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Rəhman Məmmədli (AZE)

Psychedelic guitar music from Azerbaijan
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19:30 - 21:00
Concert hall
House of Music Hungary production
guitar, vocals
Rəhman Məmmədli
Tural Mammadli
Seymur Yagubov

Rəhman Məmmədli (AZE)

In his first European tour, the ever-elegant wonder of the Caucasus will finally bring his overwhelming guitar playing and the musical world of Azerbaijani guitar music to the House of Music audience.

Rahman Mammadli's (more correctly spelt Rəhman Məmmədli) blazing, psychedelic guitar music emerges from one of the most tumultuous and diverse periods in Azerbaijan's history, capturing the spirit and contradictions of his era. In the years since then, he has become an emblematic figure in Azerbaijani guitar music, a genre known as gitara music. It is a unique subculture that has developed around the electric guitar, with its own particular sound, including traditional Azeri elements. Along with the late Rüstəm Quliyev, whose album Azerbaijani Gitara (Bongo Joe Records, 2020) introduced the West to this unique genre, which to the uninitiated ear can often sound like surf music, Rəhman is an absolute master of the style.

Rahman often plays live for hours on end, in electrifying videos uploaded to Instagram – now that his first Western album is out, we can finally experience this fantastic music in person. Rahman Mammadli arrives at the House of Music as part of a trio, accompanied by guitarist Tural Mammadli and percussionist Seymur Yagubov. A member of the Swiss label Bongo Joe (a leader in bringing together the most exciting underground contemporary music from around the world for the Western ear), the guitarist was born in 1961 in the Fuzuli district of Karabakh and grew up surrounded by the music of this region. As a child, he mastered playing the garmon accordion before he was introduced to the guitar. In just a few days he had mastered many melodies, and very soon he showed he was a genius on the instrument. Soon he was invited to join the Karabakh Ensemble as a guitarist. After a short break from music in the 1990s, he began to release his own albums (cassettes) as a solo performer. Being deeply attached to traditional music, both in the mugham and ashiq traditions, he managed to translate these genres into electric guitar playing by creating new and unique playing techniques. His imitation of the voices of classical mugham singers has led to him being nicknamed 'the man with the singing fingers'.

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