Thursday, October 31, 2013

Kayhan Kalhor, Erdal Erzincan, Kula Kulluk Yakasir Mi, Mid-Eastern Classical Music

I grew up in the generation that believed in the idea of "Brahms, not bombs". There has been nothing that has happened in my eventful life to change my mind. "We" may not have always gotten along with all other nations and people in my lifetime, but I do believe in the power of music to heal us all and eliminate the distance between self and others, or at least understand what positive difference there can be and what can reconcile those so we all can get on with our lives. So much for my pitch as to the power of music.

But there is more, wait. One way to embrace differences in a positive way is to explore the rich heritage of humankind's music-making. No serious student of music, the guitar and/or any instrumental tradition one might work in can afford to ignore the great traditions of other places, and sometimes, other times.

In the spirit of this and because the CD at hand is such an excellent example of another tradition, I give to you Kayhan Kalhor and Erdal Erzincan's Kula Kulluk Yakisir Mi (ECM B0018884-02). It is a live date of two extraordinary virtuosos performing Mid-Eastern classical music. Maestro Kalhor is Persian and plays a fiddle-like instrument called the kamancheh; Maestro Erzincan hails from Turkey and plays a lute-ish instrument called the baglama. The repertoire is for the most part traditional. There is long developmental scalar improvisations, important compositional motifs and a general ambiance of concentrated ultra-expression.

This is not their first album but it is an excellent album. Listening is the best way to understand why this music is essential. I recommend it without reservation. These two are marvelous musicians.

No comments:

Post a Comment