Tag Archives: Turkish music

Altogether Satisfying and Exotic Istikrarli Hayal Hakikattir

Gaye Su Akyol – Istikrarli Hayal Hakikattir (Glitterbeat, 2018)

For the most part we humans like knowing what to expect. We prefer the predictable. We like the safe. We want what we want when we want it. That’s an impossible order when faced with the veritable avalanche of world music out there. I have to admit that I occasionally feel like the well-meaning parent standing with hands on hips over the obstinate child facing an unknown vegetable asking, “How do you know you won’t like it? Have you tried it?”

To brag a bit, I think that the standard World Music Central follower is smarter than the average bear. We have followers who want to know when their favorite Cuban is coming to town, or what’s the latest in music from Mali, or perhaps visit to learn a bit about the heavy hitters in Indian classical music. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop my incessant need to get you readers to try something new and exciting. It’s a good thing I don’t know where you live because I’m fairly certain I would be sitting on your bed in the middle of the night shoving a set of headphones at you and forcing you to listen to track 4 because it’s amazing.

Well, here we are again. So, be good, open wide and take a sip of Turkey’s singer, songwriter, producer and audio/visual conceptionalist Gaye Su Akyol’s Istikrarli Hayal Hakikattir. You’ll like it.

Translated the title Istikrarli Hayal Hakikattir means Consistent Fantasy is Reality. Ms. Su Akyol says of the recording, “In terms of its philosophy, lyrics, music and motto, this album is the dream of pure freedom, of showing the courage to be yourself, of looking at the culture I was born into without alienation, a ‘dreaming practice’ propounded into a country and world that is increasingly turning inward and becoming a concervatized prison.”

Following up on previous recordings Hologram Imparatorlugu and Develerle Yasiyorum, Ms. Su Akyol’s latest hits the streets November 1st on the Glitterbeat label. Beyond her own vocals, playing percussion and adding electronics, Ms. Su Akyol is joined by co-producer, electric and acoustic guitarist Ali Guclu Simsek; bassist, acoustic guitarist and keyboardist Gorkem Karabudak; drummer Ediz Hafizoglu, saxophonist Ihan Ersahin, classical guitarist Barlas Tan Ozemek; violinist, oud, electro saz and cumbush player Ahmet Ayzit, percussionist Ismail Darici and trumpeter Oguz Bilgin.

Istikrarli Hayal Hakikattir is edgy, moody and wholly satisfying. It’s deliciously exotic, stunningly kickass and delectably dense. Melding the sinuous lines of Turkish classical musical traditions with the sharp edges of Anatolian rock and Western rock turns Istikrarli Hayal Hakikattir into something fresh and extraordinary.

Ms. Su Akyol explains, “Musically the album combines influences from the Anatolian pop/Anatolian rock genre that emerged in Turkey during the ‘60s and the ‘70s with Turkish classical music scales and vocal aesthetics, and various subgenres of rock (psychedelic, post-punk, surf) bringing together strong ballads, Turkish folk tunes, the conventional guitar-bass-drums trio with percussion, joined by violin, oud, cumbush, and – as new additions that the previous albums did not have – baglama (Turkish native instrument), all together making up a very rich instrumental palette.”

Opening with some electronica “İstikrarlı Hayal Hakikattir” takes on weight with Ms. Su Akyol’s vocals, throaty guitar lines and satisfying bass and percussion. It comes across as a fresh take on the Turkish brand of rock, replete with male vocals to round out the sound.

If you don’t simply fall for Ms. Su Akyol’s right out on the sultry “Bağrımızda Taş,” there’s plenty to wrap your musical soul around like ramped up surf feel of “Laziko” or the subterranean goodness of “Gölgenle Bir Başıma” or the brass, electronica and guitar laced gritty powerhouse “Meftunum Sana.”

There’s also goodies like “Şahmeran,” “Bir Yaralı Kuştum” and the intensely lush closing track “Halimiz İtten.”

Try Istikrarli Hayal Hakikattir, you’ll like it. Don’t make me come to your house.

