Ahenk, Volume 2 (Turkish Classical Music)
by Derya Turkan & Murat Aydemir
On this their second album, Ahenk Duo performs works by Tanburi Osman Bey, Tanburi Cemil Bey, Tanburi Refik Fersan, Dede Efendi, Neyzen Salih Dede among others. Album’s program also features solo and joint improvisations. Music presented ranges works from 17th through 20th centuries in makams Arazbar, Ussak, Sedd-i Araban, Mahur and Pesendide. The Duo performs these pieces and improvisations masterfully in this second part of their journey of Turkish and Ottoman classical music.
Back in 1997, Golden Horn produced very first recording of two friends; Derya Türkan and Murat Aydemir. Album was titled “Ahenk” which means "harmony" in Turkish. This title reflected these two musicians' friendship as well as their style and performance of Turkish & Ottoman classical music. At that time, Derya and Murat were in their early twenties. They already had many years of performance experience in prestigious ensembles. Both of them had very sound training in their style of music. They were students of the leading players of Turkish classical music and showed a lot of promise for the future. Over the years, first album’s title gave the duo it is name: "Ahenk Duo". Both musicians perform in other groups, sometimes together, sometimes separately and have their own individual ways of musicianship and musical interests. When they get together to play, as very capable extensions and performers of music that reaches back centuries, they perform on tanbur and kemence, in a style that has become seldom displayed.
This new recording continues where the first album left. Over the years, both musicians lived up to expectations and they are now considered to be leading performers of their respective instruments. Derya recorded other albums; including “Letter from Istanbul” and Murat recorded other albums as well, including “Neva”; both on Golden Horn. Initial volume of Ahenk, over the years, became a reference album for many; not only for those individuals who were getting their first introduction to this tradition, but also for those who had immersed themselves in this music already. Both albums contain compositions from various periods of classical music as well as taksims (improvisations) performed solo and jointly. This joint improvisation style is a development that Murat and Derya have inherited from their teachers, Ihsan Özgen and Necdet Yasar, and continue to perform. Murat also demonstrates this style on another duo recording, this time with the ney player Salih Bilgin on album called “Neva”.
“Ahenk Volume 2” was recorded in Istanbul in Aria Studios which is located in Üsküdar district. From the balcony of this studio, one can view ships and boats sail through the Bosphorus with the reminders of city’s past in the background; a beautiful location to record an album like this. Cengiz Onural, a member of Incesaz -- another group in which Murat and Derya perform -- was the recording engineer. In a recording like this, it was crucial to work with an engineer who is intimately familiar with the artists, instruments and music.
1. Arazbar Pesrevi - Eyyûbî Mehmed Çelebi (-1650?)
2. Müsterek Hüseynî’ye geçis taksimi, Joint improvisation, transiti
3. Ussâk Tanbûr taksimi - Improvisation on tanbur
4. Ussâk Pesrevi - Tanbûrî Osmân Bey (1816-1885)
5. Ussâk Saz semâîsi - Neyzen Sâlih Dede (1823-1888)
6. Sedd-i Arabân Pesrevi - Tanbûrî Refik Fersan (1893-1965)
7. Müsterek Sedd-i Arabân taksim - Joint improvisation in Sedd-I Ar
8. Sedd-i Arabân Saz semâîsi - Tanbûrî Cemîl Bey (1871-1916)
9. Mahûr Kemençe taksimi - Improvisation on kemence
10. Mâhûr Pesrevi - Raûf Yektâ Bey (1871-1935)
11. Müsterek Pesendîde’ye geçis taksimi Joint improvisation, transit
12. Pesendîde Saz semâîsi - III.Selîm Hân (1761-1808)
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