By Heidi Trautmann
‘Lale Devri - Tulip Age’ I wonder what the title of the concert stands for; tulips in Cypriot spring covering the fields, not many anymore, the wild flower Tulipa Cypria, so typical for this island.
I was remembering the tulips of last year when – just a few days ago - I was sitting in the new Rauf Denktas Cultural Centre on the premises of the Türk Maarif College in Nicosia among the many guests, young people, families with children, old couples holding hands, and they were all clapping their hands and singing along the tunes of their childhood, the tunes of Turkish Cyprus; the baby next to me on Mom’s lap was hopping up and down while Mom was snapping her fingers, moving her body to the music and singing happily the songs she knew by heart.
The Music Association is still rather young being founded in 2011 by a group of music lovers, who came together to spread the spirit of Turkish classical music in Cyprus, to promote composers who are producing work in this field, and most importantly, to uplift the morale of the Cyprus Turkish community by sharing and enjoying the spirit with them.
I had been witness to their first concert early 2012 at the Atatürk Cultural Centre; there was a second concert in autumn 2012 at the Rauf R. Denktas Centre and they were all well attended and received high praises. The group had started off with 15 members at the time of foundation and has now grown to 8 male and 18 female chorus singers and 11 instrumentalists, plus the conductor, mostly composed of doctors, teachers, public servants and retirees; that I call true enthusiasm and love for music, and so far the concerts were all free.
The conductor Aydın Hikmet, who also plays the oud I heard, was obviously very happy to welcome us from the height of the stage, happy to have the opportunity to make us the present of a beautiful musical evening. He also introduced the vocal soloist, Burcu Boyacı, a friend of his, who usually lives in Eskişehir in Turkey, a director as well, but who is here on holiday and has gladly accepted the invitation as guest singer.
I have to mention the traditional instruments because you don’t get to hear them very often, at least not in this combination:
- Violin - Gökhan Koşer
- Viola - Meryem Yıldız
- Clarinet - Hasan Akar (The president of our association)
- Trumpet - İlkay İdris
- Nay - Selahattin Oğuzcan
- Kanun - Halil Selçuk, Kadriye Karaoğlan
- Nevud ( A new kind of oud) - Ersin Tünay
- Oud (Lute) - Hasan Daniş
- Rhythm - Erdal Ilıcan, Salahi Başaran
The association has carefully selected the 18 songs of the programme, 14 of which were sung by Burcu Boyacı. One of the song was Kıbrısım (My Cyprus) composed by Op.Dr.Öztekin Öztekiner. He and his wife were both in the chorus. A few other songs were:
- Kapın her çalındıkça (Whenever there is a knock at your door),
- Lale Devri Çoçukları (Children of Tulip Age), one of the most popular songs, I heard; this song is perhaps the basic idea for the title of the concert.
- Ne zaman geleceksin (When will you come).
- Unutmak istiyorum (I want to forget).
I enjoyed the evening sitting among the Turkish speaking community to listen to their songs and hear the sound of the traditional instruments. Music is an important part of a people’s identity and on the occasion of the concert I recognized it clearly. My thanks to the association and – may your hands be blessed – a wonderful Turkish saying.
Should you want any more information, please contact Mr Hasan Danish, who plays the Oud, under : 0392 227 2817 and 0533 834 46 45.