Vinyl record of Batyrkhan Shukenov’s “Otan Ana” album released in Almaty

December 07, 2021

ALMATY. KAZINFORM – The Batyrkhan Shukenov Foundation and Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation announced the release of a limited edition vinyl record of Batyrkhan Shukenov’s “Otan Ana” album, Kazinform INA reports.

The “Otan Ana” album was first presented on October 26, 2002 in Almaty. Over the past 19 years, the music and songs of the hieratic album have not lost their value and relevance.

Talking about his first Kazakh solo album, Batyr said: “Discs are now very difficult to sell, because everything has gone to the Internet. We still did not set a commercial goal. First comes music, then – everything else. The “Otan Ana” album, created together with Kuat Shildebayev, is a dedication to the motherland. We were recoding it for a year and a half, each song has been lived through by us. This is not poster patriotism, it is necessary to talk about it very reverently, not shouting. The title song “Otan Ana” is played when people put their children to bed, it sounds like a lullaby. So we managed to convey something very important. When I sang this song, my son was a few months old at the time. I took the microphone and, naturally, I thought only about him, and, apparently, these feelings filled the song.”

In another interview, Batyr was asked about the song of the same name from the hieratic album “Otan Ana”:

“In addition to the lyrics, the song has a very deep musical subtext. How did you choose this “palette”?”

In response, Batyr told the story of creating music for the song: “In the orchestration, at the very beginning of the song, dauylpazy sounds – huge drums that make an archaic sound that called on warriors to protect their land. How this sound came to me, I can’t say for sure. It was somewhere in the subconscious. Kuat and I have been looking for the sounds of these drums for several days, listening to a huge number of sound libraries. We argued for a very long time. When we finally found those very drums, as soon as the first “drawing” and the first beats of the drums appeared, Kuat began to play the part of the violins, and it was no longer possible to tear him away from the instrument. We did not leave the studio for a week, we were simply captured by this powerful flow of energy – and this song appeared. We were helped by a beautiful, wise, unknown force energy! This is an important point: how to be ready for creativity; understand why and for whom.”

“I think that folk music is the main inner base of a human being, his platform. And even when our first experiments at “A-Studio” began, musicians in Moscow told me they could feel folk melismata in my voice and in the manner of performance. To be honest, at first this was not clear to me. But when Kuat Shildebayev and I began to work on the Kazakh album, then there was a complete immersion in the study of folk music,” commented Batyr on the authenticity of the album sound.

To create the design of the record, the Batyrkhan Shukenov Foundation and Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation held a competition among woman artists and designers, where the design concept of the Almaty graphic designer, Guldana Tauassar, won.

Guldana herself describes her work process as follows: “I listened to this album for a very long time, including outside the competition. I thought and still think that many people associate Batyr’s songs and his voice with something nostalgic. Nostalgia for the old days, for the old Almaty, you listen and memories pop up before your eyes. Everyone has their own. So the focus was on making the cover warm, vintage, nostalgic.” For the design of the record, photographs taken by Nikolay Postnikov when filming Batyr’s clip in Ustyurt were used. Guldana placed a still where Batyr holds a stone with petroglyphs on the cover, because she believes that “This photo conveys the care and love Batyr treats his homeland with.”

Nikolyi Postnikov, who filmed the backstage of Batyr’s creativity, spoke of his work as:

“The national music that Batyr is engaged in is an order of magnitude higher than what is happening today in the music industry.”

The educational component of joint projects is important for Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation. According to the Foundation Director, Marat Aitmagambetov, the re-release of the album on vinyl will raise the quality standard of modern music: “We see that Batyr’s work has a huge impact on a new generation of performers and listeners – they are inspired by him, they try to align with him. I would like Batyr’s thoughts and words about the homeland, relationships, love to continue to live, to be accessible to people. Perhaps the record will be the first acquaintance with the “Otan Ana” album for young people. It is all the more pleasant that they will immediately hear the famous compositions in excellent quality.”

The record was released in a limited edition of 100 pieces. To remind, the outstanding singer and composer Batyrkhan Shukenov was born on 18 May 1962. Passed away on 28 April 2015. The news of his death shocked the whole country and the army of millions of fans.

Personalised stamps with the image of Batyrkhan Shukenov were issued in Almaty in November 2020.


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