"Ragmakam" (2007-9) ...this CD is one of a kind. This recording reveals a successful musical experiment previously never attempted or perhaps conceived of: the compositional marriage between Hindustani Ragas and Ottoman Makams. Furthermore on this recording Edward plays exclusively his self-creation/invention: the Ragmakamtar which combines the sarod, the oud, and the fretless guitar in one instrument. Featured on this recording are world renowned Turkish and Indian classical musicians.
The word "ragmakam" is derived from the words: "raga" and "makam", as in INDIAN RAGA and TURKISH MAKAM.
The ragmakamtar is a double-neck fretless guitar which is ideally suited to both Indian and Middle-eastern modal music, since the upper neck is configured similar to an Indian SAROD, and the lower neck is similar to that of an OUD.
Through indepth study and practice of both Indian and Middle-eastern modal systems (ragas and makams) Edward began to recognise distinct similarities in the function, grammer, and expression in both of these modal systems. The seven original compositions on this album were composed using melodic combinations of compatible RAGAS and MAKAMS, and hense, the birth of new "RAGMAKAMS". Furthermore, the instrumentation used for the recordings reflects the origin of the inspirational elements; ie - Indian and Turkish.
Considered today one of the world's leading acoustic fretless guitarists, Edward is perhaps the only the playing an authentic Indian style on a fretless guitar thanks to his double decade pilgrimage with the sitar. On top of this Edward is also an accomplished oud player and has brought the makam language also to the fretless guitar captured in sounds coming from the instrument he designed and built himself which is a combination of a sarod and an oud. Recording artist, performer, teacher, instrument builder, traveler.
Nurullah Kanık - ney:
The ney is the Middle-eastern reed flute which, in Turkey, is inseparably identified with Sufi Mevlana (whirling dervish) ceremonial music. Nurullah is a brilliant young master who is now a familiar figure in the Istanbul classical and Sufi music scene.
Sercan Halili - kemence:
Sercan comes from a distinguished family of classical musicians. As well as an extraordinary kemence player Sercan is also a talented conductor. Sercan and his brother Serkan (kanun player) have travelled around the world performing with the likes of Glenn Velez.
Sri Partha Mukherjee - tabla:
No doubt Partha is among the world's top tabla players. Partha learned the Benares style from his master Padmabhusan Pandit Samta Prasadji. He was the regular tablist with Budhaditya Mukherjee for many years, and later went on to accommpany virtually all of the top North Indian instrumentalists and vocalists. Partha now divides his time between touring and establishing a music school in Vancouver, Canada.
Mustafa Selcuk Erarslan - kemence:
Klassik kemence, as distinguished from the folk kemence, is a lap held fiddle (similar to the Greek lyra), with an astonishingly warm and mellow tone. Selcuk, who is a frequent stage partner with Nurullah, is himself a sensative and eloquant young master.