Exquisite global sounds double-bill full of Turkish psychedelica and Ethiopian splendor
Welcome to the now 16th edition of our magical annual outdoor festival: the Feeërieën! We rather proudly open our musical wünderkammer again this year and it buzzes, surprises, moves, connects and amazes. At what other festival would you find, all in one go: hyperkinetic footwork from Chicago, uplifting disco-funk from Somalia, Turkish psychedelica, a stunning soprano voice, an Ethiopian harpist who plays the ‘King David’s Harp’, a male choir that summons the vibe of Kurt Weill, and a dash of vivid Afro-American poetry? Indeed!
Soundtrack by: (Turkish) Ladies On Records (DJ Set)
Polish-born resident of Istanbul Kornelia Binicewicz has ‘a thing’ with music. ‘Thing’ as in ‘everything’. She is not only a curator, but also a fervent collector and anthropologist with a fondness for (female) Turkish music. She is the woman behind the compilations ‘Uzelli Psychedelic Anadolu’ (a selection of tracks on the Turkish label Uzelli Kaset) and the excellent and wonderfully graphically designed ‘Turkish Ladies. Female Singers from Turkey 1974 – 1988’. The latter was released on her own label Ladies On Records.
On her extremely danceable vinyl only DJ sets you will hear ‘Hypnotizing grooves, belly dance beats with synths and organs, edgy sounds from all four corners of the earth blend with westernized arrangements and hip styles of 60s, 70s & 80s.’ Basically: Party galore!
Derya Yildirim & Grup Şimşek (tr-de-fr-gb)
One of our finest AB experiences ever? The show in 2018 by the (now 71-year-old) Turkish heroine and protest singer Selda Bağcan (who, for a 1000 strong audience, made the world a better place with her presence and impressive voice). But opener Derya Yildirim won us over in only a few seconds that night too. Derya’s wonderful voice reflects both melancholy and longing. Her signature sound can be heard on the outright stunning track ‘Nem Kaldi’ (for which the endless repeat button would seem to have been invented).
This spring finally saw the release of Derya’s debut ‘Kar Yağar’ (via the excellent Swiss label Bongo Joe), which more or less means ‘the snow falls’. With her backing-band Grup Şimşek (containing members from all over Europe), she again serves up wonderfully addictive, hypnotic Anatolian psych-pop. In other words: a healing mix of Turkish folk, grooves, jazz and psychedelica.
Aside from own compositions, Derya Yildirim also interprets gems by compatriots like Selda, Barış Manço, Moğollar, as well as work by the Turkish poet Nazım Hikmet. She recently entered into the classical world through her collaboration with Ensemble Resonanz, from Hamburg, whereby she reworked Turkish, Anatolian, Greek and Kurdish compositions under the title ‘Derya’s Songbook’. Our invitation is ready and waiting.
Sosena Gebre Eyesus (Et)
What a discovery this Ethiopian harpist Sosena Gebre Eyesus is! Thank you Rewire Festival (Den Haag) for offering her a stage earlier this year and thank you Little Axe Records for releasing her debut upon the world last year! Sosena plays on the beganna, better known as ‘King David’s Harp’: one of the world’s oldest stringed instruments. In ancient times, it was played to expel evil spirits. At the time, the beganna was only played by the aristocracy and by priests to accompany orthodox Ethiopian hymns.
Sosena Gebre Eyesus is one of the few modern day adepts of the beganna. But, wow, is she good! Her voice sounds soft and calming, as if she whispers lullabies, and her harp produces low ‘buzzing’ tones. ‘Sosena Gebre Eyesus magically creates a rarefied atmosphere that feels absolutely necessary and vital for these most turbulent of days.’