Born in Tbilisi, Nargilə Mehtiyeva aka Aşıq Nargilə has been playing saz (long-neck lute) and singing since the age of 15. Fluent in Azerbaijani, Georgian, and Russian, Nargilə represents the cosmopolitan heritage of old Tbilisi, a city once known as a meeting point for multilingual aşıq bards who would travel through the region serving as conduits for news, ideas, music and culture. Nargilə is currently the only female aşıq living and performing in the ethnic Azeri region of Georgia, and has been teaching the art to new generations.
This is a recording of Aşıq Nargilə's first concert in the UK. Recorded live at Cafe Oto on the 18th October 2014 by James Dunn. The pieces performed are named after the traditional saz aşıq havası (melodies) they are based on. Lyrics are taken from destan epics, regional poetry and Nargile’s own lyrics to match the rhyming patterns of these melodies. Yanıq Kerem (1) and Ruhani (7) are both instrumental pieces which depict their own stories without words. Ay Ceyranım (5) is a popular song performed at weddings across Azerbaijan.
Aşıq Nargilə Mehtiyeva: Saz (long-necked lute) and Söz (vocals)