Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Voices of Kurdistan

On Friday night, went to Cowell Theater, Fort Mason for a concert of Kurdish music sponsered by the San Francisco World Music Festival. This was the 1st of 3 concerts of Kurdish music. This night featured a singer from Turkey called Aynur. She sang 2 sets, backed by 4 musicians: a violist, a lutist, 2 percussionists. I'm completely unfamiliar with this music, but it seemed to be a combination of folk songs & original songs written in the folk tradition. The songs varied from sorrowful to angry to humorous to defiant. Aynur is a powerful singer who grabs your attention & refuses to let go.

The theater was perhaps less than 3/4 full, but the audience was very enthusiastic. I heard a lot of Turkish spoken in the lobby before the show.

The only thing I really disliked about the performance was that all the musicians were amplified electronically. When Aynur was belting into the microphone, the sound was so loud it was painful. I don't understand why the amplification was necessary. My feeling is that the instruments & her voice are plenty loud enough to be heard in that hall without any artificial amplification.

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