BASICS • STYLE • GOALS
Türkülerde Bulusalim is a Turkish folk music choir. They perform songs accompanied by Turkish instruments such as the long-necked lute Saz. The songs mostly originate in Anatolia. The group is open for everyone who likes to listen to traditional Turkish folk music and enjoys singing and making music.
Founded in 2016 the number of singers and regular members increased from six to now 25. New members are gladly accepted. So far, the choir only performed in Turkish language, but other nationalities are also very welcome, as long as they are enthusiastic about Turkish folk music.
Most of the choir members are women, only three men are part of the permanent ensemble, much to the regret of the choirmaster Hanife Saban Akbaba. There are also male Saz players. Saz is a plucked instrument, belonging to the group of long-necked lutes. It is widely from the Balkans states to Afghanistan. The choirmaster also plays the Saz, but usually is the conducter. Other instruments that sometimes are parts of the chorus are trumpets, drums, string instruments and the Kabak Kemane (pumpkin violin made from a dried pumpkin, the traditional string instrument is played in the south and southwest of Turkey).
The music played is coming from a huge reservoir of more than 10,000 songs from Turkish folk music. In the old days songs were passed by word of mouth, in modern times everything is preserved in writing. The main themes are grief, joy, love and everyday experiences. Very often feelings are the focus. The songs are understood by the group as part of Turkish culture showing their own traditions. By making the music participants stay in touch with their culture and pass it on to their children. The younger participants get to know and experience their own culture through this music. Also, Solos play an important role challenging the members in front of an audience. However, it is not only about singing the choir also works intensively on the singing techniques. “I am also a bit of a pain,” laughs director Hanife Akbaba, “my goal is that everything is perfect.”
There are no auditions in order to become a member: "I'm not saying your voice doesn't fit, I don't do that kind of thing," says Hanife Akbaba. In case people are untalented, they usually leave the chorus on their own and much rather enjoy the music as a listener in the audience. A major point besides music is the common experience. They understand themselves as a music family. Particularly, for older women, first generation in Germany, the chorus also means an expansion of their activities beyond their traditional role in the family. "It is important to me that the women develop their personalities," says Hanife Akbaba, "they should not just always be at home.”
The chorus likes to perform and plan concerts. The name ‘Türkülerde Bulusalim’ means: Come together, let's sing, the songs are here. New members are always welcome.