Mehmet Polat Trio: A thousand and one nights in Europe

23. April 2015
Pilarica Martin

The Turkish Sinat Arat and Mehmet Polat and the Dutch Brenda Dor-Groot hypnotized and delighted the audience on 21st of April of 2015 at Punane Maja. The concert was a combination of peace, calmness and mesmerizing melodies between the black walls of the hall, inviting you to travel to another time and a different world.

As the instruments that they were playing are quite peculiar in the Old Continent, they decided to explain a little about them. Sinat plays the ney, a hollow cylinder with seven finger-holes, traditional in the Arab world, in pastoral areas and scholastic and religious environments. The other Middle Eastern instrument is a pear-shaped stringed, ancestor of lute. The instrument, created in the pharaonic era.”

However, their kora player Zoumana Diarra’s couldn’t be on the stage as the result of a heart attack that he has been suffering from since last December. Instead, a West African 21-stringed instrument – the Irish harp was the company of this oriental melody, providing a European touch to the performance. Brenda Dor-Groot was playing a new harp, handpicked at Edinburg International Harp Festival, and baptized in the Jazzkaar Festival as an exclusive premiere of Irish cords.

Apart from exotic instruments, they played alluring harmonies that could transport you to different places. All the songs have a story. You Are Not Alone is the one that dedicated to women and children in Middle East. However, they are able to make you create a story in your head during the gig, flying with the high tunes of the ney. In fact I would say that there was kind of evocation to the night around the neighbourhood called Sacromonte, close to the Alhambra in Granada. In this magic place every evening people meet to enjoy the flamenco music and dance.

Even though there wasn’t any percussion accompanying their music, I could hear from miles away the clicking heels from that people who gracefully move their feet with the folk melodies. In addition, not only the shine of the stars from When A thousand and one nights was performed the shine of the stars covered the walls of the venue and the stage was filled with the blink of a warm sun reflecting on the gold sand from the desert.

The evening was truly inspirational, flowing with the mysticism of this fantastic trio who played in a perfect synchrony, matching the different instruments. The calm voice of Polat and the peaceful face expression of Arat helped to create this spiritual environment, along with Dor-Groot’s smile. We hope that Zoumana Diarra recovers and that they come back all together to make Estonians enjoy the African sounds too. As they say in Turkish: Inshallah!

April 21st of 2015, Punane Maja
Mehmet Polat – Oud
Sinat Arat – Ney
Brenda Dor-Groot – Harp