
Ali, Dawlatmand's Elder Brother
We have inherited this family ensemble from our father and
grandfather. It began before us and has been bequeathed to us.
In 1959, I became very much
interested in the art of singing. I practiced a lot and sang folkloric
songs. Then Dawlatmand, four or five years after me, was practicing
with me. He learned the art of singing and became a singer. My other
brothers Nourollah and Saeed and others learned how to sing. Then in
the family ensemble, we were all singing and playing the instruments
- How many people are in
- About 30 people.
- Are they all your
brothers and sons?
- They are our brothers,
sons and nephews. For instance, the one who played the drum was my
- Is there any girl in
your family who plays a part in the ensemble?
- Yes. There are. My
daughters and the daughters of Dawlatmand, Sayfollah and Nazarali are
in the ensemble. The daughters help in the family ensemble. They
dance. When we perform, they perform theatrical pieces.
[On the archive
- Who will inherit this
family ensemble after you?
- We hope that, with the
Grace of God, it will be continued by our sons and our great
grandchildren who will all become performers. I hope they will keep it
alive. As we have received this legacy, they will pass it on to their
children. This is a family tradition.
Whoever Hurts Us, May God Be Kind to Them
- This is the tomb of His
Eminence Mir Seyyed Ali Hamedani which has been here for centuries.
says hello to the old man)
-- Is that you, Dawlatmand?
-- One of my children is
just like you when you were a child. I watch television just to hear
you sing. I love to hear your songs.
-- Let us offer a prayer as
we have come on a pilgrimage.
(Recitation of the Qur'an)
[Inside the shrine:]
Poem by Hamedani:
May the Lord be his
May the Lord prolong
Whoever threw thorns
in our path,
May the Lord remove
from the flowers of
We have no disputes
in the whole world.
Whoever disturbs us,
May the Lord give him
Falak: Natural Opera
[Solo playing and song:]
Popular song of Koulab:
O Mother you are the
source of all people, young and old,
O Mother you are the
source of all Being,
existence, the world would have no soul
O Mother the world
owes its existence to you!
If someone sings Falak in
his youth, if he reaches the age of 70, 80 or even 100, he can still
sing Falak. Falak is one of the sources of the operatic style in the
world. How do I know this? I know it because whenever Tajik opera
singers have a difficult operatic work to perform, they invite me.
Sister Golchehreh knows this....
In opera, we know that the
range of a singer’s voice which we call “diapason” is more than two
octaves. But I can perform those works without any problem. Later I
realized, and even wrote in my papers, that Falak is the natural
There are two families in
Khatlan province, and I guess in all of Tajikistan, who sing Falak:
The Khalov singers and the Arezouyev singers. Lady Golchehreh is from
the Arezouyev family. There is no other family ensemble.
What they sang in praise of
"mother" is a song which has been handed down from generation to
generation. Maybe there are other women who sing Falak, but no one can
perform a song like Lady Golchehreh. I have not heard of anyone, nor
do I believe that there is anyone, who has the sincerity that
Golchehreh has in her voice. She performs Falak in such a way that it
finds its place in the heart of listeners. I have not heard this in
the voice of anyone else. I have not heard a voice like hers.
I wish I could dance like this in the town square -- Rumi
me thy face,
For I crave flowers and
Open your lips,
For I crave the taste of
Come out from behind the
For I desire you bright
the narration about the dance on the shot of local musicians:]
One hand holding a cup
The other hand caressing
the Beloved’s hair,
I wish I could dance
like this in the town square!
When I was a kid, I would
sit right here, right next to my father. Here we had a sour cherry
tree that had delicious fruit. My father would tell me “go and pick
some sour cherries for me.” I would pick the sour cherries and he was
working in the yard, watering the trees. We were sitting right here.
But today my father is
there. There, in front of us is the grave of my father. My mother, my
paternal uncles and my grandfather too have been buried there. Their
graves are across from village and across from their home. Such is
It was right here in this
home when I started singing. A stream passes through this orchard; I
used to sit near the stream and sing a song so that no one would hear
- But they would hear you.
- Yes, contrary to what I
thought, they could hear me.
- I would go with my
brothers to a mountain on the other side of this hill, where there is
the Javabak (“echoing”) mountain. I used to go there. I used to go to
the waterfall too.
My father owned a mill. I
used to go to the mill. The millstone has its own music. The axis has
its own music and its wheel too has its own music.
Now I think because I was a
child, in the beginning, I used to fall asleep as I was sitting next
to the turning wheel of the mill. But later, to the music of mill, I
would sing the two or three couplets that I knew. At that time, I had
not started school yet. I was singing under the millstone that was
making only one note.
Today from what I now know
of music theory, I realize that this one note was the best thing that
I could train with as a beginner.
song of the Mazar :Yaad-e
Poem by Rudaki:
comes the smell of the stream of Mouliyan. There comes the memory of
the kind beloved
the tomb of his father, he recites a poem written on the tombstone: ]
O Father! Standing
over your tomb, my heart breaks!
With each breath I
remember your sweet visage!
May all the hearts
and souls be sacrificed
for [only] one of the
wishes of the mother,
When the mother prays
for the child,
the child's fate
I have sung hundreds
about being and
[because] my nature
with the passion and
songs of my mother.
If the fast-sleeping
world listens to me,
it is because of the
lullabies of my mother.
This lengthy corridor
is where my mother walked to come and see me,
But now only the
younger or older brothers come to see their sisters.
The people say that
maternal aunt replaces the mother,
Do not fool me;
Mother's love is entirely different.
Apple Tree Garden
(Popular Song: Morad-ali
I will not exchange
your face for gold or jewelry.
I will not exchange
your lips for pearls and gems.
You wrote in your
letter that "O Friend we have grown old!"
I will not exchange
your old age for a hundred
I have come so that I
will see the smile on your face,
So that our lives
will be filled with the sweetness of honey,
Whenever you step in
All stones become
pearls and rubies.
Question: As an artist,
which one of these two worlds do you like more and in which you create
Answer: You want the honest
truth? I like the world in which I was born.
- A village world that is
- Yes, the same world in
which I was born. That is, my father's home and village. I truly love
it here. Of course, I also live in the city. The city is good. All
places are good. But the most cherished place is my birthplace.
What Dawlatmand sings and
the voice that God Almighty has given him is extremely refreshing,
sweet and powerful. That’s how I feel.
from Layeq Shir Ali, the late contemporary Tajik poet:]
The Tajik people have
their nest in the mountains,
The mountain has
permeated their existence.
If Tajik means the
one who wears a Taj ('crown'),
Then he wears his
mountain like a crown on his head.