Review of Bent Grooves CD Launch, Sound Lounge, Sydney, 9th May 2008

Such was a celebration of various cultures through regional music, a reflection of the endless pursuit of diversity for Kim Sanders. Whilst performances sharing the theme of diversity have not gone un-acknowledged over the past decade, it felt to me like the shackles of the Howard monoculture had finally been broken during this performance which represented more than just creative music but friendship, inclusiveness, respect and genuine inter-cultural collaboration. Sanders might look like a gypsy with his long greying locks, his Bohemian garb and his goat skin bags but his manner and his dialogue is as Aussie as the next bloke and this fact almost defies the reality of his ability to converse in several languages across the Asian, European and African continents, let alone his ability to foster musical conversations in as many languages using over 14 wind instruments.
Along with Kim Sanders, the core quartet of the ‘Friends’ include Sandy Evans tenor and soprano saxophones, Bobby Singh tabla and Steve Elphick double bass. They opened with Heyamoli a Northern Turkish lament which saw Kim playing Turkish gaida (bagpipe) and Sandy in unison on tenor.
Next they performed the suite A Journey in Saba Makam. The ney is a sufi flute made of bamboo which Sanders freely improvised the first movement Bas Taksim over a singular Elphick drone followed by the additive of Evans and Singh. Such was Evans sensitivity on tenor during the second movement Saba Nefes I that her shadowing was simply an additional tonal flavour of the smokey fluted melody. The final movement showcased the awe-inspiring talent of Singh on tabla.
Sanders who is also a keen surfer, at one time took up the boogie board instead and soon found that serious surfers refer to them as a Speedbump but what commenced as a gypsy jam ended up a Congolese groove thanks mainly to the synchronicity of both Singh and Elphick.
Yet another continent was thrown into the mix with the addition of Chilean Carlos Villanueva and his Andean charango playing the flamenco tinged The Bad Bodgie Bulerias. With an almost clenched fist, Villanueva’s finger nails rapidly raked the repeated four chords of this piece on this instrument of only ukelele dimensions. By now parts of the capacity crowd were shrieking.
Kay Yagar which is interpreted as ‘snow is falling’ was a further showcase of Sanders skills; this time on the double reeded flute, the mey. His circular breathing and tonguing of this instrument created a spellbinding vibrato which preceded his swap to the bagpipes. Another dimension of this piece was the addition of Llew Kiek from the renowned band Mara! on the baglama or Turkish lute.
Istanbul Blues allowed Sandy Evans on tenor a precursor of what was to come on Oi Havar where she simply soared, taking the audience with her on a carpet ride of freedom and joyous expression.
When George Doukas arrived on stage the battle of the bouzouki’s began with Kiek choosing his own richly decorated axe. While Doukas proved a virtuoso, nothing was going to prepare us for the arrival of the final friend Bobby Dimitrievski on clarinet who displayed an agility on the instrument which is rarely witnessed. Following a standing ovation the group finally returned to the stage for a fitting finale. But what was probably the most musically intuitive passage of the performance came after Evans (during her solo) cried to Dimitrievski to ‘join in Bobby’. The result was a lesson to us all in genuine conversation where listening is just as important as speech when the magic of their respective instruments interwove a singular dialect of perfect harmony.
This was nothing less than a triumphant performance by Kim Sanders and Friends

– Peter Wockner, Jazz and Beyond, May 08 (www.jazzandbeyond.com.au)

Links

Kim’s Facebook Page (Kim Sanders World Music) is http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kim-Sanders-World-Music/131697043563700?sk=wall

Links to Kim on Youtube include:

Kim with Birol Topaloglu at the Gitar Cafe in Istanbul

(When googling ‘gaida’ in Turkish contexts, spell it ‘gayda’ – that’s the Turkish spelling. Sometimes in Macedonia it is spelled ‘gajda’. Or, if you are set up for Cyrillic, use the relevant one)

Kim Sanders and Friends at Chapel by the Sea May 08.

With Persian group Chang-e-Nahid at the 800th anniversary of Persian mystic Rumi. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-Jyt-M8znQPrilepsko Oro on Macedonian gaida http://www.youtube.com/user/kimsandersmusic?blend=3&ob=5Greek song “Yiourgia” on Macedonian gaida http://www.youtube.com/user/kimsandersmusic?blend=3&ob=5#p/u/2/EjI3KQFpyTQMacedonian/Thracian dance paidushko (pajdusko) http://www.youtube.com/user/kimsandersmusic?blend=3&ob=5#p/u/3/OWSoRRygh5s

 

www.neyzen.com

has published a composition of Kim’s at  http://www.neyzen.com/nota_arsivi/02_klasik_eserler/078_saba/saba_ss_kim_sanders.pdf

and now has  included his  biog information on  http://www.neyzen.com/ozgecmisler/04_merhum_neyzenler/kim_sanders__merhum_ney_zen.pdf.

The above site is full of information, in Turkish and English, for the ney player or enthusiast.  (Linda Dawson)

 

 

Resources

* “Rifat Varol is an excellent “ney-opener” (ney-maker) in Sultanahmet, Istanbul . I have several of his neys. Rifat doesn’t speak English himself but does have a website (in English) which has some very good downloadable samples of ney taksims and useful links. Online ordering available. www.neyneva.com Email: neyneva@neyneva.com

* Another excellent ney maker whose neys I have also used is Hanefi Kirgiz , also in Sultanahmet, Istanbul . He speaks a little English. His website is in Turkish only: www.hanefikirgiz.com Email: info@hanefikirgiz.com

* Mehmet Yucel is also a reputable ney-opener, and has a very good ney site, including downloadable samples, charts (select “nota arsivi” from menu at top of homepage) and ney care hints. http://www.neyzen.com He is in the process of making an English-language version – some pages only at present. My composition Saba Saz Semai is published here.

www.neysazi.com(Turkish only) also has a good sheet music archive.

