Wednesday 18 October 2017, 7.30pm
Ulaş Özdemir and Arash Moradi bring together the sacred musical traditions of Turkey’s Alevi-Bektashi-Qizilbash and Iran’s Ahl-e Haqq, along with wider influences from Turkish, Kurdish and Persian folk music cultures in a colourful and energetic synthesis. The collaboration has been conceived in a spirit of unity between the two different traditions within the context of their shared mystical music, played on the bağlama and tanbur, instruments considered sacred amongst both Alevi-Bektashi-Qizilbash and Ahl-e Haqq .
The genesis of this present collaboration is in AliAkbar Moradi and Ulaş Özdemir’s album “The Companion” released on Iranian label Hermes Records in 2007. Following that release, Arash (son of Ali Akbar Moradi) and Ulaş teamed up to tour across USA and UK marking the beginning of an intuitive and dynamic musical brotherhood that has continued to grow over the last 10 years.
This tour sees the latest stage of this association composing and improvising together live on stage across select venues in the UK. Both artists will first showcase their latest solo works in separate sets before joining each other on stage, drawing on their rich musical heritages in a dynamic and enthralling performance.
Ulaş Özdemir is a musician, composer and academic born in Maraş and living in Istanbul, Turkey. He earned a PhD degree in Ethnomusicology at Istanbul Technical University, researching the rich tradition and contemporary practices of Alevi-Bektashi bards and has published a number of books and articles on the topic. He has toured extensively in Turkey and internationally, performing on the traditional Anatolian instruments of Alevi-Bektashi music (dede sazı, bağlama). He has recorded several solo albums, compilations and soundtracks on the well known Turkish label ‘Kalan Muzik’, where he also worked as producer and production director between 1997-2010. A prolific collaborator he has recorded and shared the stage with the likes of Ali Akbar Moradi, Kayhan Kalhor, Azam Ali, Niyaz, and his latest group Forabandit with Sam Karpienia and Bijan Chemirani. His latest album ‘Traces of Asik' was released this year on the French label 'Buda Music’ and has been received warmly by critics internationally.
Arash Moradi, son of the legendary Ali Akbar Moradi –the most important tanbur master of our time– grew up in Kermanshah, Iran. He begun learning tanbur at an early age under the tutelage of his father whom he later on accompanied in numerous concert and festivals throughout Iran and Europe. He has collaborated and performed with some of the most prominent musicians of Iran, the Middle East and Western Europe, in some of the most important concert halls and festivals of Europe and the USA. Arash currently resides in London where he teaches tanbur, runs workshops on Persian and Kurdish music and cooperates with different musicians from all around the world. His first solo album, compositions of which were premiered on BBC Radio 3, is set to be released in 2017.