Friday, 01 December 2023
Konya's Musical Legacy: Turning Reeds into the Voice of Divine Love

Konya's Musical Legacy: Turning Reeds into the Voice of Divine Love

In Konya, for 40 years, Ali Erol, who has been playing the ney with the fire of Sufi spirituality in his heart, has been transforming the reeds growing in the marshes into the voice of divine love with skill and fine craftsmanship, alongside his performance.


In his high school years, Erol developed an interest in the ney he saw his teacher playing, and he learned to play it himself before delving into its craftsmanship under the guidance of his masters.


The artist, who has been crafting ney in his workshop for approximately 25 years, leaves the special reeds he either procures from the marshes or collects himself to dry for three years in his shop.


The reeds, consisting of nine segments, undergo a long and painstaking process. First, they are shaped and hollowed out, then seven tuning holes are drilled to specific measurements. Finally, the reed, equipped with a headpiece made from buffalo horn, is tuned to become a ney.


After a patient and lengthy process, Erol transforms the reed into a "breath," and he sends the ney he crafts both domestically and internationally.


Erol, mentioning that he learned to play the ney before making them, said, "The ney our music teacher played in high school mesmerized me. It seemed to ignite something within me. So, I began my search. I still remember the excitement I felt when I had my first ney. I bought the ney and rushed home."


He also noted that finding the right reed among the millions in nature is a challenging task. Erol explained that the suitable reed is matured through cooking and straightened with fire to remove its curvature.


Erol emphasized that they organize Sufi music programs in many countries around the world and receive a great deal of interest from people after each program. He continued:


"People who come to us say, 'Is that sound coming from this? What a mesmerizing sound, we are deeply moved.' We've even heard expressions from listeners like 'I felt like I was in heaven.' Indeed, the ney has the power to sweep away the ashes in a person's heart and reveal their sublime emotions."