December 19, 2012



Ferman will be in Kayseri-Develi this week. Develi is a town in Kayseri Province in Central Anatolia, lying at the southern foot of Mount Erciyes. Ferman is getting more and more excited as it gets nearer.

Mount Erciyes is the highest mountain in Central Anatolia with its summit reaching 3,916 m and also an extinct volcano. It has a legend of a two star-crossed lovers who love each other but can't come together, committed suicide jumping into the volcano together. The legend says that they found the wedding veil around the summit and it turned into the eternal snow on the summit afterwards and the volcano become extinct. Ferman is in pursuit of the musical tracks of this touching legend which spread from ear to ear.

Ancient Anatolian geographer Strabo wrote that the summit is never free from snow and that those few who ascended it reported seeing both the Black Sea to the north and the Mediterranean Sea to the south in days with a clear sky. It's maybe impossible to prove it scientifically, but Ferman wants to believe in Strabo! :)

The town's name is derived from Dev Ali, Seljuk commander of Sultan Alp Arslan, or a leader of an Oguz Turkish clan of the similar name of Develiogullari.

The town is famous for its delicous local pide called "cıvıklı", the 19th century minstrel Asik Seyrani and its beautiful people. Ferman encounters one of the beautiful people of Develi on the way to Develi. The old lady sings a beautiful folk song to him by the road.

Ferman listening to the old lady's little tune

After he wanders around Develi, he reaches The Tomb of Dev Ali. Dev Ali was one of the commanders of Seljuk Sultan Alp Arslan and he had captured the Byzantine castle that stood nearby. The Director of Public Relations of Develi Municipality tells Ferman the story of how Dev Ali captured the castle. There was the gate of the castle near the tomb. When Ali died, his comrades built his tomb where once the castle gate was.
Ferman in front of the statue of Aşık Seyrani

Ferman stands in front of the statue of the great poet/minstrel Asik Seyrani. He was a very special minstrel. He could never stand injustice, wrongfulness, inequity, bribery, etc. His songs were always about these matters and he was famous for his verbal duels of wit and creativity with other minstrels. His greatest characteristic was his smart use of social and political satire, humour, irony, exaggeration or ridicule to expose and critisize people's stupidity or vice. He was like Develi's Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Ferman listens to some of his witted songs.
The next thing to do is recording local songs. They will record the songs at Develi Cultural Center.
Ferman with The Director of Public Relations of Develi Municipality

Afterwards, Ferman returns to the streets of Develi. At Develi, Asik Seyrani Festival have been held for 30 years. In this festival, except for enjoying the festivities, there is this activity for compiling old songs to bring them to light. The Minstrelsy Tradition of Turkey is included in UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This tradition continues in Develi through Asik Seyrani's songs of satire. This tradition is about to disappear from the world. The minstrels travel between communities, they help to spread cultural values and ideas; make social dialogue easier, in part through topical poetry and social and political satire. In Develi, they are working very hard to keep this tradition alive getting several countries together. The Ministry of Culture has a project to turn this festival into a Olympics of Minstrels the next year. This will be a first in the world.
Ferman and Uncle Kadir

Kadir Yucel is one of the minstrels who's got several medals in this festival. He sings one of his songs. Kadir Amca is very good at shadow play and he shows some of his shadow animals to Ferman.

In Develi, after the lady on the road and the shadow plays of Kadir Amca, this time Ferman is surprised to see the taekwando learners who suddenly appear in front of him on the street. Their interaction is lovely and he decides to make some practice with them. The young children are very good. Their instructor shows some tricks of martial arts to Ferman. When the instructor grabs Ferman's leg, the KK crew get a little panicky about Ferman and warn the instructor, "Wow, teacher! We still need him! Be nice!"
Ferman and the taekwando learners
Ferman and Ali Yıldız at the Develi Cultural Center

After taekwando practice and some strolling, he returns to the Cultural Center. He meets minstrel Ali Yildiz there. Ali Bey says that their purpose is to introduce Asik Seyrani to the world. He tells a little satiric anectode of Asik Seyrani and says that Seyrani's songs are full of humor and satire and through his songs he intends to give some social messages to the people. He is very proud of being his descendant. Ferman adds that it is his job to introduce him to the world.

Ferman and Group Seksendört (84) at the briefing

Back in İstanbul. This episode's guests are Group Seksendört (84). They are at the briefing. Before Ferman gives a synopsis of his adventure, he explains his observation: maNga and Seksendört originated in Ankara which is in Central Anatolia. Kayseri is one of the biggest cities around Ankara. Located a little south of Kayseri, Develi's music, social practises and customs are a little different from those of Kayseri. Tuna, the lead singer of Seksendört isn't stranger to Seyrani and his songs. He has heard this episode's song before. He has a fairly good information about Seyrani and his life. Seyrani continued his education in İstanbul around 1836-1839 and this is why his songs are so different from other minstrels' songs of the same period. Ferman is surprised that Tuna has so much info about Seyrani and asks him why. Tuna and Erdem is interested in espeically folk songs. Seksendört gave concerts several times at Kayseri's Erciyes University Festival and never been to Develi before.

Ferman expresses his feelings when he sees the Mount Erciyes from the Tomb Of Dev Ali. He thinks it's impossible not to get inspired by the majesty of the Mount Erciyes. Develi's songs constitute the most of the repertory of folk songs of Kayseri region.

Tuna asks how come Ferman picked Develi for the program. When they decided on Kayseri, one of the friends of Ferman's brother suggested Develi. When they arrived at Develi, the Municipality helped them find the right people and had them meet the leading minstrels.
Ferman at the "cıvıklı" restaurant of Ali Yıldız listening to the song about "cıvıklı"

He tells that one of the minstrels, Ali Yildiz, had a little local restaurant and he wrote a song about the famous local pide "cıvıklı".
Ferman and 84 discussing Central Anatolian music

Ferman tells that he found the musical structure of this episode's song very interesting and decided on this one. Tuna asks, "Is it because you might be listening too much metal?" and they laugh together. Ferman explains more of his opinions on the song. He tells that they travelled within the close range of the triangle of Sivas-Nevsehir-Kayseri and they got anxious about the possible similarities of the music within this triangle. Tuna adds, "Kirsehir would be very suitable for your purpose with its cheerful sound!". Erdem joins and says that the musical sound completely changes at intervals of 5 km in Anatolia.
Ferman and Seksendört start working on the rearrangement

After the briefing, Ferman and Seksendört start working on the rearrangement of the song. This week, the rearrangement belongs to Seksendört's guitarist Erdem. They are experimenting on interesting riffs and tunes. Erdem thinks that simple riffs will be sufficient. It's interesting to watch musicians working on musical arrangements. They like what they did and the next step is recording.
BEN BU AŞKIN ÇİLESİNİ (I suffer from love) /
Şahap Canlıca / Group Seksendört

This episode's song is a sad love song and Seyrani tells how immensely he suffers from love. It's a well-known folk song actually. And this time Tuna's fine voice and the guitar & drum on the background give it a different dimension.

So what will happen next week and where? Ankara? :)

You can watch the full episode 8 on the You Tube link below:

For full videos of KULAKTAN KULAĞA episodes, please click on the link of TRT Muzik's KK video page:

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