Ünal, Serap & Murat

Sunday, May 8th

Deyiş songs

20h Lisbon / 22h Izmir, Turkey


What do you call an Islam contrarian? An Islam hipster, if you will?

The 10th century was a unique time in the history of Islam when its ideas were fiercely debated by its growing community of followers stretching from Baghdad to Granada.

In Anatolia, or modern Turkey, some decided to rebel against centralised dogma and form independent, self-organised communes lead by dedes, local spiritual leaders, or grandfathers, who did not see much use in going to a mosque, touring Mecca or praying five times a day. No Ramadan either: instead, elements of Buddhism, Shamanism, and lots of music, poetry and dancing in semahs - choreographed circles - by both men and women.

This improvised interpretation of Islam is called Alevi, a mix of religion and philosophy passed orally from generation to generation, with space for individual reading and creativity. Serap, Murat and Ünal represent the fifth part of the Turks who come from the Alevi community, and they celebrate it by performing its verses and melodies their own way. This Sunday, May 8th, Serap will sing and play her bendir (frame drum), Murat - his bağlama (Turkish guitar), Ünal - his kopuz (small-bodied Turkish guitar), to cast a spell on us with chants of justice, nature and compassion.

Watch out for püskül, or tassels, on Murat and Ünal instruments. Playfulness is a magic key into the Alevi world.

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Ünal, Serap & Murat
Beware of finding yourself dancing in circles!
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