Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol: Renaissance Polyphony & Turkish Makam

November 18, 2020 | 7:00 PM

An introduction to the Turkish modes (makam), how makam compares to the modes of Western European music, and how makam may be used in polyphonic composition.

Grammy-nominated composer and New England Conservatory faculty member Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol hails from Cyprus and Turkey. A jazz pianist, multi-instrumentalist, and singer, Sanlıkol has been praised by critics all over the world for his unique, pluralist, multicultural and energetic musical voice. The Boston Globe noted that Sanlıkol’s “music is colorful, fanciful, full of rhythmic life, and full of feeling. The multiculturalism is not touristy, but rather sophisticated, informed, internalized; Sanlıkol is a citizen of the world … who could play decisive role in music’s future.” Sanlıkol has composed for and performed with international stars and ensembles including Dave Liebman, Bob Brookmeyer, Anat Cohen, Esperanza Spalding, Billy Cobham, Antonio Sanchez, Gil Goldstein, Tiger Okoshi, The Boston Camerata, The Boston Cello Quartet, A Far Cry, American Composers Orchestra, Okay Temiz, Erkan Oğur, and Brenna MacCrimmon, as well as his own ensembles DÜNYA and Whatsnext?

Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol is the composer of Devran, a two-movement work for voices setting 16th-century Sufi texts using the techniques of Renaissance-style polyphony combined with aspects of traditional Turkish music. Blue Heron would have performed Devran in its concert Many Voices on March 28, 2020. The program will be rescheduled for the 2021-22 season.

https://www.sanlikol.com/

For a sample of Sanlıkol’s music, watch his entrancing “coffeehouse opera” Othello in the Seraglio on Amazon Prime.