Deyiş Görgülü was 9 years old when she swore off music. She was 30 when she decided to take it up again. So, what makes someone refuse music for 20 years?
Deyiş grew up in Turkey as part of the Alevi Bektashi community. In fact, her name, Deyiş, is the name for a type of Alevi spiritual music. But, in the mid-90s, as a child, she lived through one of the flareups of the Kurdish-Turkish conflict. The tension surrounding this conflict, which started way back in the early 70s, meant that her father, a trumpetist for the Turkish army, forbid her from singing Alevi songs, since Alevi culture is fundamentally pacifist and therefore anti-military. It wasn’t until she moved to France, as an adult, that she felt she could sing again and, eventually, founded an ensemble called Evden with viola d’amore player Isabelle Eder and flautist Marie Ploquin. They perform a kind of fusion between European classical music and Ottoman music – and just to give you an idea of the vastness of Ottoman music, Deyiş sings in Ladino, Turkish, Greek, Assyrian, Armenian, and Arabic among other languages.
Deyiş and I talk about Alevi culture and the cem gathering, which Deyiş likens a to jam session, about the vast world of Ottoman music, about the meaning of the word Evden, the name of her ensemble, about a song Deyiş is writing for the women of Iran, and about one problem shared by music and baklava, among other things.
Evden’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/evdenmusique/
Evden Musique – Yeniliğe Doğru (text by Rumi) (live): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0TnNth-1tM
Erdal Erzincan – Bugün Bize Pir Geldi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24Yfvj6e0t0
Evden Musique – Evden Musique – Στο ’πα και στο ξαναλέω (Sto ‘pa Kai Sto Ksanaleo): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTriUPjSQQk