Dynamic Duo: Kayhan Kalhor and Erdal Erzincan (Video)

03.12.13
Kayhan Kalhor
Huffington Post

By Michal Shapiro

Click To Watch Video Here!

If you have not savored the joys of classical Persian music, or Turkish folk music, now's your chance to take a sweet bite. I won't bore you with any formal explanations about the structure of this music, this performance speaks for itself. But go ahead and look up "maqam" if you get intrigued after watching this.

Kayhan Kalhor is probably Iran's most famous musical export, a master of the kamancheh, or spike fiddle, and the Turkish baglama master Erdal Erzincan is a formidable musician indeed.

These two virtuosos were the opening act for this year's globalFEST, and fortunately for me, they were playing in the Marlin Room at Webster Hall, the closest thing the place has to a cabaret space. That, plus the earliness of the evening meant I could situate myself comfortably for the shoot. What I didn't realize was that they were going to simply improvise for a full 40 minutes!

So I kept shooting and waiting for the "first song" to be over, and it never was, until the breathless audience started cheering. I had to choose carefully when deciding upon my excerpt because all of it was engrossing. Kalhor and Erzincan both come from traditions that stress improvisation and the two of them have a terrific chemistry together. In particular the interplay is most furious when Kalhor is tapping and plucking on the kamancheh and Erzincan's blaglama is positively burning it up.

My thanks to NPR for supplying me with good clean audio.