Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA – Turkish musician
Bolat has released a new
recording, Gul: The Rose.
One of the most well-known Turkish musicians in the United States, Latif Bolat plays Turkish Folk Music and devotional Sufi songs, called Ilahi and Nefes, from the Anatolian peninsula. Accompanying himself on baglama (Turkish long-necked lute), Bolat sings of love and spirit, with many songs featuring the lyrics of the great 13th century mystical poets Rumi and Yunus Emre.Bolat gives more details about the new album:
“Gul” is the Rose, the
symbol of unfolding in the mystic Sufi tradition. Life starts in a bud and it
unfolds to a magnificent beauty with a long painful journey regardless of all
those thorns surrounding the flower, like “cooking oneself thru the difficulties
of life. However, once the unfolding is completed, you get the most magnificent
of all flowers.
Rose is also the symbol of innocence in Turkish folk and court poetry, often
depicting the beloved. I even catch myself calling a stranger “gulum”, “my rose” when I want to be sweet to the person. However, practically the title of this CD
comes from a song I am singing in this very recording, a poem from the great 16*
Century poet Ummi Sinan. He dreams of a world where everything is rose. The idea
of a world made of roses -esonated with me so well that as soon as I learned
this particular song, the name of -ny next CD became Gul: The Rose. As a
wonderful linguistic coincidence, Gul also means “smile” in Turkish language? So
may universe be filled with Roses of all kinds!
Since the 11th Century, Turkish people from the deserts of Samarkand to the
mountains of Anatolia recited poetry in search of the ultimate Truth and union
with the Beloved. With their strong shamanistic background, my ancestors blended
Islamic and many other local rituals of Anatolia, creating the wonderfully
Turkish ways of Sufi mysticism like the Bektashis, Mevlevis and many others.
For me the most important aspect of these poets from the past thousand years is
their strong anti-materialistic attitude. As true mystics, these poets and
troubadours let go all the comfort and facilities offered to them by the
Sultans, and kings of their times. Instead, they pursued a relentless struggle
to reach the Truth.
Such an anti-materialistic attitude is so much in line with my own world
philosophy in these times of rampant selling out of everything sacred and
profane that I had to put this wonderful poetry in music. That’s why this
recording is especially special to me since most of the songs are my own
compositions from the last two years. Due to the wonderful nature of this mystic
folk poetry, composing was almost a natural progression of reading them out
loud. You’ll hear the sounds of the Iraq war in these compositions since they
are also the impressions of the war in the Middle East. Therefore I consider
this CD as my very own child, coming from my deepest passion for beauty and
ever-growing desire for a peaceful and love-filled universe.”
Gul: The Rose].