Buy Istikrarli Hayal Hakikattir

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Artist Profiles: Alaev family

Alaev family

This multitalented seven-member ensemble presents an ancient rhythmic musical blend of Turkish, Persian, Chinese, Russian and Hebrew sounds. It includes Allo Alaev’s two sons, Ariel and Amin, and his grandchildren Zvika, Allen, Amir and the youngest, nine-year-old Aviva. The Alaev family’s repertoire features unique adaptations of inherited ancient Tajikistani songs and Jewish Buchharian compositions.

Allo Alaev was born in Samarkand, in 1932, a major station on the Silk Road. Samarkand stands at an ancient cultural crossroad and its music is a blend of Turkish, Persian, Chinese and Russian.

Allo’s father, Nisan, was an acclaimed singer and his mother, Adino, was considered the most brilliant doyra (frame drum) artist in the whole region of Samarcande. Alaev took up the doyra at an early age, made rapid progress and was soon appointed the first percussionist of the folk Opera Company of the Tajikistan capital Dushanbe.

During the 1960s and 70s he toured Europe, the far East and Africa as a member of several Soviet folk troupes. He received numerous international prizes for his performance. In 1991 the Alaev family immigrated to Israel and made an immediate impact on the local music scene.

Allo accomplished what so many artist wish: to continue the tradition in the family. Three generations perform together on stage and create an intimate and happy feast of music. The presence of the younger generation connect the traditional to the mainstream musical world.

Today, the multitalented ensemble includes Allo Alaev’s two sons, Ariel and Amin and his grandchildren Zvika, Allen, Amir and Aviva.

The Alaev family include in their repertory ancient Tajikistani songs and Jewish Buchharian compositions passed on in generations and now performed with their own unique adaptions.

Discography:

The Alaev Family And Tamir Muskat (Olamalé, 2011)

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Artist Profiles: Aynur

Aynur

Aynur Doğan, better known as Aynur, was born in 1975 in Çemisgezek, in the province of Tunceli. She attended ASM Music School in Istanbul, where she studied singing with Begüm Erdem and Askin Metiner. In 2002, her first album, Seyir was released.

Besides taking part in concerts and albums of artists and groups such as Metin-Kemal Kahraman, Grup Yorum, Anjelika Akbar and Orient Expressions, she also performed vocals for television and cinema.

She performed at home and abroad in both Kurdish and Turkish. Her album Keçe Kurdan – Kurdish Girl was released by Kalan Music in 2004.

The product of nearly a year’s effort, with arrangements by such master musicians as Aykut Gurel, Serdar Ataser, Kemal Sahir Gurel and Burhan Bayar, Aynur’s Keça Kurdan presented a combination of Turkish and Kurdish folk songs, as well as new compositions. Accompanied by a host of fine musicians, the album was notable for its original arrangements.

With her broad vocal range, Aynur performs both folk songs and improvisations, and her album has proved capable of deeply moving audiences.

Rising quickly to the top of Kurdish music albums, Keça Kurdan received a significant amount of attention, both in the Turkish and world press.

Attaining great success through the song she sang in Kurdish in Yavuz Turgul’s film Gönül Yarasi, Aynur became the first to sing a Kurdish song live in a film shot in Turkey. She was also featured in Fatih Akin’s 2005 documentary film Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul.

In May 2005, Aynur received great interest when she performed in various cities of Holland with the Nederlands Blazers Ensemble, considered the finest wind ensemble in the country. Later, she gave three concerts in the Festival of Turkey held in Spain in July 2005, alongside such artists as Aksu, Erkan Ogur, Kardeş Türküler, Mercan Dede and Burhan Ocal.

Aynur

Aynur also performed one song in Kardeş Türküler’s album Bahar (Kalan Muzik, 2005), and two songs in Mikail Aslan’s album, Miraz (Kalan Muzik, 2005). Her album Nûpel was released from Kalan Music at the end of 2005.

Aynur appeared in the 2015 documentary film “The Music of Strangers” about Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble.

