Kula Kulluk Yakışır Mı

Kayhan Kalhor, Erdal Erzincan


Iranian kamancheh player Kayan Kalhor’s ‘East meets East’ projects have brought some tantalizing cultural hybrids to full flower. The ongoing collaboration with Anatolian baglama master Erdal Erzincan is one of the most striking of them. The source material for their improvisations in this intense and fascinating performance – recorded in Bursa, to the south of Istanbul – includes music from all over Turkey and music of traditional Persian provenance. These two master musicians from Teheran and Erzurum intertwine melodies, revisit “The Wind” (title piece of their 2004 recording), and create instrumental music which acknowledges tradition but declines to be restricted by it.

Die Projekte des iranischen Meistermusikers an der Kamancheh (einer traditionellen Form der Streichlaute) Kayan Kalhor haben immer wieder erstaunliche musikalische Mischformen zum Blühen gebracht. Seine Zusammenarbeit mit dem anatolischen Lautenvirtuosen Erdal Erzincan ist eine der erstaunlichsten darunter. Das Quellenmaterial für ihre Improvisationen während dieser in Bursa, im Süden Istanbuls, aufgenommenen, intensiven und faszinierenden Performance schließt Musik von überall aus der Türkei und von traditioneller persischer Herkunft ein. Die beiden Meistermusiker aus Teheran und Erzurum lassen ihre Melodien sich gegenseitig umschlingen und kreieren so eine Instrumentalmusik, die die Tradition würdigt, ohne sich von ihr einengen zu lassen.
Featured Artists Recorded

February 2011, Bursa Ugur Mumcu Sahnesi

Original Release Date


  • 1Improvisation I
    (Erdal Erzincan, Kayhan Kalhor)
  • 2Alli Turnam
  • 3Improvisation II
    (Erdal Erzincan, Kayhan Kalhor)
  • 4Deli Dervis
  • 5Daldalan Bari
  • 6Improvisation III
    (Erdal Erzincan, Kayhan Kalhor)
  • 7Kula Kulluk Yakisir Mi
    (Muhlis Akarsu)
  • 8Improvisation IV
    (Erdal Erzincan, Kayhan Kalhor)
  • 9Improvisation V
    (Erdal Erzincan, Kayhan Kalhor)
  • 10The Wind
    (Erdal Erzincan, Kayhan Kalhor)
  • 11Intertwining Melodies: Sivas Halayi / Mevlam Birçok Dert Vermis / Erik Dali Gevrektir / Gol Nishan
The album title, from the folk song of the same name by the great baglama player Muhlis Akarsu (1948-1993), translates as “How unseemly it is to follow anyone slavishly”– a motto of some pertinence to all the spheres of life, from the personal to the political to the spiritual. Interpreted artistically – as on this exciting album by two master-musicians from Iran and Anatolia – it could allude to the creative freedoms implied by traditional music. Important as it is to study them, traditions can’t be extended by unreflective repetition: both due respect and an adventurous spirit are needed.

Much of Kayhan Kalhor’s music has explored the nexus of the traditional and the innovative. When the collaboration with Erdal Erzincan began, Kalhor sketched out his blueprint for the meeting: “I’m looking for something that departs from nothing and then goes into developing material, and then goes into something else really improvised....” This was the ground plan for “The Wind”, the first of the Kalhor/Erzincan albums, recorded in 2004. A great deal of shared work since then has intensified the concept, and this live album, which Kalhor considers one of his strongest recorded statements, shows how the music has moved to the next level in terms of the improvised content and the nature of the relationship between the two instruments. The central theme of “The Wind” is revisited, there are five pure improvisations, and music derived from both Persian and Turkish tradition. Kalhor and Erzincan come from different cultural backgrounds yet seem to be playing with one mind. The album concludes with the stunning “Intertwining Melodies” in which themes from both cultures are braided into a transcendent medley. Kalhor has said that for him the goal is to disappear into the music, to access a world of feeling not available in everyday life. In the cascading melodies here, Kalhor and Erzincan give the listener glimpses of that other world.