Ahmet Kaya: Ney Metodu

* My ney teacher Neyzen Ahmet Kaya has a new edition of his published a how-to-play-ney book Ney Metodu (in Turkish). Available online from http://www.kitapyurdu.com/kitap/default.asp?id=592706 (website in Turkish only).*

* My kaval teacher Sinan Celik  is the force behind Duygu Muzik, who put out some interesting CDs (not just kaval). They also sell good kavals made by Ali Acar.  Sinan has also written a Kaval Metodu (how-to-play kaval) in Turkish. www.dilsizkaval.com has some instruction videos in Turkish. Email: info@dilsizkaval.com

* Linsey Pollak makes very good gaidas, zurnas etc – but there’s a bit of a waiting-list. He has also published an excellent book of Macedonian tunes he has collected during his travels. It goes from simple tunes in 2/4 right up to 25/8, and isn’t full of mistakes like some “folkloric” publications! He also has a CD Kniga Tservena containing (some of) the tunes in the book. linsey@spiderweb.com.au

Risto Todoroski

* Risto Todoroski  (in Sydney) makes good Macedonian and Bulgarian gaidas, kavals and tapans. http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=310B59B0583F898A Email: sirulsko@gmail.com Tel: 02 9835 4732

Cory Dale of Brisbane also makes good gaidas, kavals and other goodies.  I can recommend him, too.

Ian Mackenzie (of Blackheath, NSW) makes Uillean, Spanish, Highland and Lowland pipes, kavals and other things. He made the chanter for the aardvark. simack_2000@yahoo.com

* Sabahattin Akdagcik is no longer performing, but is still teaching at his music school SASOM in Sydney . Turkish and Arabic folk and classical, vocal and instrumental, all levels. He is an excellent teacher. Tel 0419 707 743

* For CDs of Turkish music, Kalan Muzik is an excellent record company. All kinds of music – excellent archival stuff as well as contemporary. Online ordering. Artists include Birol Topaloglu, Selim Sesler, Osman Aktas, Yansimalar, Engin Arslan. Site is in English and Turkish. Doublemoon also put out some good stuff, mostly contemporary.  Artists include Selim Sesler, Husnu Senlendirici. Beyza Muzik & Yapim also put out some good stuff including recordings by ney master Saddrettin Ozcemi.

Songul Karahasanoglu-Ata

* Songül Karahasanoglu, my mey teacher (and Professor at Turkish Music State Conservatory in Istanbul ) has published a how-to-play-mey book (in Turkish): Mey ve Metodu (Inkilap Kitabevi, Yayin Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S.,
Ankara Cad. No 95, Sirkeci 34410, Istanbul . ISBN975-10-1083-7)

Anne Hildyard and Rob Bester (of Xenos) have published Gajda Tunes of Macedonia, a book of gaida tunes they collected in Northern Greece – good stuff. www.xenosmusic.com

www.maqamworld.com Arabic music site in English including introductory explanation of maqam system

* The only book on Arabic music in English I know is Habib Hassan Touma: The Music of the Arabs (New Expanded Edition 1996. Amadeus Press, Reinhard G. Pauly General Editor, Portland, Oregon. ISBN 0-931340-88-8).  I am not an expert on Arabic Classical music – feedback from someone who is would be appreciated.

http://www.duduk.com/ has useful info on duduk.  I can’t personally vouch for their products – feedback, anyone?

* For baglama, oud and other stringed instruments I can recomment Yusuf Toraman of Istanbul, an old friend and master instrument-maker. He made a lot of Arf Sag’s instruments. His website is in Turkish only:  http://www.toramanmuzik.com Adress: Toraman Muzik Evi San Tic. STI., Kucuk Langa Cad. Yuruk Palas No 40/3, Aksaray – Istanbul.  Tel: 0 212 589 5858/530 1616

* I have started using a Turkish music-writing programme called Mus2.  It has capacity to notate Turkish Classical and folk styles as well as other microtonal pieces. It is fairly user-friendly (if you know something about these kinds of music) and isn’t cluttered up by all kinds of features you neither want nor need.  It isn’t perfect – what is? — but they are working on improving it, and, even more importantly, their email support are friendly and helpful. (I am sick of people rushing out programmmes that don’t work properly, and who seem to lose interest in you once you have paid your money.  Case in point: the Desktop version of iTabla, whose manual did not work when I got the programme, and told me they were “too busy” to fix it – or help me with my problems!)

The Mus2 people have also released Mus2okur.  This is a prog which outlines the basics of Turkish music – makam, usul (rhythm) and other elements as well as various archives.  You can, eg, play along with a score displayed on the screen. It has its limitations – the sounds are pitched at theoretical levels, rather than those used by master musicians (so you still need a teacher, I’m afraid!) but certainly extremely useful.

You can download a trial version of both programmes (with limitations on saving etc) from their website www.mus2.com.tr. Price is very reasonable.

Music of the World are a new organization putting on World Music concerts and workshops in the Blue Mountains area. They are very supportive of Australian performers.

– Kim Sanders