A.G.A Trio / Meeting

Our debut album is released

You can order the album here

Arsen Petrosyan (Armenia) – Duduk

Mikail Yakut (Georgia/Turkey) – Accordion

Deniz Mahir Kartal (Turkey) – Kaval and Guitar

A.G.A stands for Armenia, Georgia, Anatolia

Throughout history, the regions of the South Caucasus and Anatolia have witnessed many
encounters, as well as separations. During peaceful times, the people of these regions danced hand in hand; during wars and genocide they sang lamentations in caravans. In its historical journey, the music of these areas has also come into contact with other societies, surviving up to the present day, having gone through various processes of change. This album reinterprets melodies that have been handed down across generations, with a novel perspective, by three musicians from Turkey, Armenia and Georgia.

When Denіz Mahіr Kartal travelled to Armenia’s capital, Yerevan, to work on his research project ‘Turkicized Armenian Music’ in the summer of 2017, he had in his backpack his kavals and melodies familiar to him from his childhood. During his time in Armenia, he collaborated with the duduk player Arsen Petrosyan and they started to work on some songs together. Soon after, they decided to not only research these songs but to perform them on stage and to record the fruits of their collaboration. Denіz Mahіr Kartal grew up in the eastern Black Sea region of Turkey where Georgian culture is still vibrant and alive. Arsen, on the other hand, had his roots in the Armenian community living in Georgia, and his family comes from Erzurum. These circumstances drew out a natural roadmap for the two, which led to the inclusion of Mіkaіl Yakut, a musician of Georgian descent.

The kaval in Turkey, duduk in Armenia, and accordion in Georgia are among the most common instruments in these countries. The natural harmony between these instruments create complementing timbres, thanks to the melodies of the shared roots in this album. In the same spirit, while building the repertoire for the album, the three musicians sought to focus on the mutual melodies they had all been introduced to in their childhoods, while also being attentive to the harmony between the themes and stories of the songs. The album also features solo tracks that present the three typical instruments, of their respective cultures, in the most plain and direct way.

These musicians believe that the peoples of this region will continue sharing and co-creating, while remaining aware of the impossibility of attributing their traditional music to any specific ethnicity. They hope that this album will help to blossom once again the shared melodies that have been the product of interaction between these peoples living together for centuries.

About us

DENİZ MAHİR KARTAL

Deniz Mahir Kartal was born in Istanbul in 1987. He studied Turkish folk dance at the Istanbul Technical University from 2005 to 2011. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree. Apart from dance, his passion above all is for music. Mahir plays the duduk, kaval and other traditional instruments, as well as saxophone and guitar. He has been making music since the age of five and is working on many projects which are dedicated to the most diverse musical genres, from Anatolian music to Balkan/ska/reggae to electronic music. He plays in different bands from Turkey, Sweden, Germany and the Czech Republic. Mahir has been living in Berlin since 2013. He has made many new contacts in the Berlin music scene and regularly gives concerts all over Europe. He is currently concentrating on his solo project ‚KafaNar‘, in which he creates a hypnotic danceable sound with his various instruments, vocals and loops.

MİKAİL YAKUT

Mikail Yakut played with many folk music bands in Istanbul in his younger years. Having completed a degree in sociology, he moved to Berlin and studied classical music on accordion and jazz on piano. Although Yakut’s main focus has been the traditional music of Anatolia, the Caucasus and Eastern Europe; in his music, one can hear influences from a wide range of genres including classical music, contemporary music and jazz. He especially enjoys mixing different styles and crossing genre borders while leaving room for improvisation in his live performances. Currently, Mikail Yakut is a member of Heval Trio and AGA Trio. In addition, he plays with Korhan Erel in an electro-acoustic techno duo and with Birgit Hering in a children’s theater project. He also accompanies prize-winning author Dogan Akhanli on his performative readings.

ARSEN PETROSYAN

Arsen Petrosyan has recently emerged as one of his generations main proponents of the Armenian duduk. Following in the footsteps of established duduk masters such as Djivan Gasparian and his mentor Gevorg Dabaghyan, Petrosyan has managed to carve out his own pathway through diverse collaborations with Steve Hackett (Genesis), Emirati composer Ihab Darwish, and oudist Omar Bashir among others. Between both of his ensembles, the Arsen Petrosyan Trio and the Arsen Petrosyan Quartet, he has performed throughout Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and the Caucasus. As a solo artist, Petrosyan has also toured extensively in North America as well as the territories noted above.

Born and raised in Charentsavan, Armenia, where he currently still resides, Petrosyan’s more immediate familial roots are from the ethnic Armenian enclave of Javakhk (in the Republic of Georgia) while his ancestral homeland is in Erzurum (now it modern day Turkey). He received his Masters Degree in Music (Duduk concentration) at the Komitas Conservatory of Yerevan in 2016. In addition to his active recording and touring schedule, Arsen has conducted master classes and lectures on the Armenia duduk for organizations such as the World Music Institute (WMI) in New York City and the Apollo Chamber Players (Houston, Texas). Notable media appearances include those on Medici.tv, Mezzo TV as well as BBC Persia among others.

Video from A.G.A Trio

Video Credit : Karci Ibo