I have heard of this specific style of Uyghur Traditional music for years, but never really knew where it came from or any details that set it apart. Some of my current Expat friends are art and music lovers and requested my help learning a little more about Dolan Music. So our last trip south took us to one of it’s home towns. We asked around town about an Art Institute and were at first directed to a Museum filled with amazing Uyghur peasant or farmer paintings. These graphic images and bright colors were beautiful…but there was no music or dance in the building.They suggested we go to the city’s vocational school where one lady, the guru of all things Dolan, taught. At four o’clock on a Friday afternoon we marched on campus, trying hard to look like we had purpose and intentionality so the gate guard wouldn’t stop us. Being foreign helps, people either figure you look important and therefore must have a reason for being on campus or they assume you are so stupid you wouldn’t even understand if they did ask, and so they let you go to save the hassle. We were soon unshed into the female director’s office and after explaining our interest in Art and Dolan music she called the main teacher in to meet us.
We had figured that this trip would mainly be spent looking around and trying to find contacts… we never figured the teacher would be willing to call her students back to class late of a Friday afternoon to perform a personal mini concert just for us. But that’s what we got. When these high school aged kids picked up their instruments they forgot about a week’s worth of weariness from study, they put aside the fact it should have been the start of their weekend, and they played with heart. When they first started beating on their daps and burst out singing my heart skipped a beat with excitement. I have tried repeatedly to upload one of the videos we took... but for some reason it just won't work. So here are a few pictures of the kids playing.