Argentine musicians set Yunus Emre’s lyrics to music in Spanish

Argentine musicians on Oct. 25 set the verses of Yunus Emre, a 13th-century pioneer of Turkish folk and spiritual poetry, to music that they composed with local instruments.

Playing with quena flute, bombo drum, accordion and charango guitar, instruments that are central in Argentine musical culture, the group took part in a project held to mark the Year of Yunus Emre declared by UNESCO for the poet's 700th birthday.

"It's very exciting," said Yahia Uzman, the composer of the songs from the University of Buenos Aires' conservatory. "Indeed, I felt that until the last moment of the translation process." As part of the project, the artists recited Emre's poems in both Spanish and Turkish.

Underlining that the poet's words reflected the essence of Islam with its profound meanings, Uzman said, "A single world in Spanish does not suffice; we had to use more words to express Yunus Emre's profundity."

With the studio recordings of the songs, mostly complete in both languages, a Buenos Aires-themed video clip will be shot as part of the second leg of the project, conducted by Turkey's Yunus Emre Institute.

UNESCO declared 2021 the Anniversary of Commemoration and Celebration of Yunus Emre, Hacı Bektaş Veli and Ahi Evran to commemorate these three significant figures in Anatolian culture and cherish their teachings.

It had also declared 1991 as Emre's "Year of Love," commemorating his mystical poems.


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