Tag Archives: Kurdish

Enthralling Tenbur and Zaza Music

Cemîl Qoçgîrî – Zalâl (Ahenk, 2016)

Zalâl is the fifth album by German multi-instrumentalist and composer Cemîl Qoçgîrî. Cemîl is one of the finest performers of the tenbur (tenbûr), a Kurdish long-necked lute that is related to the saz.

On Zalâl, Cemîl Qoçgîrî combines ancient Anatolian musical influences with western chamber musical forms. He also uses rare Zazaki vocals. Zazaki (also known as Zaza, Kirmanjki and Dimli) is used by the Zaza Kurds in eastern Turkey and is one of the oldest languages in Mesopotamia. The Zazaki language has been classified by UNESCO as a “language threatened with extinction“.

When language, music, art and culture are lost, the understanding and communication between peoples are lost as well,” says Cemîl Qoçgîrî.

The lineup on Zalâl includes Cemîl Qoçgîrî on tenbur, guitar, and percussion; Mikaîl Aslan on qirnata; Susanne Hirsch on cello; Manuel Lohnes on bass; Eser Baki on tenbur; Nure Dovlanî on violin; Ben Neubrech on guitar; Andre Nendza on bass; Kadir Doğan on percussion; Elif Gökdemir on flute; and Tolga Keleşm on zirne.

The CD booklet contains lyrics in Zazaki with English-language translations as well as biographical information about Cemîl Qoçgîrî.

Zalâl is a beautifully-crafted album that contains mesmerizing performances on the tenbur and the warm vocals of Cemîl Qoçgîrî.

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Artist Profiles: Cemîl Qoçgîrî

Cemîl Qoçgîrî

Composer and tenbur (long-necked lute) maestro Cemîl Qoçgîrî was born in 1980 in Duisburg, Germany. He’s part of a Kurdish-Alevi (Qizilbash) family from the region of Qoçgîrî in northern Dersim in eastern Anatolia. Cemîl Qoçgîrî currently lives in Mainz, Germany.

Alevism/Qizilbash is considered to be the continuation of ancient Anatolian-Mesopotamian belief systems, primarily Zoroastrianism. The tenbur (long-necked lute), the principal instrument played by Cemîl Qoçgîrî is fundamental to this musical heritage, not just as a musical instrument, but it is also deemed sacred by the Alevis.

Cemîl Qoçgîrî has incessantly worked on his own music projects and in 2004 published his first solo album “Ask-i Pervaz”.

In 2005, Cemil travelled throughout Dersim to capture on film perhaps the last living authentic dervishes. These travels were portrayed in a musical documentary titled “Sarraf.”

Cemîl Qoçgîrî released his second album “Heya – Songs of the Qizilbash” in 2007.

The third album “Hiva Zeri – Golden Moon” came out in 2012 and the fourth album, Tembur & Harp, was released in 2015 by Sony Music Classical.

Cemîl Qoçgîrî also took part in the acclaimed Hawniyaz project with Aynur, Kayhan Kalhor and Salman Gambarov. This album was released by Harmonia Mundi Latitudes in July 2016 and received the German Record Critics Award (Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik).

In addition to his solo projects, Cemil Qocgirî also produces and arranges film music as well as audio CD-productions with various renowned artists. He has collaborated with Aynur , Kinan Azmeh, Kayhan Kalhor, NDR Bigband, Morgenland Chamber Orchestra, Netherlands Blazers Ensemble, Mikail Aslan, Erkan Ogur, Salman Gambarov, and Tara Jaff.

Cemîl Qoçgîrî’s fifth solo album Zalâl was released in 2016. It features songs in the endangered Zaza language.

Discography

Ask-I Pervaz (Etno Music, 2005)
Heya – Songs of the Qizilbash (Kalan Music, 2007)
Rewend, with Aynur (Sony Music, 2010)
Hiva Zeri -Golden Moon (Ahenk Music, 2012)
Tembur & Harp (Sony Music, 2015)
Hawniyaz with Aynur, Kayhan Kalhor, Salman Gambarov (Harmonia Mundi Latitudes, 2016)
Zalâl (Ahenk, 2016)

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Wholehearted Songs of Solidarity

Ferhat Tunc – “Kobani” (KKV, 2016)

Kurdish-Turkish singer-songwriter Ferhat Tunç dedicates his new album to Kobani, the northern Syrian city that was devastated by ISIS terrorists. Ferhat Tunç has made many politicians uncomfortable with his songs. In the album “Kobani” he expresses his solidarity with Kurds, Alevis, Yazidies and Armenians, by recording songs about their stories, their suffering and pain.

Although the album contains Turkish and Kurdish influences, the majority of the album contains pop and soft rock arrangements that target a western audience.

Ferhat Tunc has assembled a collection of original songs and an Armenian folk song, singing in Turkish, Kurdish and Armenian languages. On one song he is joined by celebrated Mari Boine, who represents an ethnic minority in Scandinavia with a history comparable to the Kurds in Anatolia.

The album was arranged by Osman Ismen with assistance from Knut Reiersrud. The lineup includes Ferhat Tunc on vocals; Knut Reiersrud on electric guitar; Alp Dogan Tureci and Rune Arnesen on drums and percussion; Øyvind Kristiansen on piano; Eyup Hamish on ney; and Ertan Tekin on duduk. A string ensemble from Istanbul and a youth choir from Oslo also participated in the recording.

 

 

“Kobani” illustrates the suffering of the peoples of the Middle East through a collection of heartfelt songs that feature the exceptionally expressive vocals of Ferhat Tunc.

Buy Kobani

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