Saturday, September 29, 2007

800 and Farewell

By Sarah Rainsford - BBC News - U.K. /Istanbul
Thursday, September 27, 2007

World-renowned Turkish musician and DJ Mercan Dede has announced his retirement from the music business.

His new album, due out in October, will be his last, following 15 years of recording music.

"I used to say whenever I start a concert and feel excitement like the first day, I'll keep on doing it," explains Dede during a break at a studio in Istanbul where he is working on the final release.
"I do still have that energy, but I've been doing this a long time and I think it's important to stop and look at what we did.

"The past 15 years was beyond my dreams. [But] it's like a painter who focuses only on where the brush touches the canvas. Sometimes you need to step back and look at the whole."

Born into a poor family in western Turkey as Arkin Ilicali, Dede now divides his time between Istanbul and Montreal.
He first travelled to Canada to study visual arts and developed a following there as DJ Arkin Allen before creating Mercan Dede more than a decade ago.

His music is an unique blend of traditional Turkish instruments and electronic sounds - one he is reluctant to categorise.

Now central to his work, Mercan Dede first heard the ney - or reed flute - when he was a child.
Enchanted, he carved his own from a piece of plastic piping and taught himself the basics.

Through the music, he was introduced to Sufism and the teachings of Rumi - the 13th Century poet and mystic whose Mevlevi order is now most famous in the West for its Whirling Dervishes.

This week marks 800 years since Rumi's birth, and Mercan Dede has just named his new album 800 after the man whose teachings are a powerful influence on his music and his life.

2 comments:

musicalchef said...

Wow, I've just heard of him recently and he's already retiring!

I know he has a background in ethnomusicology. I hope he goes back to it; he could publish some interesting stuff on pop music in Turkey and the West!

Sphinxwick said...

I saw him live for the first time at St. Irene's on the Golden Horn this summer. He deejayed for a contemporary rendition Sufic ritual. The experience, with the music, lights, actual Sufis, and the cross painted on the stone above... all of this right across the park from Topkapi Palace--well, needless to say I am still speechless to describe how I FELT about the concert.

We are losing a very talented musician, but I think Mercan is right: sometimes we need to step back from our work and appreciate its meaning as a whole.

I wish him all the best.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

800 and Farewell
By Sarah Rainsford - BBC News - U.K. /Istanbul
Thursday, September 27, 2007

World-renowned Turkish musician and DJ Mercan Dede has announced his retirement from the music business.

His new album, due out in October, will be his last, following 15 years of recording music.

"I used to say whenever I start a concert and feel excitement like the first day, I'll keep on doing it," explains Dede during a break at a studio in Istanbul where he is working on the final release.
"I do still have that energy, but I've been doing this a long time and I think it's important to stop and look at what we did.

"The past 15 years was beyond my dreams. [But] it's like a painter who focuses only on where the brush touches the canvas. Sometimes you need to step back and look at the whole."

Born into a poor family in western Turkey as Arkin Ilicali, Dede now divides his time between Istanbul and Montreal.
He first travelled to Canada to study visual arts and developed a following there as DJ Arkin Allen before creating Mercan Dede more than a decade ago.

His music is an unique blend of traditional Turkish instruments and electronic sounds - one he is reluctant to categorise.

Now central to his work, Mercan Dede first heard the ney - or reed flute - when he was a child.
Enchanted, he carved his own from a piece of plastic piping and taught himself the basics.

Through the music, he was introduced to Sufism and the teachings of Rumi - the 13th Century poet and mystic whose Mevlevi order is now most famous in the West for its Whirling Dervishes.

This week marks 800 years since Rumi's birth, and Mercan Dede has just named his new album 800 after the man whose teachings are a powerful influence on his music and his life.

2 comments:

musicalchef said...

Wow, I've just heard of him recently and he's already retiring!

I know he has a background in ethnomusicology. I hope he goes back to it; he could publish some interesting stuff on pop music in Turkey and the West!

Sphinxwick said...

I saw him live for the first time at St. Irene's on the Golden Horn this summer. He deejayed for a contemporary rendition Sufic ritual. The experience, with the music, lights, actual Sufis, and the cross painted on the stone above... all of this right across the park from Topkapi Palace--well, needless to say I am still speechless to describe how I FELT about the concert.

We are losing a very talented musician, but I think Mercan is right: sometimes we need to step back from our work and appreciate its meaning as a whole.

I wish him all the best.