“Let the Beauty We love Be What We Do”:
by Latif Bolat
Turkish mystic literature and philosophy has been developed by gigantic poets and philosophers like Rumi, Yunus Emre, Haci Bektas, Nasreddin Hoca, Niyazi Misri, and hundreds of others over almost a thousand years. This humanist and universalistic base was indicated beautifully by Rumi in mid-13th century with such lines as:
"Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu,
Buddhist, Sufi, or Zen. Not any religion or cultural system…
I belong to the Beloved; have seen the two worlds as one
And that one call to and know, first, last, outer, inner,
Only that breath breathing human being."
My humble work in Turkish devotional music is a result of trying to learn from the original masters of Turkish Mysticism. Anatolian culture is a true fusion of many beautiful peoples since the time of Sumerians. In that mystical piece of land, Hittite, Greek, Armenian, Urartian, Arab, Kurdish, Jewish, Zoroastrian, Islamic, Shamanistic, Christian, Turkish and many other incredible cultures blended so beautifully and created something truly unique; the culture of Anatolia and Turkey.
This concert program tries to reflect the devotional and mystical aspect of the Turkish culture, accumulated over thousands of years. The deep quality of devotion in these songs and poetry is the direct result of this beautiful blend of such devotional and dedicated people of Anatolia.
In this program, we follow the old style of concerts where non-stop music functions as the music therapy for both the musicians and the listeners. That’s why we arranged our songs in long sets rather than 3 minute pieces. This way we can all immerse ourselves to the healing properties of these makams (Turkish musical modes) Just as an example, the first makam, Nihavend is known for the quality of creating humility and humbleness.
Enjoy it and as the great 13th century mystic poet Rumi advises us;
“Let the beauty we love be what we do”!
DEVOTIONAL SONGS IN MAKAM NIHAVEND:
1. Ben Sanirdim: (Lyrics: Niyazi Misri, 17th Century, Comp: Latif Bolat)
Ben sanirdim Alem icre bana hic yar kalmadi
Ben beni terkeyledim, gordum ki agyar kalmadi
“I used to think that there is no beloved for me in this whole world,
When I eliminated my own self, then I realized there is no stranger left”
2. Ramadan Ilahisi: A song in praise of the Ramadan (Music/Lyrics: Kerim Dogru)
Ask ile Allah diyelim, tenden gecelim
Ol Mevlaya varalim, ask ile Hu diyelim
"Let's say Allah with love and let's give up our physical beings.
Let's arrive at his door and let's say "hu" with love."
3. Bilmem Nideyim Askin Elinden: (Lyrics: Yunus Emre, Comp: Latif Bolat)
Bilmem nideyim askin elinden
Kande gideyim askin elinden
“I removed all the shame from my life
and I gave up my soul, for love!”
4. Donmek Ister Gonlum: (Lyrics: Niyazi Misri, Comp: Latif Bolat)
Donmek ister gonlum cumle sivadan, donelim asiklar Mevla derdiyle
“My sould wants to give up all this worldly things,
let’s whirl lovers for the Beloved”.
5. Bu dunyanin Meseli: (Lyrics: Yunus Emre, 13th Century, Comp: Latif Bolat)
Bu dunyanin meseli, bir ulu sara benzer.
Veli bizim omrumuz , bir tez bazara benzer.
“This life is just like a city where we just visit for a while and move on”.
HIROSHIMA: (Lyrics: Nazim Hikmet, Music: Zulfu Livaneli)
Caliyorum kapinizi, teyze amca bir imza ver
Cocuklar oldurulmesin, seker de yiyebilsinler.
"I am knocking on your door to get your signature for this petition for peace,
So that there is no war on earth
And the children of this world can live and laugh and play."
DEVOTIONAL SONGS IN MAKAM USAK:
1. Ey asikan, Ey Asikan: (Lyrics:Yunus Emre, Comp: Latif Bolat)
Ey asikan ey asikan, ask mezheb-u dindir bana
“Oh friends, love is my sect and religion.”
