Tag Archives: folk

Splendid Beauty: Hüsnü Şenlendirici


A recent swing through Istanbul airport gave the chance to browse the book/music stores, which in most modern airports is a soulless undertaking. Happily not so in Turkey’s bustling jetdrome. The shelves were heavy with all sorts of books in Turkish, English and several European languages.  And the music selection was not a single naughty stand off in the corner somewhere. In addition to a few current global pop chart toppers (don’t ask me for names please, I couldn’t tell you any) there was a luxurious section of Turkish CDs of many stripes: classical, folk, gypsy, jazz, fusion, rock and vintage garage psych pop.  Mixed in this selection like lumpy raisins in a fresh roll, were Greek, North African, Arabic and Jewish CDs.




I had an armful ready to go until I noticed the prices…in Euro! Gulp. They love music in Turkey that’s for sure, but airports are rip offs everywhere! A difficult self-talk session followed before a more painful culling exercise left me with but a few items.  Today begins a short mini-series of Turkish music which I hope you will enjoy.






First up, is the clarinet of Hüsnü Şenlendirici. It’s been on auto repeat for three days now…and I love it more each day. Part bellydance sway, part mournful funeral band, part jazz, part swirling Turkish camp!



Hüsnü Şenlendirici was born in Bergama in 1976. He started playing clarinet at the age of five. He learned and experienced Aegean and Anatolian culture in his childhood. In 1990, he entered the Turkish Music State Conservatory at Istanbul Technical University, but discontinued. He began working beside percussionist Oktay Temiz, and participated in various festivals with the group “Magnetic Band”. Şenlendirici also joined his father and clarinetist Ergun Şenlendirici’s group “Laço”, and attended many important music festivals. Hüsnü has performed with various Turkish and foreign musicians, and has played not only Turkish music, but also Turkish pop and jazz music. In 1996, Şenlendirici founded “Laço Tayfa”, and released the album “In the Buzbag” with the Brooklyn Funk Essentials. He has given many concerts in Turkey and abroad as a soloist or a member of the group “Laço Tayfa”. In 2000, he released his first solo album “Bergama Gaydası” (Doublemoon and Traditional Crossroads). Within the project “Anadolu Güneşi”, which was organized by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Office of the Turkish Prime Ministry Publicity Fund in 2002, he accompanied the artists Kubat and Belkıs Akkale with a symphonic orchestra at the Lütfi Kırdar Congress and Exhibition Center. Şenlendirici has also performed for various TV dramas, films and commercial music. (http://www.turkishculture.org/whoiswho/husnu-senlendirici-2185.htm)








Track Listing:


01 Oyun Havası (Dance Mood)


02 Çığ ( Avalanche)


03 Fla-Manco


04 Istanbul Istanbul olalı (Since Istanbul has been..)


05 Sina Nari


06 Leylim Ley


07 Bülbülüm Altın Kafeste (My golden-caged nightingale)


08 Kumsalda (On the shore)


09 Kimseye etmem şikayet (I won’t complain)


10 Tatlı dillim (Sweet Talker)


11 Dört Zeybek (Four Zeybek)






Wall of Sound: Massed Welsh Men’s Choirs

Welsh Men's Choir

Welsh Men’s Choir

I have a Palestinian friend who many years ago confessed to me that the sight that sickened him the most was ‘four men in a car’.  He was of the view that most things in life require and, indeed, are sweeter if at least one woman is involved.


I don’t know what he would have made of all male choirs, barber shop quartets or gay men. Probably not much.  But when it comes to sweetness, there is nothing that hits that special spot in the soul, as a Welsh Men’s Choir.


I came across this LP last week while prowling through a relative’s rarely used stash of vinyl. The owner’s eyes lit up. Within a few seconds the ‘wall of sound’ as he called it, was issuing from his very fine HiFi speakers.  It was a fantastic experience and one I wanted to share with the Washerman’s Dog’s group of stragglers as quickly as possible.


This is a recording of 1000 men singing! In the Royal Albert Hall! Accompanied only by a pipe organ!  I keep playing it at top volume (much to the consternation of the kids) over and over again.  A wall of sound is about the only way to describe this.


I hoe you enjoy it too!  A great record for a Sunday or any other day of the week. Sure to pick up your spirits and have you singing again!

welsh choirs front

Welsh Choirs back

Track Listing:

01 God Save the Queen”

02 Serenade (from ‘The Fair Maid of Perth’)

03 O Isis and Osiris (from ‘The Magic Flute’)

04 Pilgrims Chorus (from ‘Tannhauser’)

05 Chorus of Hebrew Slaves (from ‘Nabucco’)

06 Soldiers’ Chorus (from ‘Faust’)

07 Silver Birch

08 Battle Hymn of the Republic

09 Laudamus (Bryn Calfaria)

10 Tydi A Roddaist

11 Deus Saltus (Llef)

12 Ar Hyd Y Nos (All Through the Night)

13 Rhyfelgyrch Gwyr Harlech (Men of Harlech)

14 Cyfri’r Geifr (Counting the Goats)

15 Myfanwy

16 (a) Cwm Rhondda (Guide Me, Oh thou Great Jehovah) (b) Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (Land of My Fathers)