Ajam Podcast #3: Musical Dialects of the Caucasus

Thanks to our amazing supporters of our recent crowdfund, Ajam will now be producing and releasing regular weekly podcasts. To download the episode, subscribe to us in the iTunes store.

In this episode, Kamyar and Rustin talk to Stefan Williamson Fa, co-founder of Mountains of Tongues, a project documenting and promoting musical dialects in the South Caucasus.

Mountains of Tongues showcases traditions that defy normal categorizations of “national” or “folk” music through the use of non-conventional instruments, multiple languages, and a blending of different musical genres. Stefan shares three songs from the Mountains of Tongues archive and from his most recent fieldwork in Georgia: a Georgian-Azeri bilingual Kamancha song by Sergo Kamalov, Aşıq Nargile’s rendition of the Aşıq Qərib story, and a Azeri electric guitar solo from a wedding in Qaçağan, Georgia.

Stefan Williamson Fa recently received his PhD in Anthropology at University College London. His research focuses on performance and lamentation rituals in Turkish-speaking Shi’i communities in Eastern Anatolia and the Caucasus.

(Image Credit: Mountain of Tongues LP, design by Lucy Duncombe and Kenneth Wilson)


Stefan Williamson Fa

Co-founder, Mountains of Tongues

PhD in Anthropology, University College London



Kamyar Jarahzadeh

Ajam Editor

Kamyar (@Kamyarjarah) on Twitter



Rustin Zarkar

Ajam Editor

Rustin (@RustinZ) on Twitter


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