Ceremonial Music & Movements

Turkey & Iran

May 2020, Turkey


In February 2019 a group of 35 people from Turkey, Bahrain, Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, France, and Iran came together in Qeshm island, to celebrate Ceremonial and Makam music of Iran & Turkey.

During the 6 days of the gathering, they learned about traditions of this region, such as Sema and music therapy, Alevi-Bektashi Semah, North Khorasan Bakshi Tradition (from Torbate-Jam), Mesnevi singing and Ahle-hagh music.

The gathering was called Ehli-Neva.

Ehli-Neva, Qeshm Island, February 2019

We are inviting us to come together again, this time in Turkey, from 22-29 of May 2020.

Our invitation is to honor, and to deepen our understanding of the wisdom traditions of this region. Through out ages, these traditions supported the people of these lands to maintain their connection with sacred orders, for support, inspiration, blessing, healing and spiritual development.

Ceremonial music and movements are essential aspects of these wisdom traditions. Thanks to many masters and lovers who dedicated their lives to re-discovering, preserving, and when necessary re-newing this rich heritage, it is possible for us to gather around this heritage, in the spirit of showing reverence, learning and spiritual development.

There will be four groups, each hosting us into a tradition or a learning experience:

Turkish Music & Music Therapy
Bakshi Tradition (Khorasan)
Alevi-Bektashi Semah
Ansoo: Tune of Reunion
  • Turkish Music and Movement Therapy

    offered by Tarz-ı Vefa Kervanı

    Tarz-ı Vefa Kervanı group researches, introduces and offers:

    • Central Asian Turkish music,
    • Turkish Sufi music,
    • Classical Turkish music,
    • Anatolian folk songs & ballads,
    • From Central Asia to Khorasan and Anatolia, Turkish music and movement therapy tradition,
    • Spiritual practices, dances, rituals such as Baksı dance, Mevlevi Sema and Alevi-Bektashi semahs.
  • Khorasan Bakshi Tradition (Torbat-e Jam)

    offered by Abdollah Abdi

    In Khorasan Province, the Bakhshis are renowned for their musical skill with the dotār, a two-stringed, long-necked lute. They recount Islamic and Gnostic poems and epics containing mythological, historical or legendary themes. Their music, known as Maghami, consists of instrumental and/or vocal pieces, performed in Turkish, Kurdish, Turkmen and Persian. Navāyī is the most widespread magham: diverse, vocal, rhythmless, accompanied by Gnostic poems. Other examples include the Turkish maghams Tajnīs and Gerāyelī, the religious themes of Shākhatāyī, and Loy, an antique romantic magham, belonging to the Kormanj Kurds of Northern Khorasan. Bakhshis consider one string of the dotār to be male and the other female; the male string remains open, while the female is used to play the main melody. Bakhshi music is passed on through traditional master-pupil training, which is restricted to male family members or neighbours, or modern methods, in which a master trains a wide range of students of both genders from diverse backgrounds. The music transmits history, culture, ethical and religious fundamentals. Therefore, the social role of the Bakhshis exceeds that of mere narrator, and defines them as judges, mediators and healers, as well as guardians of the ethnic and regional cultural heritage of their community.

  • Alevi-Bektashi Semah

    offered by Cafer Yildiz & Seda Seyrek

    Alevi-Bektashi tradition has evolved by interacting various beliefs, spiritual teachings and cultures over a wide geographical area from Central Asia to Anatolia and Balkan Mountains throughout the history. Listening to the sacred music in rituals and observing the ritual movement Semah, one can connect to it through different elements rooted in shamanism, Islam, mystic teachings and traditions travelled from Central Asia, Khorasan to Anatolia, Bektashi path, gnostic beliefs of ancient lands before religions, folkloric Anatolian culture etc.

  • Ansoo: Tune of Reunion

    offered by Ansoo

    An Iranian couple -a musician and a visual artist- stepped into Ansoo; A fruitful ground for their music/visual performances and innovative music workshops

    Ansoo in Farsi literally means "that side" or "that which is beyond". In Persian mystical poetry, "Ansoo" may point at a way towards the hidden truth. It also carries a utopian meaning, denoting not a specific place, but a state of being, being connected and feeling integrated.

    In the path of Ansoo, we see music as a powerful vehicle; the deep-origin music that is expressed from the heart. The harmonizing nature of such music awakens a sense of inner unity, and its magnetic power brings people together, regardless of their language, thoughts and beliefs. It helps us to reach our common roots.

    AnsooMusic is an extended project moving along two tuneful paths: A path of education in the form of Persian music camps, and a path of music-making joined by other musicians around the world.

    Ansoo rose in the East, in the ancient land of Persia and travels the earth to connect like-minded and whole-hearted companions in the lights and shadows of sound and silence.

Daily Rhythm

With this rhythm, each group has five sessions (around 7 hours) to host. During the six days, we will also spend a morning and an afternoon to visit a meaningful place in the region.

Friday 22 May, 18:00

Friday 29 May, 17:00

  • Breakfast
  • Session 1
  • Session 2
  • Lunch & Chai
  • Session 3
  • Session 4
  • Dinner
  • Meshk, Sema, Sohbet


For more details please contact Kamyar Houbakht.


+90 545 631 8020


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Seda Seyrek
    Turkish, English, Farsi

    +90 506 4567116 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Kamyar Houbakht
    Farsi, English

    +90 545 6318020 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.