Kayhan Kalhor, Erdal Erzincan: Persian and Turkish Improvisations Past

Aug 21-22, 2015 - Toronto, Canada

This concert brings together two virtuoso musicians steeped in the traditional music of their respective cultures – Persia (Iran) and Anatolia (Turkey). The classical music traditions of Persia and that of Ottoman Turkey have much in common. They share the ancient modal compositional system known as maqam and improvisation plays a definitive role in performance. Likewise, the regional folk music of these two countries have much in common: the similarity of instruments such as the Kurdish and Persian tanbur and setar to the Turkish saz, the strumming techniques used for these instruments, and the high keening vocal techniques so common to mountainous lands and used by singers throughout this vast area. The music performed by these two musicians, while derived from ancient roots, is thoroughly modern. It is purely instrumental which is a considerable deviation from tradition in both cultures where the singer is considered pre-eminent. While traditionally sung poetry is an integral aspect of virtually all Middle Eastern music, in this case it is the sound of the instruments that delivers the poetry. This more abstract manner of conveying emotion and spirituality has always been present in Eastern music; instrumental music in India has long been at the service of vocal music and the most esteemed instrumental style in North India is that which approximates to the human voice. In vocal music from the Arab world to Iran and India, accompanying instruments seek to imitate the nuances of the voice, often repeating melodic phrases or acting as bridges between stanzas. The music of Erdal Erzincan and Kayhan Kalhor is intensely spiritual and emotional; it is like a prayer. It seeks to bring the listener into its trance-like realm by interweaving ecstatic rhythms with sensual melodic phrases.

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Kayhan Kalhor – Kayhan Kalhor, born 1963, is a Kurdish Iranian kamancheh player, composer and master of classical Persian music./Kayhan Kalhor was born in Kermanshah. He began studying music at ...

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