an intricate tapestry of Persian & Turkish music


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Iranian kamancheh player Kayan Kalhor’s ‘East meets East’ projects have brought some tantalizing cultural hybrids to full flower. The ongoing collaboration with Anatolian baglama master Erdal Erzincan is one of the most striking of them. The source material for their improvisations in this intense and fascinating performance – recorded in Bursa, to the south of Istanbul – includes music from all over Turkey and music of traditional Persian provenance. These two Kurdish artists are absolute musical masters and made their first album together back in 2004, entitled The Wind, and create instrumental music which acknowledges tradition but declines to be restricted by it.

The art of improvisation stands at the centre of this long-standing cooperation between Kayhan Kalhor and Erdal Erzincan.

Kalhor and Erzincan have worked together regularly since then, constantly refining their joint improvisations. The result is appealing spiritual music that takes its source material from the whole of Turkey and from Iran. Their music is thoroughly modern and seeks to bring the listener into its trance-like realm by interweaving ecstatic rhythms with sensual melodic phrases. The result is a set of instrumental compositions that flow into each other like one continuous work, with gently drifting passages in which the two instruments echo and improvise on different phrases.

“A thoughtful, intriguing work” – The Guardian

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Francis de Souza



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