Gul Bey - my Ramazan Davulu

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Gul Bey - my Ramazan Davulu

Postby Psych1 » Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:54 am

This is the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, when religious Muslims can eat and drink only during hours of darkness. Gul Bey is the local trampa (drummer) and one of my teachers. His job is to make sure everyone in my village is awake in time to prepare and eat a big meal before the sun comes up. He goes from house to house from 0230 until 0400 every morning and plays until someone gets up and turns a light on.

During most of the year Gul Bey is a simple man living a simple life. He works at small jobs and gives most of the little he earns to those who have less. But, during Ramadan time Gul Bey is transformed into a true master. In the middle of the night he goes around playing ancient and forgotten dervish rhythms that he learned from his father who learned them from his father who ----
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Re: Gul Bey - my Ramazan Davulu

Postby Light Seeker » Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:18 pm

I don't suppose it would be possible for you to make recordings of these rhythms...?
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Re: Gul Bey - my Ramazan Davulu

Postby Psych1 » Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:04 pm

I expected that question! I'm working on it. He won't let me follow him around and won't play around people unless he is wearing certain special clothing. I have a short audio clip that I got with my digital camera that I am trying to clean up.
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Re: Gul Bey - my Ramazan Davulu

Postby Light Seeker » Tue Sep 15, 2009 5:09 am

I'm very curious to hear these rhythms. My sister used to be engaged to a Muslim man from Palestine, but he never mentioned anything about special percussion music during Ramadan. Is this something that is only customary in Turkey?

By the way, I want to wish you a happy and blessed Ramadan.
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Re: Gul Bey - my Ramazan Davulu

Postby Psych1 » Tue Sep 15, 2009 5:24 pm

I believe most of the Ramadam drummers just go around banging their drums in order to wake people up. Gul Bey is a special person who plays special music and that is why he is chosen for my viilage that is only a small part of a larger town. In fact, everything about my village, with it's 5000 year history is special, that is why I have chosen to live here.

And, Gul Bey has consented to let me record him but only after the holidays - that gives me enough time to get some good recording equipment together so I should be able to post a good clip in a few weeks.

And, thank you for the holiday greeting but I am a total nonbeliever in anything that can be remotely be called "religion". I do appreciate much of the art that has come out of religion, to include the music of the dervishes and bata and all the other great ceremonial drumming. I do make an effort to respect others beliefs but sometimes find that hard.
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Re: Gul Bey - my Ramazan Davulu

Postby Psych1 » Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:57 pm

Today is Sheker Byram - Sugar Holiday - the end of Ramazan. Nobody is happier here than GulBey. My village is growing (Hilton opening soon) and Gul Bey is getting older. It now takes him about 3 hours playing constantly to wake everyone up. Gul Bey plays at weddings and parties but Ramazan is his number one gig. Today he went around collecting 10 Lira ($6) from everyone who could afford it - his charge for playing under your window for a month in the middle of the night until you turn your light on so he knows you are awake. He never asks for money from anyone who can't afford it and gives his money to anyone who really needs it. Gul Bey lives for music and can live without money!

Sorry - no recording. He is too shy to let me record him and I don't want to be sneaky.
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Re: Gul Bey - my Ramazan Davulu

Postby roberthelpus » Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:26 am

That's wonderful. So much more useful to the world than my current job.
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Re: Gul Bey - my Ramazan Davulu

Postby niallgregory » Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:11 am

This is a great thread ! I still love the culture of traditional music and its musicans ! Its something thats being lost all over the world , people playing music for a reason other than commercial success ! Cultural reasons wether they be religous or secular are very important to us in this modern world . Ireland used to have a wonderful traditional music played in peoples houses every day and night before modern technology and tv came along .You would have to travel a fair distance from me to see people who brought up in this culture these days .
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Re: Gul Bey - my Ramazan Davulu

Postby pavloconga » Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:00 am

Really great to hear about this man and I love the photo of him. Is he training an apprentice to take his place when he passes away? I hope so. otherwise his knowledge is lost if he is the last bearer of the rhythm knowledge.

This story reminds me of my time in Ghana where there is a rhythm for practically every event in life and where drums are played every day... and sometimes at 2am just to wake up everyone in the village for a particular purpose!
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