Inscribed in the intangible heritage of UNESCO for more than 15 years, Baul singing is, no doubt, one of the countless Indian riches. This popular, spiritual form of expression is influenced by the Hindi movement Bhakti and by Sufism. The word Baul, in Sanskrit, means something akin to “inspired by the gods” or “crazy”.
The Asiks (minstrels) are one of the most distinguished and brilliant communities of performers encountered within the realm of Turkish culture. Generally coming up singing lyrics and poetry to the accompaniment of the saz, the asiks are artists that give voice to all of the social events of the societies in which they exist, and write footnotes to history. In Belgium, singer and saz player Emre Gültekin, practices a repertoire in the spirit of the Aşıks, Anatolian troubadours who went from village to village to sing their songs. Gültekin learned the repertoire from his father, Lütfü Gültekin, and from Talip Özkan. Strongly influenced by the Aşıks, Emre Gültekin’s music is mystic and profound. He brilliantly combines a refined saz technique, a masterful way of singing and a golden voice.
Baul meets Saz was born when Gültekin joined with Baul musicians Malabika Brahma (song) and Sanjay Khyapa (dubki, dotara). The group symbolizes the encounter of two different but similar worlds. They are, above all, united by their nomadic nature, the sharing of they cultures and their passion for music.
• Emre Gültekin: saz, song
• Malabika Brahma: song
• Sanjay Khyapa: dubki, dotara