Hungarian folk music group Kerekes Band has included a song by Veysel Şatıroğlu, a renowned Turkish wandering poet-musician, also known as a bard ("aşık" in Turkish), in their new album. The band translated “Uzun Ince Bir Yoldayım” ("I am on a Long, Narrow Road"), one of the renowned songs of Aşık Veysel, into Hungarian.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Zsombor Feher, the lead singer of the band, gave information about the formation of Kerekes Band, their interest in Turkish music and future plans.
According to Feher, the band was formed in 1995 in Eger in northern Hungary. “We were high school students when we fell in love with Hungarian folk music. We decided to establish a dance house where we could play for five-six hours and dance to folk music. Meanwhile, outside of school, we went to villages to compile folk music. We met with the old masters and wanted to get to know as much as we could about villagers’ music and the way of life that came with it,” he said.
Noting that they decided to make their own music after 10 years of folk music studies, Feher added: "We started to write lyrics, perform and publish music for the genre we call "ethno funk." We made contemporary music with folk instruments and experimented a lot with a rock musician attitude. It was a process that we developed ourselves. Thanks to our studies, we toured 30 countries, released nine albums, won awards in Hungary and abroad, and created the Kerekes Band music."
The frontman emphasized that they include Turkish songs in their repertoire: "For example, our 'Water' album, recorded live at Turkish Bath of Eger, features six songs from Turkey and Turkic Republics. We recognized that these songs can easily be played on flute and lute, which are the main instruments of our band. This shows that Hungarian and Turkish music had similar melodic styles in the past.
“One of the Turkish songs in ‘Water’ is ‘Yekte.’ We first listened to the song 10 years ago during a tour and loved it. Then, we performed it many times in different parts of the world, including the Gül Baba Tomb in Hungaria.
“We actually love the psychedelic rock music of the 1970s. That's why we listened to many Turkish artists who composed at that time, such as Barış Manço, Moğollar, Zafer Dilek and Erkin Koray. Among the recent Turkish musicians Altın Gün, Satellites and Derya Yıldırım are among our favorites.”
Noting that they have recently recorded the Turkish folk poet Aşık Veysel's song “Uzun Ince Bir Yoldayım” with a Hungarian translation, Feher said a guest singer accompanied them. “It's a very emotional, beautiful song that grabs you right away,” he added.
In addition to Feher, the band includes Csaba Namor on cobza and guitar, Akos Csarno on viola and vocals, Peter Sohajda on bass and vocals, and Feher Viktor on drums and vocals.