New Internationalist

Kül & Ashes

Causing Tremors of Her Own

 

It’s not often that you find trained earthquake engineers delivering songs capable of causing tremors all on their own, but Mircan Kaya’s Kül & Ashes has a seismic presence that pulverizes lesser singers.



Turkey has had an infamously problematic relationship with its indigenous musics – which is possibly why Mircan, coming from a Georgian family relocated to the Black Sea area, is barely known to the wider world. This should change. Although Kül & Ashes – the two nouns are Turkish and English translations of each other – has taken two years to get an international release, it is a stunning work, and one that straddles the ancient and the modern with ease. Most of the nine tracks are interpretations of traditional songs, but are orchestrated in such a way as to reach beyond time. Accompanied by a compact band dominated by the heavy resonances of Emin Igüs’ baglama (a small saz or lute) and coloured by some Harold Budd-like trumpet from Roger Mills, Mircan’s voice has a sinuous presence. The brooding quality of a spare ‘Sad Olup Gülmedin’ (I Was Never Happy or Smiled) whistles around mountain eyries, while the droning beauty of ‘Osman’um’ (My Osman) is frankly terrifying – like Diamanda Galas set loose on the Caucasus.



LG 

New Internationalist Magazine 

WHAT PEOPLE SAY

“Mircan Kaya is freed by her day job as an engineer to pursue her music with a singular vision. Her voice ranges from etheral to dutsy, through pain and joy, always true to some deep and wise river of sound that flows through her to our ears. INSULA may be the deepest yet.” 

 

Atesh Sonneborne, Smithsonian Institution