Artfully Constructed Ahenk

Ahenk -  Ahenk, Volume 2
Ahenk – Ahenk, Volume 2
Derya Türkan and Murat Aydemir

Ahenk Volume 2 (Golden Horn Records, 2007)

I can think of no better word for the captivating duo of Derya Türkan and Murat Aydemir than ‘Ahenk’, which means harmony in Turkish and the title of their two collaborative CDs. Now with their CD, Ahenk, Volume 2, released on Golden Horn Records, both Turkan and Aydemir have been given the opportunity to interpret the works of Tanburi Osman Bey, Tanburi Refik Fersan, Dede Efendi and Rauf Yekta Bey, among other classical composers of the Turkish and Ottoman traditions.

Intricately evocative and artfully constructed, Turkan and Aydemir blend the distinctive sounds of the kemence and tanbur into a dream-inducing delight. One could hardly expect less from these two extraordinary musicians. Kemence player Turkan was born into a musical family and received early music lessons from famed Turkish cellist Firat Kizilug. He later honed his musical skills with Ihsan Ozgen and the Istanbul National Turkish Music Ensemble, and went on to perform concerts all over the world before joining the Kudsi Erguner ‘s Ensemble.

Murat Aydemir began his studies at the Istanbul Technical University Turkish Music Government Conservatory, studying the tabur with Necip Gulses. In 1989 he joined the Cultural Ministry’s Istanbul Government Classical Turkish Music Ensemble, then became a member of the Cultural Ministry’s Istanbul Government Classical Turkish Music Chorus. He has since joined Incesaz  and recorded five CDs with the group.


The mastery of the fluid ebb and flow of these two masters is apparent from opening track "Arazbar Pesrevi." The journey continues through some wonderful tracks like the wonderful "Ussak Pesrevi," "Sedd-i Araban Pesrevi" and "Mahur Pesrevi,"finally ending with Ill.Selim Han’s "Pesendide Saz Semaisi." Improvising, Aydemir radiates sparks on "Ussak Tambur Taksimi," while Turkan lights up "Majur Kemence Taksimi." Joint improvisational work on "Musterek Huseyni ye Gecis Taksimi" and "Musterek Pesendide ye Gecis Taksimi" showcase the earnestness and intensity Turkan and Aydemir have discovered within the music.

The raw beauty and rich imaginativeness of Ahenk, Volume 2 glistens with every incandescent note.

Buy Ahenk, Volume 2, the duo’s previous CD, Ahenk and the solo recordings Letter from Istanbul and Neva..

Author: TJ Nelson

TJ Nelson is a regular CD reviewer and editor at World Music Central. She is also a fiction writer. Check out her latest book, Chasing Athena’s Shadow.

Set in Pineboro, North Carolina, Chasing Athena’s Shadow follows the adventures of Grace, an adult literacy teacher, as she seeks to solve a long forgotten family mystery. Her charmingly dysfunctional family is of little help in her quest. Along with her best friends, an attractive Mexican teacher and an amiable gay chef, Grace must find the one fading memory that holds the key to why Grace’s great-grandmother, Athena, shot her husband on the courthouse steps in 1931.

Traversing the line between the Old South and New South, Grace will have to dig into the past to uncover Athena’s true crime.