On March 16, 2017, Berklee College of Music’s Berklee Mediterranean Music Institute awarded Aynur with the Master of Mediterranean Music 2017 in recognition of her contribution to the preservation of Kurdish folk oral traditions, performing the traditional repertoire and combining it with other modern western styles, opening a new path to this Mediterranean style. Aynur’s faithfulness to traditional Kurdish music, and her perseverance in overcoming big challenges to follow her artistic path, make her an important example for other female artists seeking a creative voice in the Mediterranean music scene.

To hear Aynur’s voice is to hear the transformation of all the layers of human joy and suffering into one sound. It reaches so deep into our soul, tears into our hearts, and then we are for one moment, joined as one. It is unforgettable!” — Yo-Yo Ma

Discography:

Seyir (Türküola Müzik, 2001)
Keçe Kurdan – Kurdish Girl (Kalan Music, 2004)
Nûpel (Kalan Music, 2005)
Rewend (Sony Music, 2010)
Hevra – Together (Sony Music Classical, 2013)
Hawniyaz (Harmonia Mundi Latitudes, 2016)

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Turkish Act Gaye Su Akyol to Release New Album on Glitterbeat & Live at WOMAD and WOMEX

Gaye Su Akyol

 

‘İstikrarlı Hayal Hakikattir’ is the title of the second Glitterbeat album from Gaye Su Akyol, the celebrated singer-songwriter from Istanbul. Her music is a mix of Turkish roots, retro twang and rock.

Gaye Su Akyol will be performing songs from her new album at WOMAD Charlton Park festival, on Saturday, July 28, 2018 at 3:00pm, in the Big Red Tent.

Gaye is also part of the WOMEX 2018 Official Showcase Selection and will be performing on Saturday, October, 27 in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain.

 

 

The Turkish artist’s previous album was ‘Hologram Ĭmparatorluğu’ released in 2016.

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Artist Profiles: Arasinda Ensemble

Arasinda Ensemble

Peter Nyitrai and Hannah Berger foundedd Arasinda Ensemble in Budapest in 1998. Initially they were engaged in a fairly traditional style of Turkish folk music which is represented by Musa Eroglu, Arif Sag, Muhlis Akarsu and Asik Veysel in Turkey. “At the same time, in the course of our journeys throughout Turkey we got acquainted with the musical world which we have taken as basis of the pieces of music and adaptations the current group performs.”

Playing music and singing in their friends’ company both in Turkey and in the Turkish community living in Hungary helped the group a lot in making itself familiar with the traditional style. “In our folk music adaptations we aspire to preserve the authentic image of folk songs, mainly considering the singing style and saz-baglama play. Our pieces are based on tradition supplemented by the individual improvisations of the members of the group.”

The particular sound of Arasinda arose from mingling authentic Turkish folk with ethno-jazz.

Discography:

Askin Sarabi – The Wine of Love (2002)
Ne olursan ol – Whoever You Are (2003)

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Hemdem, A Celebration of Innovative Turkish String Music

Sinan Cem Eroğlu and Muhlis Berberoğlu – Hemdem (Ahenk Müzik, 2018)

Hemdem is a remarkable album by two extraordinary Turkish multi-instrumentalists. The two virtuoso artists play a wide range of string instruments from Turkey and the West. Musically, Hemdem combines Turkish and Middle Eastern modes with western influences.

Throughout the album, Sinan Cem Eroğlu and Muhlis Berberoğlu tastefully interweave acoustic instruments and modern devices like the electric guitar and the mesmerizing electric baglama.

The lineup on the album includes Sinan Cem Eroğlu on fretless guitar, electric guitar, kaval, e-bow, and vocals and Muhlis Berberoğlu on electric baglama, tambura, and vocals.

Hemdem is an exquisite, masterfully-crafted album by two talented Turkish music innovators.

Buy Hemdem

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Spellbinding Music Inspired by the Moon and the East

Ross Daly and Kelly Thoma – Lunar (Labyrinth, 2017)

Lunar is a superb 2-CD album by influential musician, composer and Crete-based world traveler Ross Daly and one of his most distinguished students, Cretan artist Kelly Thoma.

Most of the music on Lunar consists of mesmerizing and circular original compositions by Daly, who is deeply inspired by the musics of the Eastern Mediterranean, primarily Greece and Turkey, and Central and South Asia.

