Yesterday is gone with yesterday, my darling; now we need to say something new.
-Hazret-i Mevlana Jalal al-Din
Şimdi Ensemble (Şimdi means now in Turkish) is a new project in the footsteps of the Sufi tradition of Anatolia. Şimdi is co-founded by singer and composer Bora Uymaz, who is one of the most prolific figures of this tradition in Turkey today with an edge that is bridging the past with the present. Bora is appreciated for his strong and unique voice in which he carries the mystical and quiet moments of the wise and dervishes. In someways, he sings of seclusion and it is as if his voice is a vocal expression of history.
The ensemble is comprised of a Bora Uymaz (vocals and bendir), Ali Tüfekçi (ney), Mehmet Yalgın (kemençe), Mete Aslan (tanbur) and myself (lever harp). Michel Godard, the fantastic serpent and tuba player from France joins us with his unique sound to infuse an early music element to the overall sound of the ensemble, combined with the lever harp. Şimdi’s first CD “Eternal Love” was released on Gaido-Dreyer in Germany and Kalan label in Turkey. Şimdi will be touring Europe throughout 2016 as part of a project with the Yunus Emre Institute.
Şimdi is based seizing the day, the “now”. In daily life we are torn between the past and the future. Often, unaware and devoid of the meaning of the present, the “now”. If we live in the present, we could both find our place in the past and be able to prepare the future. If we focus too much on the past, we miss the present, which in turn becomes a thing of the past itself. By the same token, the future remains uncomfortably ambigious that way.
The same goes for musical performance too. If one keeps thinking about the mistake just made, or a difficult passage ahead, the musician misses the moment. This is the philosophy behind our music: living in the present, making the music of the present by using its natural power and enjoying the moment. We reflect this approach by embracing the traditional repertoire as well as the music we compose. Whether composed hymns, songs or instrumental works, the music is strongly rooted in the creativity of the moment, accompanied by improvised forms such taksims, ghazals and odes (kasides).