“Ali Doğan Gönültaş, with his delving rhythmic journey, grasp my heart and caresses it with care and knowledge. He awakes the layers of cultural divinity and embraces all its population.”
Zekeriya S. Şen
- In brief -
The thrill of his expressive voice, the dreamy melodies of his pieces and his deep background, are shown in all their glory in the magnificent debut album Kiğı, for which the Anatolian artist settled in Istanbul, has been working for more than ten years of field research.
His studies in archaeology and media have made for a profound approach to research and analysis of sources, as well as an ability to translate that background into a very captivating artistic and communicative language. Prior to this courageous work, Kiğı, Ali Doğan has worked for ten years with the fascinating band Ze Tije, worked in archaeology in Anatolia, composed music for film and to this day, continues to make music-themed television.
In addition to the concert with his line-up of trio, Ali Doğan can provide a workshop on rhythm and forms in Kurdish Music.
“Ali’s concert was a moving journey, specifically to Eastern Anatolia, but also symbolically – to any place where music seems to be above all divisions. The multitude of rhythms and languages specific to this region was not only pleasant and interesting, but also very moving. Remarkable precision, instrumental proficiency and an unforgettable voice […].” Ula Nowak, radio journalist, JAZZKULTURA (Poland); host of the program “Świato-czułość | WorldSensitivity”, about his concert in Vienna in September 2022.
- Bio -
Ali Doğan Gönültaş was born in Kiğı, Eastern Anatolia, Turkey. Graduated from Kocaeli University Archeology and Radio TV and Cinema departments, the musician started his professional music career with the band Ze Tijê, of which he is one of the founders and author of many of the compositions and arrangements, as well as performer of several instruments and the lead singer. They made hundreds of concerts in Turkey and released two studio albums “Yanlışımız Var!” (2015) and “Ur” (2019), in a postrock, collage and experimental genres.
Since 2018, he has been continuing his music production with his solo concert series “Xo Bi Xo”. This project, in which the musician includes songs in Kurmanci and Turkish as well as Zazaki, his mother tongue, has an experimental feel to it as well as traditional styles and themes.
In addition, his oral history and field research studies, which he began in 2007, continue with the album Kiğı, which he self-produced and released in 2022. Kiğı, which is also the birthplace of the musician, describes the specific musical language and style of an Anatolian/Mesopotamian settlement.
He contributed to the soundtracks of films such as My Own Life (2014) and Şeng (2021). He took part in the project titled “Voice of the City as an Example of Intangible Cultural Heritage (Diyarbakır)” as a composer.
In 2020, he prepared and presented the television program “Voices and Traces” for Can TV. The program, which consisted of conversations and musical performances, was about non-mainstream musical genres and schools in Turkey. In 2021 and 2022 he is presenting and producing the radio show Müzik Olayı also for Can TV.
In 2022 Ali Doğan was signed by the son of the old master Seîdê Goyî, a dengbej (singing storyteller) of traditional Botan music, to arrange the pieces and be the producer of the EP Stranên Dilê Min (songs of my heart, in Kurdish) (available to listen in https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWZ9kh0yYl20kfSbpc5bGnA).
- About Kiğı -
In May of 2022, Ali Doğan Gönültaş released Kiğı, his first solo and self-produced album that emerged as a result of more than ten years of field research. The work, which is a personal look at the 150-year musical process of Kiğı, the musician's birthplace, consists of works in the regional languages of Krmancki, Kurmanci, Kirdaski, Armenian, and Turkish.
This thematic album consists of stylized performances accompanied by ethnomusicological data, with the goal of providing a discourse and a voice to remember despite the fading of memory. The project evolved from an "oral history" motivation into a musical memory work. In the project, which includes thematic and technical music forms, thematic contents such as Govend, Lament, Job songs, Xerîbîyê and Prayer forms are conveyed with the modal characteristics of the region.
