CENK GURAY'S BAROQUE MINIATURES
Sounds of Cycle (Circulating Melodies and Narrative between East and West)
This Cd was designed and performed to show how close the Eastern and Western worlds horizon, purged of their historical and cultural limits in a perspective that places human feelings at the centre, share a common cultural memory. Overcoming the habitual space-time coordinates, here is side by side in a tracklist in which transcriptions by the Armenian composer Komitas appear along with traditional folk tunes collected in various parts of the Anatolian peninsula and baroque compositions by authors such as Handel and St. Colombe.
The result is a homogeneous album that in each track highlights a communicative immediacy, an accessibility rare
In recordings so sophisticated.
One of the constants of CENK GURAY's musical approach is certainly his continuous building connections among different styles and cultural worlds seeking points of contact common ground, overcoming ideological or cultural barriers between apparently very distant worlds. From The Fountain (2008), the first album of Cenk's long collaboration with Felmay, this same research of the deal of a common soul, connects his long discography, including Erguvan (Felmay, 2013) and Ote (Felmay,2017) and Anatolian dances (2022) published released under the name DEM TRIO, of which he is the animator and spokesman alongside two great instrumentalists of today's Ottoman classical music scene such as Murat Ali Tokac and Derya Turkan. Overcoming the habitual space-time coordinates, in this album the tracklist includes Handel and St Colombe side by side along with a transcriptions of the famous Armenian musicologist and composer Komitas and folk from various parts of the Anatolian peninsula. A power of unifying all the memories, events, sounds and narratives witnessed by the human beings in a unique moment and thus transforming these cultural experiences into a “basic” similar to all the humanity in the sense of creating a common cosmic perception unifying the human soul with the eternal nature. Once, the historical shape of the time organization disappears from memory, the common experiences of love, hate, belief, grief, longing, migration, poverty, happiness, life and death are left in hand constructing a memory that are common to all the cultures. After this stage, it is much easier and practical to discuss about cultural interaction and multiculturalism. Baroque Era is not only a period that had created the milestones of what is called art in our time, but also had opened ways to different possibilities for interaction between east and west cultures-two undeniable sides of the human philosophy and consciousness-through the opportunities made possible by the improving techniques of “art making”, “written culture”, “trade”,” travelling” and unfortunate “obliged migrations” forced by the wars, politics, pandemics or poverty. The Baroque Miniatures concentrates on these musical stories that are sounding hundred years back to take the “touching” stories of ordinary people that were the real constructors of the “common cultural memory”. It is precisely from this point of view that we can better understand the choices made in Sounds of Cycle, an album born with the idea of highlighting how the two cultural universes of West and East actually share a common cultural ground,
CENK GÜRAY Born in Ankara in 1973, Cenk Guray After a long academic training, he currently works as a Professor of Music Theory at the Music Theory Department of the Conservatory of Ankara Hacettepe University mainly focusing on Turkish Music Theory Makam Analysis and Theory of the Cycles. Bağlama player, as a performer, composer and performer, composer and researcher he has participated in many symposiums, conferences, concerts, seminars, workshops, master classes, TV-Radio programs, recording projects all over the world. He has written and edited many books, articles, short stories and poems relating to his area of study. Cenk Güray is also the director of the Ensemble for Anatolian Music Cultures and a member of the scientific committee of the Atatürk Cultural Center.
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