On April 13, a meeting was held at the Aigine CRC at the request of longtime partners who played a key role in the creation of ensemble of a thousand komuz players “En Belgi “. Musicians Cholpon Turumbayeva, Rysbek Junushov and the master of traditional musical instruments Marat Berikbayev came with an initiative to restore the “konur un” in the modern orchestra. They characterized this sound as an “authentic Kyrgyz sound”, namely natural, meditative, softly velvety, without high harsh intonations. In musical terminology, it is approximately a low-octave sound.
The question of introducing an “authentic Kyrgyz sound” into the orchestra has existed for a long time. The orchestra itself is a phenomenon that emerged in the Soviet period. The organizer and leader of the first orchestra of folk instruments in the republic was Petr Fedorovich Shubin, who did a lot for adaptation of Kyrgyz instruments for the orchestra. It was objectively difficult to preserve and bring konur үң. Musicians like composers Mukash Abdraev and Abdylas Maldybaev, conductor Tologon Tomotoev, composer, performer and komuz master Nurak Abdyrakhmanov spoke about changing the komuz sound in the orchestra and the need to restore the “konur үn”. Nurak Abdrakhmanov began to develop the author’s system, “En Belgi”, to preserve the “konur үn” while teaching the komuz. In his opinion, the note-based system of teaching could not always capture the specificity of the Kyrgyz sound.
According to our guests, research and hands-on modelling of musical instruments such as komuz and kyl kuyak are needed to bring the “konur un” – meditative and softly velvety-sounding komuz to the orchestra. Master Marat Berikbayev explained the role of wood and building a proper relationship with it ( with nature) to obtain “konur үn”. Only its presence, according to Master Marat, conveys the palette of Kyrgyz sounds, and together with them, the images of Kyrgyz nature.
The meeting ended with an agreement on possible cooperation for the restoration of the “konur un” in the orchestra’s playing. In this case, decolonization as the restoration of the “original Kyrgyz sound” in the orchestra does not mean a return to the past. The Kyrgyz did not have an orchestra. It is hardly rational to deny the orchestra now. Modelling, searching for and reconstructing traditional instruments to restore the traditional sound within the orchestra is one possible way.