Rough Guide: Konya Festival
The Konya International Mystic Music Festival in Turkey started as part of the Shab-i-Arus activities (celebrations on the anniversary of the death of Mevlana Rumi) in 2004 and looks to introduce mystical musical traditions of the world and promote interaction and communication among various faiths by mystic music. This year’s edition takes place in Konya, Turkey and intends to emphasize the significance of women in Sufi traditions of the world, so the programme is packed with breathtaking female performers from Czech Republic to Xinjiang and India.
Concerts will start at 21:00 everyday and they will be at Metropolitan Municipality Mevlana Culture Center, in Sultan Veled Hall or Sema Hall. All programs are open to public at no cost.
See below for our top tips for the festival ...
Sima Bina is a unique living piece of Iranian musical history. Since she started her career at the age of nine, trained in classical Iranian radif, she has been collecting folk songs of Iran and Persia, and especially from her native region Khorassan. First with her radio show, and from the 80’s on with her fieldwork research, she has recorded and revived a collection of songs that was almost forgotten, becoming a key figure in the transmission of Persian musical tradition.
Her line-up for this occasion includes two dotar long-necked lutes, a kamanchek four-stringed bowed lute, a daf frame drum and a barbat lute.
The vocal tradition of Bulgaria and especially women’s singing is one of the most celebrated and rich elements of the country’s culture, with its mix of Christian Orthodox, Byzantine and Ottoman traditions. It has an essential role in daily village life and life cycle rituals. This impressive choir of 25 women was first established in 1952 as part of the Folk Music Ensemble in the National Bulgarian Radio to record choral folk songs. Performing under the direction of Prof. Dora Hristova since 1988, they have won a Grammy in 1990 and have been nominated again in 1994.
Coumbane Mint Ely Warakane comes from an old family of iggawins or griots (traditional nomad historians and poets) from the southwest of Mauritania. She combines her virtuous natural voice with the mastery of the ardin harp, which makes her one of the most appreciated singers of this tradition. She is now part of the INEDIT program of the Maison Cultures du Monde in Paris for the promotion of unknown or endangered traditions.
She is accompanied by three other background vocalists in addition to her ardin, and a tidinit bass lute and tbel drum. Together they create interlocking polyphonic melodic patterns that amaze the audience for its complexity and beauty.
Formed by members of one of the most prominent musical families in the Uyghur tradition, the Tursun family, the ensemble is named after the leading female performer, which is the lead vocalist, and dutar (long-necked lute) player. However, brothers Nurmenet and Hesenjan are recognised as virtuosos and leading instrumentalists of their generations, especially for their knowledge of the satar bowed lute, the noblest and most central instrument to the Uyghur Muqam tradition. In this line-up they are accompanied by Mijit Yunus on tanbur.
Ensemble Aznash was founded by Makvala Margoshvili in 1995. A socially active woman, Margoshvili's intention was to ask for peace in the Caucasus and the world through highly powerful Sufi musical tradition she inherited from her ancestors. In addition, the Ensemble hopes to help preservation and promotion of the very genuine and unique culture of the Pankisi Gorge, where tolerant Sufi brotherhoods accept men and women as equally important and participant both in daily life and religious ritual. Their music, with influences from Christian Orthodox and Islamic mysticism tradition, especially the Zikr Sufi rituals, is already famous in many stages of the world.
The Ninth Konya International Mystic Music Festival will also host other exhibitions. Watch out for the following exhibitions taking place between the 22-30 September.
International World Faiths Photography Competition Exhibition
Konya and Mevlana Themed Oil Painting Group Exhibition of International Painters
Erdoğan SEÇİL: Semazens and Mevlevis
Explore Sufi music further with The Rough Guide to Sufi Music. Sufi music acts as a uniquely valuable bridge between East and West reflecting the most accessible, liberal and pluralistic aspects of Islam. Curated by best-selling author William Dalrymple, this Rough Guide takes you on a journey from the traditional dervish and qawwali forms to explore the modern innovators inspired by the spirit of Sufism.
'This fascinating CD takes the listener to the mystical, liberal side of Islam, where the puritanical and negative effects of orthodoxy do not hold.' The Independent On Sunday
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