Mercan Dede

Seyahatname

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Created for dancers, these pieces have a wonderful Turkish elegance. Mercan Dede, who moved from Turkey to Canada, uses musicians from both countries to create his sound, which manages to be spacious and airy without ever floating away. Spoken word samples add to the atmosphere, as on the opening of "Semaname," where a rhythm that could almost be Native American appears under a wispy flute line; although it never completely develops as a piece of music, there's still something lovely about it. Like many of the pieces here, the rhythm is more important than the melody; on "Hayalname," for example, there are layers of polyrhythms throughout the piece. Dede understands Turkish music, and doesn't go for easy, flashy sounds. Instead, he subtly mixes melodies with programmed beats on "Sahname" or the antiphonal phrasing between instruments over brooding synth tones at the opening of "Vefaname." By its very nature, this is different to Dede's other albums, where the emphasis is on melody. But, listened to on its own terms, this is a great success.

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