On Breath , the third release in the four part series that began with Nar (Fire) and continued with Su(Water), Mercan Dede infuses his listeners with the refreshing quality of air. Although Nefes incorporates elements that can be traced to Mercan Dede’s previous two releases, the boundary breaking musical experimentation captured on the album results in a sound undeniably its own. Melancholic and cheerful, on this album Mercan Dede carries out an organic fusion that captures the magic of the East, mystical elements, electronic tones and traditional instrumentation.
The album comes to life with the help of his musician friends: Canadian Ben Grosman plays the extremely rare Hurdy Gurdy saz and contributes to Nefes through special recording session from Toronto together with Hugh Marsh who returns with his violin. Mercan Dede accompanies trombone player Steve Turre by playing sea shells. Magical songstress Aynur Dogan and Iranian vocalist Azam Ali breathe life into the songs on the album. Kani Karaca is eulogized with an ode read by a famous mevlithan who “Worships with his voice”. In addition, we bear witness to Mercan Dede’s first foray into being a vocalist.
A departure from his previous albums, “Nefes” is also a return for Mercan Dede. Traveling the world following the song of his soul, Mercan Dede delivers to us a deeply personal album recounting the wonderlands he has taken in, day by day, breath by breath.