Monday, 04 March 2024
Musical Heritage of Konya: Ney Performer Özçimi's Story

Musical Heritage of Konya: Ney Performer Özçimi's Story

Sadrettin Özçimi, the famous ney player, was born in Konya in 1955. He considers himself fortunate to have been born into a family that deeply appreciates both music culture and Anatolia's Sufi culture.


The artist stated that his father, Fevzi Özçimi, who drew attention to his love for music, was a student of Sadettin Kaynak and Münir Dede.


Özçimi emphasized that he began playing the ney (reed flüte) with the ney he received as a gift from Ney performer Halil Can's father. He stated, "I was around 16 years old when my father handed me a ney. When I was around 18 years old, the late ney player Arif Biçer came to Konya as a teacher. We worked with him for about two years. He later returned to Ankara. Thanks to Arif Hodja (teacher), I made a lot of progress during those two years. In 1971, I participated in the Mevlana commemoration ceremony held in Konya as the youngest ney player. Since that date, I had the opportunity to meet all the accomplished musicians who came from Istanbul, including Aka Gündüz Kutbay."


The artist mentioned that he learned to read sheet music from his father and emphasized that music was constantly played in their home during his childhood. He stated the following:


"I used to participate in musical gatherings every year. My relationship with Aka Gündüz Kutbay Hodja progressed. Istanbul Technical University Conservatory was the first Turkish music conservatory in the history of the republic. It was very difficult for me to be aware of it in Konya under the communication conditions of those days. The late Aka Gündüz Kutbay managed to reach my father's phone. Through his notification, I found myself in Istanbul. I came to the conservatory in 1976 and received education here until 1980. I believe it was the second year of the conservatory when there was a need for an instrument in the first Turkish music choir established by Nevzat Atlığ in the history of the republic. The late Necdet Yaşar informed me about it. I came, took the exams, and had the opportunity to study and work in the classical choir."


The artist Sadrettin Özçimi mentioned that in the 1980s, they also gave concerts abroad upon various invitations. He said, "UNESCO and Necdet Yaşar invited me to an international music conference they organized at a university in South Korea and later in England. Necdet Yaşar planned to go with a ney and a tambur. He took me along, and we first went to South Korea. It was not common to find a Turk in South Korea in the 1980s. We performed two concerts there."


Özçimi expressed that he retired from his position as a ney player in the Istanbul State Classical Turkish Music Choir under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in 2020.


The artist Sadrettin Özçimi also provided advice for young people who aspire to develop themselves, stating, "Today, I don't believe that conservatories achieve great things. Musicians are not nurtured within the conservatory but outside of it. I am not hopeless about the youth. Although there may be a significant number of young people who adopt a lifestyle that does not belong to us under the influence of popular culture, there are also many young people who are conscious and aware of the situation. The conscious youth, who are aware of their culture, will develop themselves, while the youth under the pressure of popular culture will eventually move away due to dissatisfaction. Because one day, that lifestyle will no longer satisfy them. Therefore, they will start searching for themselves. Many of those who search find the truth within themselves. The important thing is for them to start searching within their own essence."