Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Place They Deserve

By Ali Pektas, "Yarkın’s new album archival work, preservation of musical tradition" - Today's Zaman - Istanbul, Turkey
Tuesday, July 16, 2008

With the release of their debut album, "Ten" (Skin), the Yarkın brothers expanded the horizons of Turkish music

The Yarkın Percussion Group, the first of its kind in Turkey, was established in 1994 by Fahrettin and Ferruh Yarkın and has managed to show that rhythm is not just a background factor, but can be appreciated on its own.

The group's primary goal was to "make drum players independent from horn players."

With later albums "Ten'de Ten" (Skin on Skin) and "Kervansaray" (Caravanserai), the group expanded its audience, and now their newest album, "Hayy," released recently under the Kalan Müzik label, has brought them once again to the musical agenda, giving today's voice to prominent works of Sufi music and at the same time serving as a rare archival work.

Contributors to the album include Bilal Demiryürek, Ahmet Şahin, Mehmet Kemiksiz, İlhan Yazıcı, Hamdi Demirci, Osman Ziyagil and Osman Erkahveci on vocals and Yavuz Akalın, Derya Türkan, Gökhan Filizman, Uğur Işık and Ferruh Yarkın playing music.

Fahrettin Yarkın spoke to Today's Zaman about the album, the commercially motivated albums of Sufi music that surface every Ramadan and the popularity of percussion music.

What was your goal when you first started to work on "Hayy"? Can it be described as an intentionally archival album?
There are hundreds of Sufi music albums on the music market. Until now, those who released these albums have tended to be either clerics or musicians only, and therefore there has always been something missing in these albums. I guess we have successfully fused both of these sides.

My brother, Ferruh, and I have been engaging in religious music since 1980 and had the opportunity to work together with many distinguished masters, such as Kani Karaca, Bekir Sıtkı Sezgin, Nezih Uzel and many more.

For a long time, we've had the intention to produce such an album. We have worked on the repertoire for about two years and we have also done meticulous work on the vocals.

We wanted to bring to the foreground the rhythm factor in this album and use some percussion instruments that have never been used before [in this musical genre]. Overall, we minimized the usage of melodic instruments.

Yes, we can possibly describe it as an archive work or an attempt to preserve the tradition. Apart from being an album with such a repertoire, it is a good work in that it is loyal to the original compositions and adapts them to the contemporary sound.

In the past, there were frequent discussions about whether there was religious music in Turkey or a need for it. What's your opinion on this?
We, as the Yarkın brothers, consider such discussions as out of context and unnecessary. In our opinion, there is indeed a religious music and any attempt to train, study or compose in this form of music is evidently very difficult.

In general, we can say that the area where religious music is used today can only represent the tip of the iceberg. There are tens more to what we now see and hear.

In particular, a number of Sufi music albums mushroom every Ramadan, and a section of these tend to be low quality, as they are produced with commercial goals in mind. Based on this fact, some argue that Sufi music is degenerating.
We are not interested in the commercial aspects of the work. We like to produce what we like to do. Of course, the primary purpose of releasing a Sufi music album in and for Ramadan is to earn money, and we cannot expect commercially-oriented minds to produce quality work.

We recorded this album in January 2008. We did not produce an album that can be listened to only at Ramadan. We regret that Sufi music is being degenerated. But it is not easy to prevent.

You set off as a percussion ensemble. Yet in your latest works, there are melodic elements. Are you going through a process of change?
We are happy to be a percussion ensemble. However our training and perspective do not keep us from utilizing from melodic elements, provided that we still give weight to percussion.

I hope 'Hayy' will be loved as much as and even more than 'Kervansaray.' We had conducted studies for months for some of the compositions in 'Kervansaray.'

We always perform long studies and then start the recording phase. In this respect, there has been no change. In our recent work, we have just given more room to melodic elements, but we still continue to use rhythmic structures and instruments as we wish.

What was your inspiration in saving percussion from being used just a factor accompanying other musical elements, making it an independently existing music element?
We won't be modest about this issue. Since 1995, we have been laboring to give percussion and percussion players the place they deserve. I guess we have shown that percussion can be both soloist and accompaniment.

As I said in our first album, we just wanted to make drum players are independent from horn players. At that time, there were mixed reactions. Yet it is good to see that percussion players are now getting the positions they long deserve.

‘We will establish a school of percussion if we find a sponsor'
"To remain and survive as an ensemble is very difficult. Although there are seemingly many percussion groups around, there is no true percussion band in the market.

Other than us, there's Engin Gürkey and his ensemble. They work more on Latin music and have managed to remain an ensemble. There are also good percussionists who work alone, such as Mısırlı Ahmet.

If you ask me about the current state of affairs in the market, I would say that I wish some groups that give preference to quality over commercial concerns would emerge and make contributions to music.

Time and music fans always eliminate the bad. We are waiting for good and original work. And if we can find someone to sponsor it, we intend to establish a percussion school".

1 comment:

Air Setitik Community said...