Ross Daly is a multi-instrumentalists who plays a wide range of musical instruments from Greece, Turkey, Afghanistan and other parts of the globe. One of his specialties is the lyra and Afghan rabab. On Lunar, Daly is joined by Kelly Thoma on soprano lyra and percussionists Saam Schlamminger, Marija Katsouna and Zohar Fresco on bendir frame drums. The fascinating sound of the bendir is a perfect fit for Daly’s music, creating an overall spellbinding effect.

Buy Lunar

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Omar Faruk Tekbilek and his Ensemble to Perform at Carnegie Hall

Omar Faruk Tekbilek

Omar Faruk Tekbilek, one of the greatest artists in the world music scene is set to perform on Saturday, April 14, 2018, at 8.30pm at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Omar Faruk Tekbilek will perform his remarkable combination of traditional Sufi, traditional folk and contemporary music from Turkey and the Middle East.

The lineup includes Omar Faruk Tekbilek on ney, vocals, baglama, zurna and percussion; Hasan Isakkut on kanun; Itamar Erez on guitar and piano; River Guerguerian on drums and percussion; and Murat Tekbilek on percussion. Special Guests: Brian Keane on guitar and Ara Dinkjian on ud.

Omar Faruk Tekbilek’s most recent CD is “Love Is My Religion.”

Omar Faruk Tekbilek – Love Is My Religion

Carnegie Hall
57th Street & 7Th Ave,
New York City, New York

More information at www.carnegiehall.org

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Deeply Mesmerizing Turkish Psychedelia

Minor Empire – Uprooted (World Trip Records, 2017)

Minor Empire’s impressive new album Uprooted is hard to categorize as it straddles various musical genres. It’s been described as Turkish psychedelia and world music as well.

Based in Canada, Minor Empire brings together Turkish traditional music and progressive, trance-like guitar sounds that take the listener to other realms.

The group’s sound is characterized by the graceful, otherworldly vocals of lyricist Özgü Özman and the spellbinding guitars and electronics of music composer Ozan Boz. Tradition meets cutting edge technology.

The lineup on Uprooted includes Özgü Özman on vocals; Ozan Boz on electric guitar, percussion and electronics; Michael Occhipinti on electric guitar; Chris Gartner on electric bass; Ben Riley on drums; and Patrick Graham on global percussion.

The CD booklet includes the lyrics in Turkish and English-language translations.

Uprooted is a finely crafted, deeply mesmerizing album rooted in Turkish traditions.

Buy the digital version of Uprooted

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Artist profiles: Senem Diyici

Senem Diyici

Born in Istanbul, Senem Diyici was well known in Turkey as a classical and traditional singer. She later moved to Germany and then in France in 1982. In 1987 she met the jazz guitarist and composer Alain Blesing and in 1989 she recorded on his arrangements on her first album in Europe Takalar in a sextet with the famous Turkish drummer Okay Temiz and some of the best musicians of the new European jazz scene.

In 1991 she wanted to explore new musical directions and created her main band the Senem Diyici 4tet. After fourteen years Senem has performed in more than 1 concerts clubs or festivals all around the world and has recorded 7 albums all awarded by the professional milieu.

Senem has also made guest appearances on many other projects for theater movie or other albums. In 2002 she founded the brass orchestra OctoBando dedicated to the meetings between jazz improvisation and Balkan music.

Each year she performs in many concerts with the 4tet OctoBando or in duet with Alain Blesing and since 2003 she has started to work with the Turkish percussionist Lari Dilmen.
Her album Live!, released on Buda Musique came out in 2005 and a new live DVD in January 2007.

Discography:

Gest / Jest (Wad 1992)
Divan (Artalent 1995)
Images du Desert, with Alain Blesing (Artalent 1995)
Tell me Trabizon (Buda Musique 1998)
Takalar (la Lichere 1989 / Kalan Muzik 2000)
Morceaux Choisis (Buda Musique 2000)
Zip Cikti with Lari Dilmen (Ada Muzik 2003)
Live! (Buda Musique 2005)

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