Hezarfen Ensemble

Break & Change: of light and shadows

Hezarfen Ensemble

Hezarfen Ensemble

© Mehmet Erol

Past Dates

Deutschlandradio Kultur will broadcast a live-recording of the concert on 24 March 2013 at 20:03.
Listen to Deutschlandradio Kultur in Berlin on 89,6 MHz and Digital 5c.

For much of the 20th century, the main aim of most composers in Turkey was to sound ‘Turkish’ while being as ‘Western’ as possible, the formula being to use folk music as source material while composing in a modernist vein for thoroughly western ensembles and forms. This is no longer the case. For some years now, there have been independent enclaves of Turkish composers in The Netherlands, Germany, Paris, and the USA, associated with leading institutions and teachers, and the typical pattern is for the ambitious young Turkish composer to go abroad, prove himself, and return. Until quite recently the most that could be hoped for on return was the occasional orchestral commission but the scene has changed radically in the last ten years, during which Istanbul has turned into a veritable hotbed of contemporary music with the Hezarfen Ensemble leading the way.

Far from projecting a single identity, music from contemporary Turkey challenges listeners with its resistance to categorisation. In “of light and shadows”, Hezarfen offers a glimpse of this diversity. From Tolga Yaylalar’s subtle microtonal, post-spectral landscapes, to Onur Türkmen’s delicate reinterpretation of traditional “makam” and “kemençe” within his monophonic concept of ‘line’ (“hat”) and Gedizlioğlu’s eruptive, post-scelsian vision of what it means to be Mediterranean (Akdenizli), “of light and shadows” showcases a bold young generation of Turkish composers each intent on using whatever tools necessary to create their own musical voices. While by no means comprehensive, we hope this programme gives some insight into the diversity and expressive potential of music in Turkey today.

Zeynep Gedizlioğlu
Akdenizli – The Mediterranean
for violin, viola and piano (2007)

Tolga Yayalar
di luce e ombra
for ensemble (2005) GP

Füsun Köksal
String Quartet No. 1 (2004) GP

Onur Türkmen
for kemençe and ensemble (2011) WP

Zeynep Gedizlioğlu
Susma – don’t remain silent
String Quartet No. 2 (2007)

Hasan Uçarsu
El Emeği – handmade
for ensemble (2012)

Ahmet Altinel
for ensemble (2007)

With support of Turkish Embassy Berlin and Goethe-Institut e.V.