Please visit us at http://airsetitik.co.cc or http://airsetitik.tk

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Place They Deserve
By Ali Pektas, "Yarkın’s new album archival work, preservation of musical tradition" - Today's Zaman - Istanbul, Turkey
Tuesday, July 16, 2008

With the release of their debut album, "Ten" (Skin), the Yarkın brothers expanded the horizons of Turkish music

The Yarkın Percussion Group, the first of its kind in Turkey, was established in 1994 by Fahrettin and Ferruh Yarkın and has managed to show that rhythm is not just a background factor, but can be appreciated on its own.

The group's primary goal was to "make drum players independent from horn players."

With later albums "Ten'de Ten" (Skin on Skin) and "Kervansaray" (Caravanserai), the group expanded its audience, and now their newest album, "Hayy," released recently under the Kalan Müzik label, has brought them once again to the musical agenda, giving today's voice to prominent works of Sufi music and at the same time serving as a rare archival work.

Contributors to the album include Bilal Demiryürek, Ahmet Şahin, Mehmet Kemiksiz, İlhan Yazıcı, Hamdi Demirci, Osman Ziyagil and Osman Erkahveci on vocals and Yavuz Akalın, Derya Türkan, Gökhan Filizman, Uğur Işık and Ferruh Yarkın playing music.

Fahrettin Yarkın spoke to Today's Zaman about the album, the commercially motivated albums of Sufi music that surface every Ramadan and the popularity of percussion music.

What was your goal when you first started to work on "Hayy"? Can it be described as an intentionally archival album?
There are hundreds of Sufi music albums on the music market. Until now, those who released these albums have tended to be either clerics or musicians only, and therefore there has always been something missing in these albums. I guess we have successfully fused both of these sides.

My brother, Ferruh, and I have been engaging in religious music since 1980 and had the opportunity to work together with many distinguished masters, such as Kani Karaca, Bekir Sıtkı Sezgin, Nezih Uzel and many more.

For a long time, we've had the intention to produce such an album. We have worked on the repertoire for about two years and we have also done meticulous work on the vocals.

We wanted to bring to the foreground the rhythm factor in this album and use some percussion instruments that have never been used before [in this musical genre]. Overall, we minimized the usage of melodic instruments.

Yes, we can possibly describe it as an archive work or an attempt to preserve the tradition. Apart from being an album with such a repertoire, it is a good work in that it is loyal to the original compositions and adapts them to the contemporary sound.

In the past, there were frequent discussions about whether there was religious music in Turkey or a need for it. What's your opinion on this?
We, as the Yarkın brothers, consider such discussions as out of context and unnecessary. In our opinion, there is indeed a religious music and any attempt to train, study or compose in this form of music is evidently very difficult.

In general, we can say that the area where religious music is used today can only represent the tip of the iceberg. There are tens more to what we now see and hear.

In particular, a number of Sufi music albums mushroom every Ramadan, and a section of these tend to be low quality, as they are produced with commercial goals in mind. Based on this fact, some argue that Sufi music is degenerating.
We are not interested in the commercial aspects of the work. We like to produce what we like to do. Of course, the primary purpose of releasing a Sufi music album in and for Ramadan is to earn money, and we cannot expect commercially-oriented minds to produce quality work.

We recorded this album in January 2008. We did not produce an album that can be listened to only at Ramadan. We regret that Sufi music is being degenerated. But it is not easy to prevent.

You set off as a percussion ensemble. Yet in your latest works, there are melodic elements. Are you going through a process of change?
We are happy to be a percussion ensemble. However our training and perspective do not keep us from utilizing from melodic elements, provided that we still give weight to percussion.

I hope 'Hayy' will be loved as much as and even more than 'Kervansaray.' We had conducted studies for months for some of the compositions in 'Kervansaray.'

We always perform long studies and then start the recording phase. In this respect, there has been no change. In our recent work, we have just given more room to melodic elements, but we still continue to use rhythmic structures and instruments as we wish.

What was your inspiration in saving percussion from being used just a factor accompanying other musical elements, making it an independently existing music element?
We won't be modest about this issue. Since 1995, we have been laboring to give percussion and percussion players the place they deserve. I guess we have shown that percussion can be both soloist and accompaniment.

As I said in our first album, we just wanted to make drum players are independent from horn players. At that time, there were mixed reactions. Yet it is good to see that percussion players are now getting the positions they long deserve.

‘We will establish a school of percussion if we find a sponsor'
"To remain and survive as an ensemble is very difficult. Although there are seemingly many percussion groups around, there is no true percussion band in the market.

Other than us, there's Engin Gürkey and his ensemble. They work more on Latin music and have managed to remain an ensemble. There are also good percussionists who work alone, such as Mısırlı Ahmet.

If you ask me about the current state of affairs in the market, I would say that I wish some groups that give preference to quality over commercial concerns would emerge and make contributions to music.

Time and music fans always eliminate the bad. We are waiting for good and original work. And if we can find someone to sponsor it, we intend to establish a percussion school".

1 comment:

Air Setitik Community said...

Please visit us at http://airsetitik.co.cc or http://airsetitik.tk