Kayhan Kalhor & Erdal Erzincan: Persian & Turkish Improvisations

Thursday Nov 19, 2015


Centennial Theatre

2300 Lonsdale Ave
North Vancouver, BC

“They brought a sense of the Eternal with every note they played!” – Washington Post

Legendary Iranian kamanche (spike-fiddle) player Kayhan Kalhor returns to Vancouver with Turkish baglama (lute) master, after a recent sold-out performance. This collaboration features two virtuoso musicians steeped in the traditional music of the Middle East. Kamancheh player Kayhan Kalhor, born in Teheran to a Kurdish family, was a child prodigy who studied Persian classical and folk music alongside Western classical music. He co-founded the ensemble Dastan and has worked with a wide range of artists including Indian sitarist Shujaat Hussain Khan, the Kronos Quartet, and the Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma.

Erdal Erzincan, Turkish baglama player, was drawn to Anatolian folk music at an early age and studied in Istanbul with the legendary Arif Sag. He is one of the most well-known folk musicians of his generation in Turkey, teaching at his own Baglama Music Academy in Istanbul and performing around the world.

The classical music traditions of Persia and that of Ottoman Turkey share the ancient modal compositional system known as maqam, and improvisation plays a central role in performance. The music performed by Erdal Erzincan and Kayhan Kalhor, while derived from ancient roots, is thoroughly modern. It 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, matched against more furious passages that sound like flurries of acoustic jazz with a Middle-Eastern edge. The resulting experience is intensely spiritual and emotional.