Turkish traditional music reimagined
Award-winning TurkishCanadian world music group Minor Empire has racked up a lengthy list of plaudits for its seamless blend of Turkish traditional music and modern sounds. Minor Empire’s sound is defined by the dreamy vocals of Ozgu Ozman which soar above an ambient bed of organic instrumentation to create the airy, atmospheric vibe.
“An important way forward for Turkish and world music…”
– CBC Radio
“…pure and sinuous vocals … percussion that simmers with delicious intensity.” – Songlines UK
Minor Empire’s newest album Uprooted was recently launched through sold-out shows in Turkey, with a Canada/US launch to follow in October 2017. Produced by co-lead and guitarist Ozan Boz, the record features some of Canada’s finest musicians: Michael Occhipinti on guitar, Chris Gartner on bass, Ben Riley and Mark Kelso on drums, Patrick Graham on percussion, and Lina Allemano on trumpet.
The album has been inspired by tragic events that resonated with the band. Ozman explains: “The natural course of life would be to spread roots where you were born and grow there. But in this world we are mostly witnessing people who are forced out of their natural environments: People are forced out of their land for the wars they did not start, indigenous populations are forced out of their native land by pipeline industry, little girls are forced out of childhood and made into brides in the name of religion, and some simply uproot themselves with the hope that they could find life in another soil. The record became a manifestation to claim our freedoms and lives back. So we named it Uprooted”. The record creates a sonic world that oscillates between epic, intimate and dramatic moments. Glitch electronic layers provide a pulsating bed for floating psychedelic soundscapes. Layers of world percussion and Boz’s textured electric guitars compliment the atmosphere where Ozman’s voice takes the listener to another dimension.
Their debut album, Second Nature, earned Minor Empire a Canadian Folk Music Award for World Group of the Year, an Indie Music Award for Favourite World Artist of the Year, a nomination for the About.com World Music Readers Choice Award and the Number One spot on the Canadian world music radio charts. The band has performed at prominent venues such as Yoshi’s in San Francisco, National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Banff Centre for the Arts, Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, Hillside Festival, Luminato Festival, Sunfest, Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Calgary Folk Music Festival, JAZZ.FM91 World Music Festival and Musikfest. Minor Empire was also featured on Identities, award winning documentary series on Jazz FM.