2. Bize didar gerek, dunya gerekmez: (Lyrics: Yunus Emre, Comp: Latif Bolat)
Badyalar Dolu Dolu icelim biz, biz esrik olmaziz, humar gerekmez.
“Let’s drink from our full glasses,
No drink will be able to make us drunk since we are already drunk with love”
3. Yalanci Dunyaya Konup Gocenler: (Lyrics: Yunus Emre, Comp: Latif Bolat)
Yalanci dunyaya konup gocenler, ne soylerler ne bir haber verirler
“People come and depart from this world and
they never tell us where they go and what they do”.
4. Asik Olan Kisiler: (Yunus Emre, 13th century)
Asik Yunus sen dahi, incitme asiklari.
Asiklarin duasi, Kabul olagan olur.
“Oh Yunus, you never injure the feelings of lovers.
For lovers’ prayers are always accepted by the Beloved”.
5. Gul (Rose): (Ummi Sinan, 16th Century, Comp: Ahmet Hatipoglu)
Gul alirlar gul satarlar, gulden terazi tutarlar.
Gulu gul ile tartarlar, carsi pazari guldur gul.
“In the city of my dreams, the only thing they sell and buy is the rose.
The scale they use to measure these roses is also made of the rose”.
DEVOTIONAL SONGS IN MAKAM SEGAH:
1. Biz Elest Bezminde: (Lyrics: Ibrahim Hakki)
Arif Olan canlar nefsini bilir
Varligin terkeyler, hep hakki bulur
"The Gnostics know their true selves
They leave their beings and find the Truth"
2. Dinle Sozumu Sana Direm Ozge Edadir: (Yuruk Semai)
“Listen to me that I am telling you something very valuable:
The only thing a mystic needs is the love of the Beloved”.
3. Resul-i Mucteba Nesli: (Lyrics and Music: Neyzen Ali Riza Bey)
Riza babin gozet Pirin
Hakikat kil hemen seyrin
"Oh Riza, if you follow your masters footsteps,
You will make your dreams a reality"
4. Sordum Sari Cicege: (Yunus Emre, 13th Century)
Sordum sari cicege, annen baban var midir?
“I asked the yellow flower if she has a mother and a father;
She replied: My mother and father is the Earth.”
5. Seherde Meskanede: (Lyrics: Hasan Fehmi Efendi)
Yandim askin narina, Yok oldum dost varina
Fehmiyim dildarima, her nefes derim Allah.
“I got burned with the fire of love,
and I disappeared into the existence of the Beloved”
EGILMEZ BASIN GIBI, GOKLER BULUTLU EFEM:
Egilmez basin gibi, gokler bulutlu efem,
Daglar yoldasin gibi, sana ne mutlu efem.
“Just like your proud head, the sky is full of high clouds,
All these mountains are your friends; you are so blessed my Beloved”.
DEVOTIONAL SONGS IN MAKAM HICAZ:
1. Hanbaginda Kurulmus Asiklarin Otagi: (Lyrics and Music: Hilmi Dedebaba)
Mahserde dahi sonmez, asiklarin ceragi
“The light of the lovers will shine even in the Judgment day!"
2. Hic Bulunmaz Akrani: (Lyrics and Music: Husnu)
Husnu terket tesbisin, hakka birak her isin
Dervisi ol dervisin Sultan Abdul Kadiri.
"Husnu, leave all these dualities in your life.
Let the Beloved show the way for your well being"
3. Daglar ile Taslar ile: (Lyrics: Yunus Emre, 13th century)
Daglar ile taslar ile
Cagirayim Mevlam seni
"With the mountains and rocks around it,
Let me call your name my Beloved"
4. Ya Ali Yaradan Ali: (Lyrics: Nesimi, 16th century)
Gah cikarim gokyuzune seyrederim alemi
Gah inerim yeryuzune, alem seyreder beni
"Sometimes, I ascend to the sky to watch the universe from there.
Sometimes, I descend to the Earth so the universe can watch me”
5. Allah Yolu Yektir Yek:
Allah yolu Nurludur
Hep bu yolda yuru dur
"The path to the Beloved is pure enlightment."