Kiğı is available to listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLTIwo_6SoI&list=PLyhkwvtejQbPRXCJ_eQgSxKDJpV-uoQW3
- What has been said about Ali Doğan Gönültaş -
“Anatolia, the mother of tunes. Mesopotamia, the mother of cultures. Ali Doğan Gönültaş, with his delving rhythmic journey, grasp my heart and caresses it with care and knowledge. He awakes the layers of cultural divinity and embraces all its population. His magnificent study of the tunes of these lands places a tear in my eye and makes hope to smile simultaneously. I assumed all the thematic sounds of the souls ever living in the soil. We cry, we smile, we resolve, and we breathe. Ali Doğan Gönültaş slaps you gently to wake up and perceive what's out there. One of the best productions of this year!”
Zekeriya S. Şen. Author, music writer & radio programmer. Radio show Dünyayı Dinliyorum (I listen to the world) at 94.9 Acik Radyo.
“Ali Doğan Gönültaş’ first solo album 'Kiğı': A real diamond not only for Kurdish music lovers! The music, like poetry, is of great importance to the Kurds. In a non-state, whose language and literature are suppressed, everything is sung to be remembered and saved. In much of Kurdish music today, this primary function of music as a tool for memory, learning, thinking, and education of the all-embracing music soul is highlighted, and is as necessary as daily bread. Ali Doğan Gönültaş represents and presents a collage of different cultures around his birthplace Kiğı', both in terms of instruments and with his approach to musical forms that have been used from the past. The work conveys thematic content and style such as the traditional Kurdish dance govend sprinkled with unabashed lamentation, labor songs and prayers... Α wonderful timeless journey!”
Eleni Ziliaskopoulou, M.A., Planet Radio 90,6, show FM Μουσικές Του Πλανήτη (Planet Music)
“Ali’s concert was a moving journey, specifically to Eastern Anatolia, but also symbolically – to any place where music seems to be above all divisions. The multitude of rhythms and languages specific to this region was not only pleasant and interesting, but also very moving. Remarkable precision, instrumental proficiency and an unforgettable voice meant that each subsequent piece seemed to be an important twist in this story, which the artist had been building for 10 years, collecting ethnomusicological data and respecting various sources.”
Ula Nowak, radio journalist, JAZZKULTURA (Poland); host of the program “Świato-czułość | WorldSensitivity”, about the concert in Vienna in September 2022
“A vivid personal viewpoint on the musical map of Kiğı region. An oral history project turning into a potent and superbly delivered musical journey giving voice to the multicultural styles and repertoires of Eastern Anatolia.”
Ciro de Rosa, Blogfoolk, Italy
“This album brings together 10 years of field research in dozens of archives. It reconstructs the sound of Kiğı, the name of Ali Doğan Gönültaş's once multi-ethnically inhabited birthplace. He discovered stories like the one of the good-humoured gardener enjoying his harvest and looking for girls. One hears the lute tembur, wind instruments like mey and zurna, frame drums and again and again beautiful choirs. Especially during the dance songs. Ali Doğan Gönültaş sings in the languages of the region. Kurmanci, Armenian, Turkish and Zaza. More and more musicians in Turkey are discovering the multi-ethnic heritage of their homeland, including long-forgotten Armenian songs, like the one on „Kiğı" about the beautiful Mayram, who cries her eyes out until her unloved husband's house collapses.
Kiğı is a beguiling album between joie de vivre and sadness, and because of its multilingualism, its freedom, its humour and intoxication, a manifesto of lived tolerance.”
Grit Friedrich, German independent journalist specialiced in music and cultures from South-East Europe
“Ali Doğan Gönültaş dazzles us with songs from a land that has always been a crossroads: the heart of Anatolia. Illuminating songs in Zazaki, Kurdish, Armenian and Turkish show us the brilliant talent of an artist who has much to offer.”
Juan Antonio Vázquez, Mundofonías radio show & Mil Mundos (Radio Clásica, Spanish National Radio), founder of Transglobal World Music Chart