Together with Bora Uymaz we have founded Şimdi Ensemble back in 2013. Şimdi means “now” in Turkish. Şimdi Ensemble’s first album titled “Eternal Love” featuring guest artist Michel Godard was released in January 2016 on the Gaido-Dreyer label for Germany and the rest of the world, while Kalan assumed the Turkish release. The Gaido-Dreyer release was made possible by a grant of the Yunus Emre Institute.
Eternal Love, as its title wishes to suggest, is a sufi music album. Hymns which form the main focus of the album are little melodies composed to help communicate and thus better applied in real world the wonderful lessons conveyed in sufi literature.
This recording which presents old and new examples of this genre also features compositions by band members. Although this composition genre seemsto be simple, hymns are considered a matter of pure musicality and genious. This is called “sehl-i mümteni” in old Turkish, whether in literature or in music. In other words, the person singing or listening could say: “I could do this too”.
Michel Godard, the fantastically multi-faceted tuba, serpent and bass player accompanied the ensemble on the album. In addition to his wonderful tuba playing, Michel added a wonderful color to the recording with his serpent, combining it with the lever harp and traditional Turkish instruments featured such as ney, tanbur, kemençe and percussion. Considering that serpent was mainly used to accompany medieval church singing before organs took the scene, here it is again with all other instruments, at the service of the lyrics of sufi singing by Bora Uymaz, the musical director of the album and a foremost singer of traditional music in Turkey currently.
Bora Uymaz explains that the musical approach in the recording was a challenge as it is not easy to be simple yet communicate the sufi poetry with a high taste. “We wanted to be different yet be understood whether old or new texts are set to music and interpreted, something you could relate to with your heart. We don’t wish to make something perfect and mechanical but rather seize the moment, live the music with all our cells and make the audience feel the same”.