Aşıq Nargile

PRESERVING HER IDENTITY AND TAKING IT ABROAD. The compilation Mountains Of Tongues: Musical Dialects Of The Caucasus brings together songs and instrumentals that were recorded by the Sayat Nova project across 2012 and 2013 during trips across Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia. All tracks are drawn from many different musical traditions and several were never recorded before. Stefan Williamson-Fa, one of the founding fathers of the project, provided translation for the following conversation with Asiq Nargile. An Ashiq is a singer who traditionally, accompanied his song with a long necked lute (saz) in Azerbaijani culture and related Turkic cultures.
15 November 2017 | AG 10

“I first met Stefan and Ben who run the project when they were studying music in Tbilisi. After they recorded me playing a festival organiser in England heard the recording and invited me to perform. The Tusk festival hosted my f


“Georgia is full of music, there are many festivals and concerts all the time with all sorts of music. Georgians can’t live without music: they are always singing and dancing. It is a big part of their culture, especially polyphonic singing at church,


“At home everybody knows the ashiq tradition, they know the melodies and understand the words: they might love the music or hate it but they are still familiar with it. Young people today tend to listen more to pop music but there is a growing interest

Woman's art

“My grandparents and family were always listening to ashiq music and this was something that was around me from a young age on. My grandmother insisted that I learn the saz at a young age after she saw some other female ashiqs on TV. I started studying

Without diluting the tradition

“From the moment I decided to be an ashiq I took on the role with the seriousness and dedication that it requires and I want to continue on this path. I never changed the art, as some women have done, and am dedicated to playing saz and singing without

Future ambitions

“I recently composed, performed and recorded a pop song with some producers in Turkey. It is my first time branching out into that sphere but it was great as we recorded a music video in the countryside in Georgia, with our traditional costumes and hor