May 3, 2011

Okay Temiz - Karşılama - the Zurna Project

The Karşılama-project was originally set up by OKAY TEMIZ for the 2nd Balkan Brass Meeting in Greece in 1997. For TEMIZ, it represents a whole range of new and interesting perspectives and the further evolution of a career rich in world music experimentation.

Karşılama means "meeting" and "welcome".

"The sound of the zurna, one of the oldest instruments in the traditional music of the Middle East, has a rough, primeval character. Not only is the zurna difficult to play and keep in tune, it is also very loud, often making it unpopular among its player’s fellow musicians. On the other hand, it is especially effective in combination with drums such as the davul-darbuka, a double-skinned drum. Together, the zurna and the davul are the two most important instruments for the musical accompaniment of traditional weddings, dances and circumcision ceremonies. In Western Thracia on the Aegean Sea, three, four, eight, even ten zurna players join davul drummers and play until the mouthpieces are worn out. In my opinion, the best zurna players come from Eastern Central Turkey and the Balkans.

Ahmet Özden is a young zurna musician who learned to play and understand the instrument from his ancestors. An expert on the techniques and history of zurna playing, he feels committed to upholding its traditions. At the same time, however, he is a musician who constantly endeavours to widen the scope of his instrument.

As in my other projects, I use a large number and variety of percussion instruments I have collected in many different countries. The project thus reflects my outlook as an 'international' artist." (OKAY TEMIZ)

The ZURNA is a woodwind instrument which is played with a reed. Acoustically it is related to the bagpipes as well as the clarinet and saxophone, except that the latter are played with a flat reed. Due to the form of the reed, it requires considerable effort simply to produce a sound. The zurna player must therefore master the technique of circular breathing, which guarantees constant air pressure. Because it is very loud, the zurna is a typical "open-air"- instrument. This is one explanation for the fact that it was traditionally played at weddings and other celebrations, as well as in archaic military bands.

The zurna is also closely related to the Iranian tzurnay, the Greek zorna, the Yugoslavian zurla, the French shawm, the Moroccan mizmar, the Chinese sunay and the Indian shenay. It is played throughout Turkey. The small zurna (cura zurna) is typical of the regions on the coast of the Black Sea. The most penetrating sound is made by the medium-sized zurna of Eastern Turkey, while the long zurna (kaba zurna) from the West and the Aegean coast produces a softer sound. On "Karsilama", only the long zurna is played. source


1. Kobra / Cobra v3:32
2. Dere Geliyor Dere / Running River 2:41
3. Canakkale Icinde / In Canakkale 4:25
4. Bu Gala Tasli Gala / This gala stony gala 5:50
5. Aydin Zeybegi / Aydin Dance 3:04
6. Ada Ciftetellisi / Island Ciftetelli 5:02
7. Kazibem / My Kazibe 2:37
8. Süleyman Aga / Mr. Suleyman 4:36
9. Kütahya`nin Pinarlari / Kütahya's Fountain 5:59
10. Ergün'e / To Ergün 7:24
11. Koca Arap / Huge Black 2:12
12. Karşılama / Meeting 6:24

High pitch
thegoodone is the word to clear your ears.


Okay Temiz was born in 1939 near Istanbul. Having studied drumming at the academy of Ankara, he began his professional career as a member of show groups, with which he toured North Africa, the Near East and all of Turkey. In Europe, Okay Temiz felt especially at ease in Scandinavia, and he has since adopted both Sweden and Finland as second homes. Already at an early stage he regarded himself as an 'international' - what today would be called a world musician - and succeeded in bringing together widely differing musical influences.
In the late 1960s, the American trumpet player Don Cherry - who took great interest in African and Asian cultures - heard the Okay Temiz play in Stockholm. The incident sparked a collaboration which would last many years. In the mid-1970s, Temiz founded the ensemble ORIENTAL WIND, a regular and successful guest on the concert stages of Europe throughout the years of its existence.
Just as he has often invited European musicians to make guest performances in Turkey, Temiz has repeatedly introduced Eastern musicians to Europe, primarily people whose musical roots are in the folklore of their country.
According to one critic, Temiz 'is an energetic, and at the same time sensitive drummer with an incredible feel for nuances. Even when he chooses to be moderate in his setting of accents, the lovely melodies are threaded into a dense and powerful
weave of rhythms presenting a challenge to the co-musician. Okay Temiz is also an outstanding percussionist who has achieved true mastery above all on the South American berimbao.'
The zurna has accompanied Temiz throughout his life; its sounds being associa­ted with the most exciting incidents of his childhood - celebrations, dances and holi­days. In the 1970s Temiz frequently perfor­med in Scandinavia with Binali Selman, a renowned zurna player from Eastern Turkey. In the 80s he worked with another zurna player in Stockholm - Ziya Aytekin from the north-eastern part of their homeland. In 1996/67, following his return to Turkey, Temiz met a young zurna player from the country's west, Ahmet Ozden, whom he regards as one of the greatest living masters of this difficult instrument.

Another side of Okay at Inconstantsol, Okay Temiz + Johnny Dyani – Witchdoctor’s Son, don't forget to thank Owombat


  1. you are the unstoppable, kokolo!
    thanks for all your recent gifts,it won't be long till I join you here,all is a matter of time,till then let's listen and dance :)

  2. I'll have to post for miles and miles to return those hours of good listening, good luck!

  3. ahh... miles & smiles...

    I do love the sound of the zurna...


  4. Like this post!
    and i'd like to listen to this records!
    can you tell the password to archive?

  5. thegoodone

    is the word to clear your ears.