Celebrate the dazzling electric guitar tradition of Azerbaijan with Mountains of Tongues

Celebrate the dazzling electric guitar tradition of Azerbaijan with Mountains of Tongues

29 May 2019

Mountains of Tongues are celebrating the release of a new cassette of work by legendary Azerbaijani electric guitarist Rüstəm Quliyev with a London screening of their film, Gitara — dedicated to the history of the instrument in the Caucasus region.

Founded by ethnomusicologist Ben Wheeler and anthropologist Stefan Williamson-Fa, Mountains of Tongues records, archives, and promotes the incredibly diverse musical traditions of the Caucasus, via DIY releases and their online journal Caucasus All Frequency.

Their latest venture is a cassette of archival recordings by Quliyev, a native of Nagorno-Karabakh who learned the guitar while on military service for the USSR. After moving to Baku in the 1990s, Quliyev made a name for himself amongst guitar aficionados thanks to his striking combination of traditional Azerbaijani styles with international sounds ranging from Bollywood to flamenco. Quliyev died in 2005, and the cassette marks the first international release of his music.

A special event at London’s Cafe Oto on Sunday 2 June will see the group screen footage from their new film, Gitara, which traces the history and culture of the electric guitar in the Caucasus since its introduction there in the 1960s. The screening will be followed by a discussion and a DJ-set of field-recordings and favourites from the Mountains of Tongues archives.

To buy tickets for the event, click here.

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