Chechnya: Music of defiance published on CD



Music of defiance published on CD

Some performers of the compilation album ‘Songs of Defiance’ have gone into protective self-exile. Even outside the borders of Chechnya, recording them is officially discouraged, as Michael Church, arrested for doing so, can testify


The first-ever CD of North Caucasus music, entitled ‘Songs of Defiance – Music of Chechnya and the North Caucasus’, was recorded and compiled by British music critic Michael Church who writes for The Independent in London. He has financed the project at his own expense.

In North Ossetia he was arrested while recording a community choir without a permission from authorities to do so, and in an article he wrote for the BBC Music Magazine he notes that if he had applied for such a permit in Moscow he surely would have been refused. The Putin regime does not welcome foreigners entering a region of Europe which they wish to keep under what Michael Church terms as “a political purdah.”

The CD is published and distributed by the label Topic Records which has existed in 67 years and published several famous folk music albums. The label states in a press release:
“For three centuries successive Russian governments – Tsarist, Soviet, and post-Soviet – have oppressed the Chechen, Ingush, and Circassian nationalist movements, periodically deporting whole populations; Islam has been the rallying-point for resistance. The music on this CD is a magnificent testimony to the resilience of these people, and to their defiant belief that they will one day re-inherit their lands.”

See below for the link to Michael Church’s article.

The CD is published by Topic Records in UK on 21 May 2007 and in the US on 19 June 2007. Available from and


Topic Records:

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