January 07, 2011

Celtic tradition to be celebrated in Istanbul with Eclipse Ensemble

<<A feast of Irish jigs, English folk songs, Celtic legends and Baroque sounds is coming to İstanbul from the heart of England next week for an extraordinary musical experience.

Made up of Joy Smith on Celtic harp and Layil Barr on recorder-viyol, with Bjarte Eike on violin as guest, this international ensemble performs with rarely heard and seen instruments, creating a fusion between the worlds of early and contemporary music and dance. They will be performing on Jan. 13 at the Akbank Art Center as a part of its annual series, Baroque Music Days.

Playing the music of a wide span of time mainly from the medieval period through to the 18th century, the group brings the music of old into today’s world. “We are always fascinated by the power of ancient music that originates from many centuries ago but still is able to move us in 2011,” says Barr. “Our approach is to create our own personal voice rather than reconstruct the historical sounds. We enjoy learning about the history and background and reading the old academic sources, but our final musical decisions are made by what moves us at a certain moment in time.”

This is not the first time the group is playing in Turkey. “This is Eclipse’s fourth visit to Turkey and our third time in İstanbul,” says Barr. “It is one of our favorite cities in the world, and we are always very excited to come back. We love the beautiful fusion of the East and the West and the warm hospitality of the Turkish people. In our last visit we got to see the blossom of the purple flower. Our favorite street is in Tunel with all the music shops. We have to buy a darbuka for our percussionist on this trip. We have never visited İstanbul in during the winter.”

Read More on Today's Zaman: Celtic tradition to be celebrated in Istanbul

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