Musicians Are Struggling to Adjust to the New Working Environment Since the Collapse of the Soviet Union
The collapse of the Soviet system is presenting new challenges to musicians in Central Asia. Under the Communist order, officials placed strict limits on the ability of musicians and composers to express themselves. These days, the main obstacle is connected with economics. Creativity is limited by the dire financial circumstances that most musicians face. For those who have the resources, however, new technologies are expanding musical possibilities. Vladimir Gusev is the director of Music Hall, a creative association in Kyrgyzstan dedicated to producing new musical works. One of Music Hall's most recent projects is the production of a compact disk in collaboration with the Soros Foundation Kyrgyzstan called Kyrgyz Musical Instruments. The CD is a sampler of folk instrument sounds [to see some of the instruments and hear music, click here]. Gusev spoke to EurasiaNet about the challenges of making music today in Central Asia. The text of the conversation follows.
EurasiaNet: What are the major difference between working as a composer today and working in Soviet times?
Gusev: There are some differences. In the past the state not only controlled the creative work of composers, it also was responsible for our social welfare. Nowadays composers are left to their own resources. If someone can work, he works and can have success. Yet, if one cannot work he disappears from scene. What is taking place now scares some of the composers because this is a time when everyone has to think about his own life independently.
With the help of the Soros Foundation in Kyrgyzstan, a studio called "The Laboratory of Sound" has been in operation for the past two years, allowing musicians to record music and refine it using computers. Furthermore, we can make audio tracks and CDs.