Double bill of Turkish music on Saturday

BELLOWS FALLS — On Saturday, Jan. 20, at 7:30 pm, Stone Church Arts brings two Turkish music trios to Immanuel Episcopal Church, 20 Church St.

The Brooklyn, N.Y.- based trio Dolunay (Turkish for “full moon”) draws upon the songs from the Turkish people living across Rumeli, the former region of the Ottoman Balkans.

By turns romantic and elegant, vivacious and playful, the music of Çesni Trio is grounded in the flavors of Turkish makam music while remaining deeply personal and contemporary.

The Dolunay Trio is Jenny Luna, voice and percussion, Adam Good, ud and tambura, and Eylem Basaldi, violin. Together, they create “an intimate sound textured with the dissonance of eastern blues ... the size of which defies that of the small makeup of the band,” according to a news release.

With a musical vision that is at once ethereal and grounded, Dolunay flirts with the soundscape of the ancient Ottomans, tracing its migration through Balkan villages, coaxing it across seas and oceans, and grafting it onto a Brooklyn-based backdrop. The trio infuses classic and contemporary traditions with an urban grit that can be found only in New York City's confluence of musical and cultural forces.

Since 2012, Dolunay has charmed audiences with an approach to Turkish and Rumeli musical traditions that pays homage to the diverse musical roots of the Balkan region. Rumeli, a term encompassing the diverse landscapes of Southeastern Europe once under Ottoman influence, evokes a musical mosaic that is enriched by centuries of cultural encounters that traverse the boundary between East and West.

The Çesni Trio is Tev Stevig (performing on tanbur, fretless guitar, oud, and saz), Michael K. Harrist (on contrabass, yayli tanbur, and ney), and Fabio Pirozzolo (playing darbuka, bendir, cajon, tombak, and armenian dhol).

Stevig and Harrist first met in Istanbul in 2010. Back home in Boston, they found themselves playing and studying Ottoman art music together in Orkestra Marhaba. As an idea for a trio began to take hold, the group found a deep kinship with Pirozzolo and Çesni Trio was born.

A modal music tradition, Türk sanat müzigi (Turkish art music) developed in the urban areas of the Ottoman Empire. The tradition includes a wide range of repertoire, composers, and practitioners. Çesni Trio draws from this great tradition and the more modern stylings of contemporary musician-composers such as Erkan Ogur, Ross Daly, Murat Aydemir, and Efrén López.

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