Čalgija | Unforgotten - Music from the Balkans and Anatolia If you are Dutch and enjoy Balkan, Turkish, Arabic and/or Central Asian music, then you are bound to know the famous ensemble Čalgija. Even if you are not Dutch and don’t particularly like Turkish, Arabic and Central Asian mu- sic, you might know them because their music features in a song by Kate Bush (Sensual World) and was covered by Andy Irvine and Davy Spillane. I have played with Čalgija veterans since my early youth, and always enjoyed the sto- ries about its founder and leader Wouter Swets (1930 – 2016) , who’s talent was only matched by his eccentricity. Čalgija was a Dutch ensemble that existed from 1969 till 1995 that set out to perform ethnomusicologically sound arrangements of traditional music from the Balkans and Anatolia. Čalgija released two albums: Music from the Bal- kans and Anatolia #1 (LP, 1978) and Music from the Balkans and Anatolia #2 (CD, 1991). Especially the first stands out as a monument, I consider it one of the best records produced in that genre in the Netherlands. Unforgtten is the album that was to be Čalgija’s second, recorded in the mid-1980s, all ready for production, never released in its entirety, but partly recycled on their 1991 album. Rediscovered and digitised in 2019, with five unreleased stu- dio tracks, supplemented with one live track from 1978 and five from 1983: the legendary ensemble in its heyday. Michiel van der Meulen Bunnik, September 2019 Track list (total playing time 66:31) 1. Cheimariotikos 2. Krivo horo 3. Dali znaeš pomniš li 4. Baş bar 5. Razložko kalajdžijsko horo 6. Acem kızı 7. To aidhoni 8. Naz bar 9. Alexandra 10. Tronkata 11. Ispaiče 12. Köşküm var 13. Beratçe 14. Nevenstinsko oro 15. Kırım'dan gelirim 16. Mǎdro horo 17. Schoon lief 18. Damian-Vojvodovo horo 19. Proviknal si e Nikola All material is traditional, and has been analysed and arranged by Wouter Swets. Tracks 1-13 were recorded, mixed and mastered in 1983-85 by Carlo van Nierop (Van der Linden Studio, Rossum, Netherlands), and digitised and remastered in 2019 by Wil Hesen (Farmsound Studio, Heelsum, Netherlands). Tracks 14, 15, 17, 18 and 19 were recorded live on 6 November 1983 at Theater aan de Haven (The Hague, Netherlands) with two dynamic Sennheiser microphones and a Revox A77 4-track tape recorder by Willem Bakker, who digitised the material in 2017. Track 16 was recorded in the same venue in 1978 by Frenk van Meeteren and Jørn Plas (Pan Records) using a TEAC 34-2 tape recorder and Neumann omnidirectional micro­phones, and digitized in 2019 by Wil Hesen. The live material was denoised and mastered by Vangelis Apostolou in August 2019 (Studio Vasmaris, Heraklion, Greece). Supplementary material Other releases (PAN Records) Calgija’s mystery album Music from the Balkans and Anatolia #2 (PAN2007CD, 1991). has two subsets. As indicated in the liner notes, tracks 3, 4, 8, 12, 13, 15, 16 and 18 were recorded between December 1983 and May 1984 (indicated bold below), and the oth- er tracks in 1990. If you listen closely, you’ll here that there is a difference and moreover, on the later tracks, Swets uses a synthesizer that he didn’t possess in the early 1980s. I was much intrigued to hear, not too long ago, that the first recordings are actually the results of a stranded album project. Producing the album notes took so long that the project was abandoned, to considerable frustration of all parties involved. My curiosity was arisen when I heard that not all material of the 1980s session was used on Music from the Balkans and Anatolia #2. There was more! 1. Aide mor’ milia 11. Turnalar 2. Güvercin 12. Ispaiče 3. Dali znaeš pomniš li 13. Acem kızı 4. Krivo horo 14. Naz bar 5. Dağlar, dağlar 15. Baş bar 6. Potamia 16. Alexandra 7. Derde derman 17. Suite of Armenian dance tunes 8. Razložko kalajdžijsko horo 18. Beratçe 9. Të kan dasgtë dhe të du 19. Köşküm var 10. To aidhoni 20. Posednica I decided to investigate, and after a few phone calls, several emails and a number of dead ends two Ampex tapes turned up from the archives of Bernard Kleikamp of Pan Records. They were marked Čalgija, A-side and Čalgija, B- side, but were undated and had no metadata other than the tape speed and recorder used. The tapes had been sold to Kleikamp by Wouter Swets for the production of what was to become Čalgija’s ’91 CD. The liner notes of that album mention that eight of its tracks were recorded between December 1983 and May 1984, and mixed in ’85. From a hand-written note that came with the tapes, I learned that five more tracks were recorded during that ses- sion that were never released. I was very curious to hear this extra material and establish whether it was release-worthy. This of course also de- pended on the condition of the 34-year old tapes. There was only one way to find out. I took the tapes to Farm- sound Studio in Heelsum to play and digitise them, where they turned out to be a production-ready LP master. Eight out of thirteen tracks were indeed identical to those of the ’91 CD, apart from the fact that they sounded different, had probably been remixed and were certainly remastered to achieve consistency with the material recorded later. Five tracks had not been used: Köşküm var, Naz bar and To aidhoni were re-recorded in ’90, and Cheimariotikos and Tronkata were discarded altogether. So the tapes wereof the recordings made in ’83/84, but I did not know that they had been as close to being released as an LP as they now prove to have been. Co-producing Unforgotten After solving the album’s mystery, Bernard Kleikamp and I decided to co-operate in getting the material released. We edited and supplemented existing liner notes to an album booklet that we hope Wouter Swets would have approved of.
CD digipack (pdf)
Liner notes (pdf)
©2019 M.J. van der Meulen
Musicians Wouter Swets (musical director) - kanun, accordion, tapan Jan Hofmeijer - clarinet, santur, tanbur Roel Sluis - vocals, sopranino recorder, kaval Tjarko ten Have - santur, bağlama saz, kaval, gajda, tapan Frank Leenhouts - ud, laoto, tambura, divan saz Roelof Rosendal - darbuka, def, tapan Monique Lansdorp - violin, gǎdulka Remco Busink - tambura Crispijn Oomes - violin Thijs de Melker - tambura Production Michiel van der Meulen for Pan Records. Executive producer: Bernard Kleikamp. Copyright © 1991 Parallax (tracks 2, 3, 4, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13) ℗ 2020 Pan Records and TouMilou Music
Music from the Balkansand Anatolia #2 (Calgija)
The making of Unforgotten, with audio samples of the unreleased material (https://vimeo.com/michielvandermeulen/unforgottten)
Unforgotten is published as PAN2056 by
Čalgija: Music from the Balkans and Anatolia #1 (1978) and #2 (1991)
Hommelveld 20 2318 VC Leiden The Netherlands info@panrecords.nl