Mahmoud Turkmani guitar, oud, composition
Ludus Guitar Quartet: Thomas Estermann, Stefan Kuen, Claudio Meneghelli guitars on # 1, 4, 6, 9
Born in 1964 in Halba in Northern Lebanon, Mahmoud Turkmani worked in his home country as a guitar soloist and performed with various bands (among them his own group "Rabija" and folk band "Willada"). As the civil war made it impossible for him to study music in Lebanon, he went to Moscow where he graduated from State Academy of Arts in 1989. He completed his studies with Oscar Ghiglia (1989/90, Basle Conservatory), Juan Carmona (1991/92, flamenco program, Andalusia) and especially Prof. Stephan Schmidt (1994-1997, Berne Conservatory) who encouraged Turkmani to develop his own musical language out of his multi-cultural background. While studying in Berne (Switzerland), Turkmani also performed in several Swiss cities and in 1993 formed the guitar quartet "Ludus".
After the sudden death of his brother living in France, Turkmani came to discover his ability to express himself as a composer. He says: "I couldn´t talk about my pain verbally. But after a year of sorrow, the music helped me and suddenly was bubbling out of me. I began to free myself by playing and writing which was some kind of self-therapy for me and not intended for the public. My friendship with Mansour Rahbany, one of Lebanon´s great musicians and poets, inspired me to search for my Lebanese roots and transform them into a global language, thus making them accessible for a wider audience. Besides solo pieces, I wrote many quartets and also a concerto for guitar and thus developed this new language ever further."
Turkmani´s debut CD presents both the innovative composer and the guitar virtuoso who easily (and boldly) changes between classical guitar tradition and his own novel techniques that are tightly connected with his compositional language. Especially in his quartet pieces ("Point"), he daringly melts polyphonic styles and traces of renaissance music with the melodic basics of Arab folk traditions. In the solo pieces, extraordinary neo-classical textures meet with oriental expression and deeply moving moods. Composer Abdallah El-Masri (who dedicated his own "Piece for Guitar Quartet" to Mahmoud Turkmani) judges: "For all lovers of guitar playing and all passionate fans of modern composition, this CD is one of the most enjoyable recordings."