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Kairos Collective | Pîrî Reis


Pîrî Reis, my debut album, is the result of a hugely enjoyable, six-day hit-and-run mission to Crete, where five musicians I admire greatly recorded six of the modal compositions I have been writing over the last couple of years. To me, composition is a journey of exploration into the world of modal music, in which I specifically take inspiration from the beautiful makam music of İstanbul. Makam music drew from, and could perhaps be considered the pinnacle of, the many modal traditions that existed in the vast Ottoman empire. The title of this album combines these elements: Pîrî Reis (‘Captain Piri’, 1465?–1553) was a legendary Ottoman admiral and cartographer. His extraordinary maps, one of which was used for the album artwork, happen to not only relate to the exploration aspect of how I see composition, but also to my profession as a survey geologist.

Michiel van der Meulen
Bunnik, November 2016

Straight to the liner notes >
(info, music and downloads below)   

Album information

Tracks / total playing time 39:09

  1. Şehnaz yürük semâî
  2. Kürdî saz semâî / Zaman yolcusu
  3. Anamnisi
  4. Dügah saz semâî
  5. Nev-Eser peşrev / Muhabbet
  6. Nihâvend saz semâî / To Laiko


Contemporary modal music.

Liner notes

Read all about the album, tracks, sources of inspiration, and a bit about the music theoretical background.


Harris Lambrakisney
Giorgos Papaioannou – violin

Manolis Kanakakis – kanun
Yorgos Mavromanolakis – oud
Marijia Katsouna –  bendir [1, 3], tombak [2, 4-6]

All tracks have been composed by Michiel van der Meulen. Pîrî Reis was recorded, mixed and mastered by Vangelis Apostolou at Studio Vasmaris (Heraklion, Crete, Greece) on November 13–16, 2016.

Production, artwork and liner notesMichiel van der Meulen

I thank the musicians for playing the pieces so beautifully: out of their hands, the music magically appeared as it sounds in my head. Thanks are also due to my teacher Ross Daly. His modal composition seminars are among my most intense learning experiences, while being mystifyingly relaxed at the same time. The suggestion to record the music in Crete, with Greek musicians, was made by Kelly Thoma, to whom I am very grateful too. This music, including the people associated with it, has enriched my life. I hope that you enjoy my interpretation and understanding of it. 

TouMilou Records #1 / EAN 8714835119579
© 2016 M.J. van der Meulen/TouMilou

Get the album

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Pîrî Reis album art (1000 x 1000 px jpg)

Album art (1000 x 1000 px jpg)

Pîrî Reis, scores (Michiel van der Meulen, 2016)

Scores (pdf)

Other albums by Kairos Collective

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