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Asiq Nargile; Yurt Yeri

Long Playing Record

Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, Nargilә Mehtiyeva aka Aşıq Nargilә has been playing saz (long-necked lute) and singing since the age of 15. Fluent in Azerbaijani, Georgian, and Russian, Nargilә represents the cosmopolitan heritage of old Tbilisi, a city once known as a meeting point for multilingual aşıq bards who would travel through the region serving as conduits for news, ideas, music, and culture. Nargilә is currently the only female aşıq living and performing in the ethnic Azeri region of Georgia, and has been teaching the art to new generations.

This is a recording of Aşıq Nargilә's first concert in the UK, recorded live at Cafe OTO on October 18, 2014, byJames Dunn. The pieces performed are named after the traditional saz aşıq havası (melodies) on which they are based. Lyrics are taken from destan epics, regional poetry, and Nargilә's own lyrics to match the rhyming patterns of these melodies. "Yanıq Kerem" and "Ruhani" are both instrumental pieces that depict their own stories without words. "Ay Ceyranım" is a popular song performed at weddings across Azerbaijan. Aşıq Nargilә Mehtiyeva: saz (long-necked lute) and söz (vocals).


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