Alon Sariel is mandolin player, conductor and lutenist with a busy schedule. His recent newsletter informed among others about his new CD telemandolin, dedicated to Georg Philip Telemann and his music.
Alon has recently played concerts in Southafrica, and he gave an interview which is available as youtube video:
The mandolin is not a popular instrument in Turkey today. The baglama is the plucked strings instrument that is mostly played in Turkey. But there are a few videos by Turkish musicians with mandolin. Some time ago I was told about the videos by Kerim & Selim Altinok. After I had watched several videos I found that both brothers began losing their sight when they were 4, and are completely blind since they were 18.
Despite of this they studied at the university and established their own company. They did also study music and started a successful carreer as musicians. And they are also fantastic players of chess and took part in international chess competitions.
Between 1940 and 1954 the so called Village Institutes existed in Turkey, institutes to educate teachers for schools for the education of boys and girls in rural countries. In those schols music played an important rule, and in many cases mandolin was taught to the students. I have found many pictures showing groups of mandolin players from this time.
There are some mandolin methods in Turkish language, one method is shown on the website of Kerim and Selim Altinok:
Selim, the mandolin player, has used youtube to discover the many ways the mandolin is played in the world. He would like that the mandolin gets a better place in the musical life in Turkey.
Brothers Kerim and Selim Altinok were born just 45 seconds apart. They partially lost their sight at the age of four and totally lost it a few days before their 18th birthday. Although they had to overcome difficulties fully sighted people would not have to, they have never stopped fighting.
They finished primary school, and at university, they graduated with honors from the Istanbul University Faculty of Law. They specialized in financial law. The brothers have also represented Turkey in the field of chess and Selim has drawn with world chess champion Anatoly Karpov.
Career and art
The Altinok brothers got involved in art while they were building their careers. They started playing various instruments at an early age and decided to become professional musicians. They passed the exams at the Istanbul State Conservatory.
As part of the Bakirköy Association for the Blind, the brothers formed a choir named Gözder, composed entirely of blind members, in 1991. They aim to share their knowledge from the conservatory with the choir and prove that all disabilities can be overcome with good music education.
At soundcloud you can find a playlist with instrumental pieces, played with mandolins and guitar, including popular pieces like O Sole Mio, an arrangement of the Aranjuez guitar concerto by Rodrigo, ot the popular Southamerican tune El Condor Pasa.
I have recently discovered some great music by Peter Pussarnig. The sound of the mandolin in the track Anahata from Peter Pussarnigs CD “Autumn Song” inspired me to listen to more music by this artist. In this great video some people were filmed as they heard the track for the very first time – a great idea! In another track – Sarangi Mandolin Didgeridoo – obviously recorded in India Peter Pussarning also plays the mandolin.
Peter Pussarning has studied at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Graz. He plays all kinds of instruments, including guitar, sitar, baglama, mandolin, shanti drum, balalaika, bass and electronics.
I have compiled a playlist with videos by Peter Pussarning and the PP3 Trio. The playlist starts with Anahata. The second video is another great composition with guitar and tabla titled wanderlust.
Peter Pussarnig has studied jazz guitar under the supervision of Guido Jeszenszky at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, Austria. As a traveling musician he has learned how to play, among others, bağlama in Istanbul, Turkey and sitar with Shri Druva Nath Mishra in Varanasi, India. Being part of more than hundred projects, from playing to recording, shows his variety in styles and a great diversity of musical influences.
In 2015 “Autumn Song”, the debut album of his trio was released by Alessa Records.
I have discovered the Stoneman Family some time ago. I was immedately thrilled by the performance of the group, especially by Donna Stoneman on the mandolin. I have learned that Roni Stoneman is considered “The First Lady Of Banjo”.
You can see Donna Stoneman and her mandolin in the following video:
Donna is moving all the time, dancing, jumping and at the same time plays great and energetic mandolin music. And the performances by the Stoneman Family are almost always very funny.
You can learn about the biography of the Stoneman Family in the following video:
Stoneman Family Bio
The Stoneman Family – Goin Up Cripple Creek
That’s one of the signiture pieces by the Stoneman Family: