One Çeng Down, One Left to Go
Recently help came from a source in Istanbul for the çeng I have commissioned in Scotland. To be able to travel with such a fragile instrument who has given up on me more then once I have decided to order another one from Ardival Harps.
I have been involved with the renewal of the çeng since 2007, this tiny Middle-Eastern angular harp. An instrument loaded with a deep mediaval mysticism, especially ın Iran and later in the Turco-Ottoman context, no example had survived to our times with the last written mention of it in the famous travelogue by Evliya Çelebi who writes about one single type of this harp with no more then ten players in Istanbul, whereas medieval visual culture is a proof of its abundance once upon a time.
I made several projects for building this lap-harp and to attempt to create a music to highlight its beautiful sound which is mostly a result of the leather membrane covering its soundbox. With the support of a foundation in Turkey we have come up with several çengs made by three different makers of which I have performed three in concert. The last çeng built produced a more professional result but it has collapsed recently, leaving me without an instrument.
I have realized two recordings with the çengs I have so far played. Performed it at festivals in the US, Holland, Germany, France, UK. Concerts are lined up and I am looking for new sponsors for my missing çeng and the ongoing work around it. One is being made right now in Scotland. But I need to have two: and I have been visiting Iran back and forth and I am very impressed by the instrument making tradition of Iran.
Those interested in supporting the journey of this instrument please contact me though my web site. Thank you!