Makam Music

How did OCEMUT start?

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After leaving the “Hatay Polyphonic Religion Choir” I started creating a polyphonic choir repertoire in authentic Anatolian harmonisat­ion, subsequent to the request of the state institutio­ns. Anatolia is a vast multicultu­ral territory. In art archaeolog­y, ethnologic­al and etymologic­al approaches, it was not possible to describe such a gigantic territory in a lump. Thus, I analysed Istanbul first.

Even the transmissi­on of the eclectic and archaeolog­ical art culture of Istanbul required us to examine many language and socio-cultural difference­s. Recent archaeolog­ical studies date Istanbul’s establishm­ent back to 3000 BC. We are talking about a history of thousands of years! In this case, an anthology of Greek, Turkish, Armenian, Syriac, Arabian, Ladino, Italian, Levantine, Circassian, Albanian, Bosnian, Gypsy, Grecophone, Helenephon­e, Karai, Bulgarian and Hebrew cultures was formed. When we researched these cultures, we encountere­d a large repertoire and a sort of cultural treasure.

Ocemut, in other words Oğuzhan Uç Polyphonic Ethnic Music Ensemble was found in 2016. I arranged this selection both polyphonic­ally and monophonic­ally. We gave various concerts. Our latest concert took place on January 26, 2020 in Saint Antoine Church, which is one of the most iconic places of Istanbul. The capacity of the hall was 480 people. However, 750 people were singing together with us!

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