The kanun is an instrument whose origin is still unknown. It is found originally in such countries as Turkey, Persia, and Armenia, and more recently in Egypt, Greece, and Yugoslavia. The instrument went through major changes at the end of last century (mandals were added -- they are levers used to make pitch changes on the string) and in the 1960s, Kanuni Ahmet Yatman, a virtuoso of the instrument, developed a playing style that established a new technical standard of playing. The art of the taksim as presented on this CD is the art of Middle Eastern improvisation. Göksil Tarkal is a master player of the kanun and the art of taksim, and improvised using the makam, which are modes used in improvisation with predefined rules. On this CD the pieces range from very different styles, from classical Ottoman forms to modern pieces and folk music.
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AllMusic Review by Bruno Deschênes