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Mercan Dede

Top Five Instruments

Ney (Turkish reed flute) - It can’t get any simpler and purer than this. Simple bamboo which grows in the Mediterranean part of Turkey. You have seven holes and blow inside the bamboo flute. Your breath whirls inside the bamboo and you get the most haunting, mystical sound.
 
Frame Drum – It’s a 100 percent organic instrument, there is nothing synthetic in it. Wooden simple frame, animal skin and human touch with fingers. It resonates and sounds like a heartbeat – the first percussion we hear as a baby even before we we’re born. In the eighth month of pregnancy, a mother’s heartbeat is almost in the same frequency as a traditional frame drum.
 
Kemenche (traditional Turkish/central Asian violin) - This instrument is made with 100% organic material. Dry pumpkin body, snake skin, horse hair, and it sounds like a living creature with an incredible dusty texture and rich tones.
 
Oud – The grandfather of guitar, this fat body, short neck fretless instrument has a velvet like sound and is the perfect instrument to perform both eastern and western music efficiently. The natural reverb that its body creates has haunting softness and depth.
 
Hurdy Gurdy – It’s a magical string instrument that produces sound by a crank-turned, rosined wheel rubbing against the strings. It looks like an ancient time machine and crackling sound textures come from it. They are simply other worldly.

Mercan Dede will perform at Max Watt’s on Saturday March 18.