Monday, May 12, 2008

Music Man.


M
eet Şahin ("Sha-heen") Mizrak who owns a souvenir shop in Göreme which is the village that Lei and I stayed in during our time in Cappadocia. We had spent the morning hot air ballooning and horse back riding and by the time afternoon rolled around, we only had enough energy left to stroll the stores and do a bit of shopping.

We stepped into Şahin's store and the first thing that caught my eye was the rack of music CDs at the back of the store. My dad loves music and I inherited that love from him. Everywhere I travel, I try to catch a live performance of the region's music and if I can't do that, I will at least try and get a CD. When I'm lucky, I get the opportunity to do both and this was one such occasion.

After scanning the CDs on the rack, I asked Şahin if he wouldn't mind playing a few sample tracks from some of the CDs so I could pick out a CD for my dad. He gladly obliged and kindly explained the music that was being played so we could better appreciate it. In the end, Lei also bought a CD for herself.

As we chatted with Şahin, we noticed a stringed instrument leaning against the wall. Şahin told us the instrument is a saz which as I learned afterwards is in the lute family and is commonly played in Turkish folk music. He asked if we wanted to hear him play the saz and of course, we did. I love impromptu performances!

Here's a video of Şahin playing the instrument that often gives him relief from the stresses of his daily life - something I can easily relate to. Unformately, I was not able to capture the entire performance - I ran out of memory close to the end :-(

Later on that night, Lei and I joined Şahin and his cousin Yasar for a trip to the nearby town of Ürgüp to listen to a live performance of Turkish folk music. When we arrived back at Şahin's shop to meet up with him, he was sitting outside playing the saz, accompanied by his friend playing the ney which is a wind instrument similar to a recorder. More wonderful music to enjoy!

It was awfully nice of Şahin and Yasar to accompany us especially since we had no idea where to go. All in all, it turned out to be a very relaxing and memorable way to end an activity filled day. There's nothing like good music to calm the soul!