Editor's Info: The album title is the programme in this meeting of remarkable artists brought together to interpret traditional music of Greece, Turkey, Lebanon and Armenia, and to play original songs by Anatolian saz player Cihan Türkoglu and lyricist Agathi Dimitroukas. In the spirit of the project, the new songs also bridge traditions and idioms and emphasize the potential of shared expression. Legendary Greek singer Maria Farantouri excels in this music beyond the borders, shaped also with the active participation of producer Manfred Eicher. German cellist Anja Lechner here draws on a knowledge of traditional folk forms gained partly through playing music of Armenian-Greek philosopher composer Gurdjieff. Armenian kanon (zither) player Meri Vardanyan has previously appeared on ECM as a member of the Gurdjieff Folk Instruments Ensemble. Ney player and ethnomusicologist Christos Barbas, from Thessaloniki, has played everything from music of the baroque to ragas. Percussionist Izzet Kizil grew up in Eastern Turkey in an environment dominated by Sufi rhythms and has worked in many transcultural collaborations with artists from Natacha Atlas to Theodossi Spazzov, along the way evolving new approaches to traditional percussion. Beyond The Borders was recorded at Sierra Studios, Athens, in June 2017.
Financial Times * * * *: (. . .) “Yo Era Ninya”, which follows, starts with a prickly kanon and saz vamp from Meri Vardanyan and Türkoglu, after which Farantouri launches into a Sephardic narrative, Anja Lechner curling low cello lines underneath. The first of Türkoglu’s compositions, “Dyo Kosmoi Mia Angalia”, again has a melody carried on the cello: Farantouri hymns the power of Eros to end conflict. Elsewhere the record returns to Macedonia for a wedding song from Chalcidice, the vocal tender and restrained against the kanon, diverts to Lebanon and Syria for an Arabic Good Friday hymn, and, to a repetitive saz pattern, sets the philosophy of Heraclitus (. . .) by David Honigmann
Maria Farantouri / Cihan Turkoglu
Beyond The Borders
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