Thursday, May 5, 2011


"Celebrating the 800th birthday of Meylana Jalaleddin-I Rumi, Mercan Dede releases his new album, 800, with themes of Religious Tolerance and Peace. The essence of Sufism, Rumi taught, is counterpoint, everything exists with its opposite. Such a notion is superbly reflected in Dede's latest album that sees Persian, Indian, Turkish and Western music come together to form an impressive sound. The contrast between electronica and classical or folkloric arts cuts to the core of the Sufi philosophy that guides this one-of-a-kind artist. 800 proves to be a captivating and natural step in Dede's long an innovative career.

Mercan Dede is selected as "Best Album of the Year" and "Best World Music Artist" with his album 800 by the votes of Radio Bogazici's listeners and Bogazici University students. He will be receiving his awards with a ceremony on 14th of May. The award ceremony of "5th Radio Bogazici Music Awards" will take place at Bogazici University BUMED upper garden with its fascinating atmosphere.

In the 13th century, the Islamic Sufi poet and mystic Mevlana Jelaleddin Rumi became famous for whirling in the streets with religious joy - a practice that led to the founding of the Whirling Dervishes by his followers. Eight hundred years on from Rumi's birth comes this celebration album from the best-known Turkish exponent of electronica and "spiritual clubbing". Now based in Montreal, Dede has assembled a global cast for his project, with leading Turkish musicians playing anything from trumpet and trombones to the zither-like kanun and the kemence (fiddle), matched against a Swiss bass player and the Indian tabla exponent Shankar Das. Dede wrote the music, which is partly influenced by songs from Istanbul and the Sufi tradition, and adds the ney flute, percussion and, of course, the electronic sounds. The result is a confident and sophisticated set, in which Dede's beats are never allowed to dominate the impressive instrumental work by his musicians, and even the appearances by Turkey's best-known rapper, Ceza, never disturb the swirling mood music."

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