Aşıq Nargile + screening of Yüzüme Gülen Ağaç
In association with our friends at the Sayat Nova Project (and thanks to TUSK festival) we are thrilled to announce this unmissable, once in a blue moon Sunday afternoon concert at Fuse from Aşıq Nargile, along with a screening of Didem Pekün's Yüzüme Gülen Ağaç ('The Tree That Smiles At Me').
Once considered a pan-Caucasian musical tradition, today the music of aşıq bards is most closely associated with the music of Azerbaijan, though it can be still found in pockets throughout the Caucasus. Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, Nargile Mehtiyeva has been playing saz (long-neck lute) and singing since the age of 15. Fluent in Azerbaijani, Georgian, and Russian, Nargile represents the cosmopolitanism of old Tbilisi. The city was once known as a meeting point for travelling multilingual bards who would travel through such urban centres as Gence, Kars, Yerevan, Shusha, and Derbend, serving as conduits for news, ideas, music and culture. After studying under a number of respected ustad aşıqlar (master aşıqs) in Georgia, she moved to Baku in Azerbaijan to focus on her instrumental technique. Through the mastering of the saz and the practice of reciting and improvising epic folk poetry, known as dastans, she has taken the title of aşıq. Nargile has performed at countless regional festivals in Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey, and has made a number of television appearances in those countries. A powerful solo performer, her singing is full of deep vocal expression and interspersed with bursts of lightning speed, highly ornamented saz. She is equally comfortable performing moving laments or rhythmic folk dance pieces. She is currently the only female aşıq living and performing in the ethnic Azeri region in Georgia, known as Borçalı, and has been teaching the art to new generations. Her first visit to the UK will include a performance at Tusk Festival in Newcastle and will be followed by a first international solo release in 2015.
(Aşıq Nargile photo by Onnik Krikorian)
Yüzüme Gülen Ağaç ('The Tree That Smiles At Me')
A saz maker, an artisan, Kemal Usta is an exceptionally gifted and an exceptionally stubborn man. He gives his biggest fight with the trees in his atelier, picking which tree speaks to him, and which refuses to work with him and which is just the perfect one.
Producer / Director / Editor: Didem Pekün
Cinematographer: Emre Tanyildiz
Sound: Dan Axtell