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Tuesday 25 September 2018, 7.30pm

Tahir Palali & Cigdem Aslan

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Deep rooted songs of love and mysticism from 14th-20th century Alevi poets of Anatolia performed with ancient instruments and authentic voices by Cigdem Aslan and Tahir Palali.

Tahir plays the Anatolian three stringed instrument Tembur/ Dede Sazi from eastern Turkey which originates from the Iranian sacred instrument Tanbour. He is accompanied by frame drums performed by Cigdem. Both musicians have been brought up with the strong Alevi musical tradition of Turkey where playing the tembur and singing is considered 'The sound of Truth/God'.


Çiğdem Aslan is an Istanbul-born singer who sings in many languages and regional styles, including Turkish, Kurdish, Greek, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Roma, and Ladino. Her musical journey started within the family. Coming from Kurdish Alevi background, in which music is one of the pivotal elements of the culture, she grew up with the rich sounds of her culture and then gradually met with the other sounds of Istanbul and beyond.
While studying English literature at Istanbul University, she regularly performed Rebetiko, Sephardic and other ethnic music of Turkey.

In 2003 she moved to London and joined Dunav Balkan Group, which alongside various workshops broadened her repertoire and skills.

In 2008 she joined She’Koyokh; "Britain’s best klezmer and Balkan music band" Songlines

She also performs folk songs from different regions of Anatolia accompanied by Tahir Palali on kopuz/baglama and herself on frame drums...[more]


Tahir Palali

Tahir spent his early childhood in Nurhak and Elbistan (Turkey), where he was influenced musically by the local Alevi Ashik's and Dede's which eventually helped him develop a unique yet authentic musical style.

He moved to London at the age of 10 where he later had the opportunity to work with musicians from all over the world. The first professional production that he was involved in, Arzuhal, Songs of Ozan Figani was released by Kalan in Turkey. Tahir later signed up with M&MT to produce his first solo album 'O' with Erkan Ogur.

He was invited to perform in Poland by Raphael Roginski, where he had the opportunity to tour many towns and cities in Poland, introducing Alevi music to Polish audience accompanied by Cigdem Aslan.

With his traditional Dede Sazi from Maras region, he performed in festivals such as WOMAD and Songlines Encounters along with renowned concert halls like Royal Albert Hall. Based in London, Tahir Palali continues to compose and perform songs that has immanent and mysticist values in Alevi-Bektashi tradition.