Persian and Turkish Masters Collaborate on The Wind

Kayhan Kalhor and Erdal  Erzincan -  The Wind
Kayhan Kalhor and Erdal Erzincan – The Wind

On September 19th, ECM will release The Wind in North America, a hypnotic meeting of traditional Persian and Turkish music from kamancheh (Iranian spike fiddle) virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor partnering with one of the leading baglama players of Turkey, Erdal Erzincan .

After The Rain, Kalhor‘s Grammy-nominated album with the group Ghazal, comes The Wind, a documentation of Kayhan Kalhor‘s first encounter with Erdal Erzincan. It presents gripping music, airborne music indeed, pervasive, penetrating, propelled into new spaces by the relentless, searching energies of its protagonists. Yet it is also music firmly anchored in the folk and classical traditions of Persia and Turkey.

Iranian kamancheh virtuoso Kalhor does not undertake his transcultural projects lightly. Ghazal, the Persian-Indian ‘synthesis’ group which he initiated with sitarist Shujaat Husain Khan followed some fifteen years of dialogue with North Indian musicians, in search of the right partner. “Because I come from a musical background which is widely based on improvisation, I really like to explore this element with players from different yet related traditions, to see what we can discover together.

I’m testing the water – putting one foot to the left, so to speak, in Turkey. And one foot to the right, in India. I’m between them. Geographically, physically, musically. And I’m trying to understand our differences. What is the difference between Shujaat and Erdal? Which is the bigger gap? And where will this lead?

Kayhan began his association with Turkish baglama master Erdal Erzincan by making several research trips, in consecutive years, to Istanbul, collecting material, looking for pieces that he and Erdal might play together. He was accompanied on his journeys by musicologist/player Ulaş Özdemir who also served as translator and eventually took a supporting role in the Kalhor/Erzincan collaboration. On The Wind , Ulaş plays the divan baglama, or bass saz, providing a ground over which the two master musicians may fly.

Kayhan Kalhor recorded The Wind in Istanbul at the end of 2004 and mixed it, together with ECM producer Manfred Eicher at Oslo’s Rainbow Studio in 2006.

Kayhan Kalhor and Erdal Erzincan will tour in North America in October.

October 7

New York City, Symphony Space

October 8

Chicago, IL – Old Town School of Folk Music

October 10

Sault Sainte Marie, Ml – Lake Superior State University

October 11

Cleveland, OH – Cleveland Museum of Art

October 13

Durham, NC – Duke University

October 14

Washington, DC – Terrace Theater at the Kennedy Center

October 15

Duluth, GA – Pert. Arts Center at North Point High School

October 19-20

Waltham, MA – Brandeis University (residency)

October 21

Waltham, MA – Brandeis University (concert)

October 29

Toronto, Ontario – Harbourfront Center Theater

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Author: World Music Central News Department

World music news from the editors at World Music Central

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