‘Kurdish girl’ revives musical traditions

Aynur, the «Kurdish girl» as she is fondly called by fans, will be coming to Athens to appear at the Scholeion theater on July 19 in the World Music series of the Athens Festival. One of the singer’s greatest achievements is the revival of traditional music, as she renders the emotionality of music and the lyrics with emotive sensitivity. Prior to her arrival in the Greek capital, the Turkish-Kurd singer spoke to Kathimerini about the things that have influenced her music. What are your earliest musical memories? I remember climbing onto the rooftop of my house to sing every evening. I felt as though I were performing a concert for the village. My parents remember me trying to mimic the sound of birds. Is it true that your music is influenced by the myths and poetry of the Alevites? Absolutely. I was born into an Alevite family and everyone around me shared this heritage. Dersim, the area where I come from, is full of the traditional stories, poems and songs of the Alevites and the Kurds. Especially when I was young. What was it like growing up in such a troubled area? It is natural to feel very strongly about the things that go on in your geographical vicinity. Discrimination and racism were always very important issues, but what interests me most is the people. As I grew up, reading newspapers and continuing my education, I became more aware of social and political matters. Do you live in Istanbul now? Yes. I have lived in Bahcelievler in Istanbul for years. I love this city. How do young people perceive traditional music? The younger generation prefer Western or pop culture. But when you are honest in your work, they see and they like it. My work is very pure traditional music and even very young audiences love it. How were you discovered by the rest of the world? The album «Kece Kurdan» was a big success in Turkey and after appearing in the films «Gonul Yarasi» and in Fatih Akin’s «Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul» I was given the opportunity of presenting my work to a much larger audience. Afterward, the foreign press showed a great deal of interest in my work.

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