FALL 2008

A Multi Faith Celebration

DÜNYA will contribute a selection of Sufi musics to an interfaith service at Boston College, alongside a group from Hebrew College directed by Cantor Scott Sokol and the Contemporary Gospel Group directed by Donell Paterson. Since the Middle Ages, Jesuit schools all over the world have marked the beginning of the academic year with a Mass of the Holy Spirit. This event will be the first event at Boston College with an interfaith program

Location: Boston College
Date/Time: Tuesday, September 9, 5:30pm


Divane Aşık Gibi / Like a Reckless Lover
featuring Erkan Oğur and İsmail Hakkı Demircioğlu

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The focus of this program is Turkish folk music, specifically the traditional song form, deyis. Over the past ten years, the widely-renowned duo Erkan Oğur and İsmail Hakkı Demircioğlu have created a new contemporary standard for the performance of this repertoire, bringing the distinctive repertoire of the ethno-religious group from Anatolia known as Alevi and the music of the Turkish folk singer-poets (aşık) to a wider audience outside of Turkey. The DÜNYA Ensemble will supplement this duo’s unique sound in an interactive musical dialogue culminating in a collective performance.

Location: Harvard University, Paine Hall
Date/Time: Friday, October 10, 8:30pm
Price of admission: General: $25, students/seniors: $17


Sufism After Rumi: Past and Present in Turkey and the US


The Mevlevi Sufi order played an important role for many centuries in advocating for Islam in the West, where their poetry, music and whirling ceremony have always been a source of fascination. Considering the fact that Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi is one of the best selling poets in the U.S. and different groups of Mevlevis frequently tour all around the world today, we can easily say that Mevlevism is still very influential in the West. A panel of scholars discussing the current role of Mevlevism begins the program, followed by a concert of Mevlevi music.

Location: Harvard University, Faculty Club
Date/Time: Tuesday, October 28, 5:30pm
Price of admission: FREE
Made possible, in part, by support from Islam In the West


Let Us Repeat the Names of God

At this Sunday morning service we will present different kinds of Turkish Sufi music with repetitive rhythms, words and melodies. The repertoire will also include the music of the Alevi-Bektaşi brotherhoods

Location: Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Lynn
Date/Time: Sunday, November 9, 8:30am



Songs of “The City”: Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul
with special guest Omar Faruk Tekbilek

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The city of Istanbul has been the capital of two great empires—for its first ten centuries Greek Byzantine, and beginning in 1453, for the next five centuries Ottoman Turkish. With the end of the Ottoman empire in 1923 the city lost its status as a capital, though it remains the centerpiece of a modern Turkish republic. Memories of its past—often different, frequently overlapping, sometimes conflicting—persist in the minds and in the music of its inhabitants, most of them with ties to different regions, cultures and histories of the Middle East and the Balkans.
The many layers of communal memory in this concert proceed through Greek-Orthodox music, secular Greek music, Crusader songs of the 12th century, music of the Ottoman janissary bands, Ottoman court music, Sufi ceremonial music, Turkish folk music, Sephardic Jewish songs, urban music of the Armenians, Balkan Romani (Gypsy) and Turks, and ends with modern urban popular music full of longing and protest. On their own, each piece may communicate celebration, devotion or military might, but taken together the melancholy is unmistakable.

Location: MIT, Kresge Auditorium
Date/Time: February 8, 8:00 pm
Price of admission: General: $20, students/seniors: $15, MIT students: $10
This DÜNYA production is presented by MIT Turkish Association and Bahçeşehir University
Co-sponsors: LEF/ARCADE Association of Student Activities.


Language of the Birds (Kuş Dili): Bird Songs, Pieces and Improvisations from Turkey and Europe

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This concert explores the universal fascination with birds and birdsong shared by poets and musicians in both Europe and the Middle East. The concert’s Turkish title “Kuş Dili” is also an equivalent of Mantık ut-Tayr, the title of the famous 13th century Persian Sufi classic by Faruddin al Attar, known in the West as “The Conference of the Birds”.

The warbling, cooing and crying of birds as idealized song, as symbol of the divine, as amorous complaint and as the voice of nature are evoked in different ways by aristocratic Frenchmen, Italians and Ottomans and by Greek, Kurdish and Turkish villagers. Birds carry the message of religious devotion, both Christian and Muslim, and of worldly celebration and grief. On stage, the Dünya Ensemble and its guests interact with natural birdsong, conversing with each other across centuries and traditions through improvisation and a range of compositions by composers like Jean-Philippe Rameau, Dimitri Cantemir and Sultan Selim III in the 18th c., and by Olivier Messiaen, Aşık Veysel and Haci Arif Bey in the 20th.

Location: New England Conservatory, Jordan Hall
Date/Time: Tuesday, March 4, 8:00pm
Price of admission: FREE
Made possible, in part, by support from New England Conservatory


March 12, 1208 in Rumi’s Anatolia
A musical glimpse into the life and times of a great Sufi poet

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Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi is one of the most influential figures of Muslim mysticism (Sufism). This concert explores the rich mix of creeds and cultures of 13th century Anatolia where Rumi spent most of his life through a wide range of repertoires: Turkish sufi music (Bektaşi and Mevlevi), Byzantine (Greek-Orthodox) music, Jewish poetry with Turkish melodies, Turkish secular music, and music of the “Frenk”—European Crusaders and traders passing through the region.

The second part of the concert will follow the distinct Turkish tradition of chanting part of the Mevlid-i Şerif on important occasions. A masterpiece of Turkish literature, written in 1409, the Mevlid is a long poem commemorating the birth of the Prophet Mohammed.

Location: Wellesley College
Date/Time: Wednesday, March 12, 7:30 pm
Price of admission: FREE
Made possible with support from Wellesley College


to benefit DÜNYA’s ERKAN OĞUR Residency


Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol (voice, ud)
Mal Barsamian (clarinet)
Eylem Başaldı (violin)
Cem Mutlu (voice, darbuka)

Location: The Red Fez Restaurant
Date/Time: June 20, 8:30 pm