Niyaz-Sufi Songs of Love
This album illustrates the rich variety of Sufi devotional songs of the Ottoman Turkish tradition. These songs, as essential components of the Sufi remembrance ceremony, were developed over centuries by integrating spiritual practice with artistic expression in both music and poetry. Ahmet Erdogdular performs lyrical masterpieces with vocal and instrumental improvisations exploring the wealth of makam (mode). As a singer of the old style of Sufi music, having studied at the Conservatory as well as through the traditional mesk chain of passing on knowledge through generations, Ahmet offers many classical pieces presented in a style that died out in modern performance. Ahmet Erdogdular offers in this collection the finest examples of the Sufi musical forms: The naat is a composed invocation of praise for the Prophet Muhammad inviting his intercession; it is without rhythm, and is sung at the beginning of the Mevlevi ceremony (also known as the "whirling dervish" ceremony), by an individual singer, the naathan. The ayin is an orchestrated Mevlevi ceremony composed on Mevlana Jelaleddin Rumi's poetry and it is musically the most sophisticated of the Sufi forms. The ilahis are hymns composed on poetry praising God, the Prophet Muhammad and are shared in ceremonies of most Sufi brotherhoods, while the sugul are ilahis composed on Arabic poetry. Tevsih is a poem describing the beautiful attributes of the Prophet Muhammad composed with elaborate long rhythmic patterns performed at the beginning of a Sufi ceremony. Nefes form is particular to the Bektasi Sufi order and is a song written in honor of the Prophet and his family, ehl-i beyt. Kaside is a vocal improvisation on a poem of religious nature with melodies that heighten the sense of spiritual presence, while the taksim is it's instrumental equivalent.