Members of the Ordo Sakhna playing the zhygach komuz, one of the Kyrgyz's most ancient instruments, at a performance in Brooklyn, NY.
If you've always wanted to see a Kyrgyz komuz, a kind of three-stringed lute played one-handed, upside-down, and with elaborate gestures that look like a hand ballet; and if you live in the United States - you may be in luck. The Bishkek-based ensemble Ordo Sakhna is on its second tour of the US, and over the next three weeks, it will perform in Chicago, Missoula, and a variety of venues on the West Coast.
The group plays a mixture of traditional tunes, original compositions, and even some covers. (This is your chance to catch a rendition of "Strangers in the Night" on three komuzs, two cello-like kyaks, two choop flutes and a set of percussion instruments that include a horse-hoof sound-maker.) But perhaps the most unusual part of the set is an eight-minute excerpt from the world's longest epic poem, the more than 500,000-line-long Manas, by dedicated troubadour, or manaschi, Raspay Isakov.