“Call of the Birds” Makes Songlines Best List
May 04, 2017


The Secret Ensemble album Call of the Birds, recorded by Istanbul Technical University, with support from the Dr. Erol Üçer Music Advanced Research Center (İTÜ MİAM) studios on the Kalan Music label on June 24, 2016 achieved international success by making it to the July 2016 Top of the World list in Songlines, the UK's top music magazine.

The first international project by The Secret Ensemble, the Call of the Birds CD, carried out by ITU MİAM President Dr. Şefika Şehvar Beşiroğlu with art direction by Coşkun Karademir made it onto the Songlines Magazine best-of-list, one of the world's most respected music magazines published in the UK. With a background in the tradition of Anatolian lore, the album, which integrates the philosophy of Sufism in Anatolia and Iran in a common musical pot, references the famous work Mantık'ut Tayr by the Iranian Sufi poet Ferîdüddîn-i Attâr.

The Secret Ensemble, which collects, processes, and handles the unique musical legacy of Iranian and Anatolian cultures that have lived together for centuries, under a single roof, aims, as with every study, to convey this unique musical heritage to the new generations with the Call of the Birds. The Secret Ensemble, also known as the first indigenous music community, was accompanied by prominent Iranian artist Masha Vahdat on this album. Vahdat performed the works of Hafiz Shirazi on the album, in addition to Yunus Emre's hymn, "Aşk Bezirgânı" in Turkish. Also in this first album, the ensemble offers a wide musical perspective for its listeners by featuring works from spiritually enlightened mystics including Mehmet Ali Hilmi Dedebaba, Rumi, Pir Sultan Abdal, and Alvarlı Efe.

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Coskun Karademir, soloist and bağlama virtuoso, who also contributed to the album as a music producer, exhibits examples of works composed in various styles such as devr-i revân , bayâtîâyin , nefes , and yürük semai on an album with a path extending from the Bektashi to Mevlevi traditions. The Call of the Birds also offers a full cultural wealth because of the use of different instruments such as bağlama, ney , kopuz , kemencha and tanbur . The album, which conveys the songs from Hâfız-i Şîrâzî, Yûnus Emre, Pîr Sultan Abdal, Niyâzi-i Mısrî, Kul Himmet, Alvarlı Efe and Hilmi Dede Baba to music lovers, with concepts of “enlightenment” and “wisdom”, will take listeners on a deep journey of inner discovery.

With a collaboration between Kalan Music and İTÜ MİAM (Music Research Center), the Call of the Birds album was recorded in the studio using the latest innovations in sound technology, featuring Coşkun Karademir (kopuz, soloist), Mahsa Vahdat (soloist), Neşe Demir (soloist), Selçuk Eraslan (classical kemençe), Yasin Özçimi (ney), Emre Sınanmış (balaban ), Hakan Gürbüz (acoustic bass), Murat Süngü (cello), Ömer Arslan (percussion), and Ömür Arslan (percussion). The album’s repertoire consists of the following works: Arzulanan Yakut, Mevlevî Ayini, Zümre-i Nacileriz, Ali’yi Gördüm, Çağırıram Dost, Dertli Dolap, Tanbur Taksim, Hazer Kıl, Bülbül Uşşakı - Muhayyer Tekke Semaisi, Kopuz - Kemençe Doğaçlama, Aşk Bezirgânı, Sevgiliye Verilen Söz, Ay Yüzlü Sevgili, Kuşların Çağrısı, and Önüme Bir Cebel Düştü.

Here you can read a special interview with Coşkun Karademir about the stops along the musical journey of the group's album production and output stages. As members of the ITU Family, we celebrate the members of The Secret Ensemble, who are on the Songlines Top of the World list, introducing our national culture to the world, and bringing great pride to our university and the musical scene in our country; we wish them continued success.