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Songs of Surrender

Here is another collection of Turkish devotional and folk songs from every walk of life and every region of my homeland, Turkey. The more I work on this repertory, the more I am amazed the amount of material I can find. Literally tens of thousands of folk tunes, classical songs are begging to be discovered and sang-out to the world. In the humanist tradition lineage, I am meeting the first time all these incredible poets like Niyazi Misri, Kuddusi, Fahir, Seyfullah, Hilmi Dedebaba and many others. Even though the Western world is going crazy with Rumi these days, hundreds of genuinely humanist and universalist folk philosophers and poets are also looking at us from the seventh skies and offering the healing power of their poems. I am bowing in front of them with great respect and saluting them with many selections from their songs in this collection.

The title of this CD, "EYVALLAH" is a sufi greeting, especially prominent among the Bektashis. It reflects a sentiment of surrendering, accepting and acknowledging something that is presented to us by the Great Arranger. These are the songs of such sentiments, reaching us from the last 800 years, from Yunus Emre to Nazim Hikmet. They are all jewels of Turkey and arranged as a bouquet of humble offerings to the good people everywhere from the beautiful Turkish people. EYVALLAH HU!

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Sheet Music
Please click on the signs next to the song names below, to see the sheet music of the songs.

Liner Notes of Eyvallah

Songs in Nihavend mode:
Turkish music offers many different musical modes for the complicated sentiments of human beings. Every mode has distinctively different properties which creates different affects on the listener. For example, the following Nihavend mode is known to create humility and humbleness. As my ancestors used running water sound in their music therapy sessions hundreds of years ago, I also incorporated the sound of the running water in this section.

1. Bu Ashk Bir Bahri Ummandir: (Seyfullah)
"My love for you is like an ocean that cannot be stopped by building a dam around it".

2. Haktir Allahim, Muhammed mahim: (Munir: Bektashi poet)
"Ali provides protection, saints provides baraka and dervish becomes the servant in return"

3. Ashkin Kime Yar Olur: Lyrics: Niyazi-i Misri (17th Century) Comp: Latif Bolat
"He who gives his life on this path, gets a Beloved in turn,
In the shop of love, he would sell his love for the Beloved".

Baglama, Bendir, Water and Vocals: Latif Bolat
Oud: Tom Chandler
Fretless Bass: Don Young
Ney: Amy Cyr
Tabla: Alex Jenkins

Songs in Ussak mode:

1. Bektashi Nefes: Subhu Sam Ey gonul (Perishan Baba)
"If you are clever, don't follow the unworthy
Don't get into quarrel for small reasons;
May benefits be victorious, may evils be warded off."

2. Can Ellerinden Gelmisem: Alvarli Muhammed Lutfi
"I have drunk the wine of divine love
I departed to the garden of soul
I have given up myself, what would I do with fame or prizes".

3. Durmaz Lisanim: Kuddusi
"My eyes, my ears, my feet and my arms;
my whole body sings "Allah".

Baglama, Darbukka, Bendir and Vocals: Latif Bolat
Oud: Tom Chandler
Fretless Bass: Don Young
Ney: Amy Cyr
Tabla: Alex Jenkins

Song for Hiroshima:
Lyrics by: Nazim Hikmet, Comp: Zulfu Livaneli

I come and stand at every door
But no one hears my silent prayer
I knock and yet remain unseen
For I am dead, for I am dead

I´m only seven although I died
in Hiroshima long ago
I´m seven now as I was then
When children die they do not grow

My hair was scorched by swirling fire
My eyes grew dim, my eyes grew blind
Death came and turned my bones to dust
and that was scattered by the wind

I need no fruit, I need no rice
I need no sweets nor even bread
I ask for nothing for myself
for I am dead, for I am dead

All that I ask is that for peace
You fight today, you fight today
So that the children of this world
may live and grow and laugh and play

Original Turkish poem by Nazim Hikmet
English translation by Jeanette Turner

Baglama, Bendir and Vocals: Latif Bolat
Guitar: Tom Chandler
Fretless Bass: Don Young
Ney: Amy Cyr

Songs in Rast mode:

1. Sebinsahi Haver Ali
"Ey Ali you are the cupbearer of the water of life in Paradise!"

2. Beni Candan Usandirdi: Fuzuli(16th Century)
"My love made me tired of loving,
I wonder if my beloved wouldn't get tired of torturing me?"

3. Ilim Ilim Bilmektir: Yunus Emre (13th Century)
"Knowledge should mean a full grasp of knowledge,
Knowledge means to know yourself, heart and soul.
If you have failed to understand yourself,
Then all of your reading has missed its call".

4. Kabenin Yollari: Yunus Emre (13th Century)
"The road going to Kaba is a long one
My heart aches with my longing for it.
This place we call world is only a little oasis in our long journey".

Baglama, Bendir and Vocals: Latif Bolat
Guitar: Tom Chandler
Fretless Bass: Don Young
Ney: Amy Cyr
Tabla: Alex Jenkins

Bir Ates Ver: Folk song from Izmir

"Hit my heart with your fire and let me depart from this world.
My comrades should wake up from their deep sleep and comfort me".

Baglama and vocals: Latif Bolat

Songs in Usak mode:

1. Seni Ben Severim Candan Iceru: Yunus Emre (13th Century)
"I love you in depths beyond my soul,
There is an I deeper in me than I".

2. Haktan Inen Serbeti Ictik Elhamdulillah: Yunus Emre

"When we stood at Taptuk's door, humbly to serve and learn,
Yunus, we were green, we have ripened, glory to the Lord".

Baglama and Vocals: Latif Bolat
Tabla: Emam
Oud: Gary Haggerty

Canim Kurban Olsun Senin Yoluna: Yunus Emre (13th Centrury)

"What would Yunus do with this world and the other without you?
Your name is beautiful and your presence is beautiful, Muhammed!"

Baglama and Turkish Vocals: Latif Bolat
Sitar and Indian Vocals: Habib Khan
Tabla: Emam
Oud: Gary Haggerty

Uzun Ince Bir Yoldayim: Ashik Veysel Shatiroglu

"I am walking on this long and lonely road of life;
Going and going day and night.
I don't know what kind of state I am in,
But regardless, I am going day and night".

Piano and Vocals: Latif Bolat

Produced by: Latif Bolat
Co-Producer: Tom Chandler
Recording Engineers: Steve Loiacano and John Altmann
Mixing and Mastering Engineer: Dave Weeks

Recorded at:
Expressions New Media studios, Emeryville/California
Sacramento City College, Music Department/California
Desitrek Studio, Portland/Oregon
Unitarian Church,Portland/Oregon
Nocturnal Sun, Berkeley
Mixed and Mastered at Western World Media, San Rafael
Manufactured at KABA Audio, Novato
Cover and booklet Design: Tracy Marshall
Latif Bolat's photo: Kutay Derin Kugay, San Francisco

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