Artists in Conversation: Murat Ferhat Yegül

The Ney is one of the oldest musical instruments still in use and one of the most significant musical instruments in Turkish-Islamic culture.

Therefore, Yunus Emre Institute in London and Leighton House are delighted to announce another fascinating addition to our “Artists in Conversation” series featuring by Murat Ferhat Yegül on Monday 14th December 2020 where he discussed his musical journey with the Ney and Turkish music culture. The talk was moderated by renowned musician Jan Hendrickse.

The “Artists in Conversation” series features notable contemporary artists, exploring the classical and traditional arts and crafts of Turkey. Through these talks, we aim to showcase Leighton House and Lord Frederic Leighton’s travels and appreciation of Turkey as well as highlight the work of the Institute.

There has been a notable increase interest in traditional Turkish-Islamic art and music. However, interesting the details and rituals remain a mystery to most, unknown and unspoken about. Each talk explores the path of a different artist, who provides an insight into their experience and thoughts shaped by their individual area of expertise.

Yegül, being both a ney maker and a ney player, introduced the audience to the instrument through its physical and spiritual construction. He touched on the ney being a representation of the perfect human and his long-held dream of one day creating the perfect ney. With the ney producing the closest sound to the human voice in traditional Turkish music, Yegül and Hendrickse discussed the emptiness of the ney representing the emptiness of the human beings before receiving the breath of the Creator. They focussed on the highly developed Turkish ney tradition, from construction to playing, which is unique among other ney playing traditions.

Accompanied by demonstrations of the ney’s wails which echo a distinct sense of yearning that only this instrument can induce, this talk was well worth watching for anyone interested in traditional music, spiritual discovery or looking to learn something new.

The talk was held virtually online at 6 PM on Monday 14th December 2020 via Zoom.

The event was live stream on the institute social media accounts @yeelondra, and the recording is now available to watch on the Institute’s YouTube channel.