TODAY.AZ / Arts & Entertainment

Sami Yusuf thrills listeners with folk song

29 January 2021 [13:53] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Laman Ismayilova

World-renowned singer and composer Sami Yusuf has thrilled listeners with Azerbaijani folk song "Sari Gelin" (Yellow Bride). The folk song was performed in English and Azerbaijani.

The music video was shot by the Azerbaijan State Academic Musical Theater at the initiative of the theater`s director Honored Art worker Aligismet Lalayev.

The project brought together  laureate of international competitions Melekhanum Safarova, choreogrpher  Honored Artist Emin Aliyev, stage director Samir Gulamov and cameraman and Hikmet Shahverdizade.

Filming took place on the territory of the Gala State Historical and Ethnographic Reserve.

The name "Sari Gelin" has several meanings: translated from the Azerbaijani language - "Bride in yellow" and "Golden-haired bride", as well as - "Bride from the mountains", "Girl of the mountains".

There are several versions of the composition history. During the third Congress of Azerbaijani ashugs, great opera singer from Shusha, one of the founders of the national musical theater Bulbul (Murtuza Mammadov) noted that this song was composed in Azerbaijan's Karabakh region. 

According to tradition, when a girl was wooed in Karabakh, the next day she was in a yellow dress. The words of the song "They will not give you up for me" say that the girl is already married, as she is dressed in yellow.

According to the musicologist Saadet Takhmirazgizi,  song "Sari Gelin Gyalin"  appeared during the reign of the classic of Azerbaijani literature, the commander, founder of the Safavid dynasty Shah Ismail Khatai. 

The musicologist suggests that he dedicated this song to his love, as evidenced by the similarity of the lines "They do not pick a wet flower" from the song and the line from the poetry of the Shah, where he compares a beautiful girl with a flower. 

For the first time, the composition was put to music by the Azerbaijani composer Asef Zeynalli in 1928.

The song was included in the repertoire of legendary mugham performers. It was also widely used by Azerbaijani composers in their works, operas, plays and many films. 

"Sari Gelin" was also performed at the opening of international events and sports competitions.

There is also Azerbaijani dance "Sari Gelin" and a musical ensemble of the same name. In 2006, the Azerbaijani-Norwegian ensemble "Sari Gelin" was created, which performs Azerbaijani mugham and Norwegian folk songs.

Sami Yusuf  gained international attention with the release of his debut album, Al-Mu`allim, in 2003.  Now with over 34 million albums sold, he performs at venues around the world.

As of 2020, Yusuf has released 8 studio albums, 5 live albums, 1 compilation album, and multiple singles throughout his career. 

The British musician of Azerbaijani origin believes that all traditions in the world are expressions of the same essential spiritual truth and it is no surprise that the singer turns to traditional music as a means of conveying this message.

The positive message of his lyrics gives voice to a collective yearning for peace and harmony, and his use of global rhythms and melodies united by spiritual vision captivates listeners worldwide.

Sami Yusuf uses his fame to help people through his humanitarian activities such as the World Food Program. In 2014, The United Nations appointed Sami Yusuf the Global Ambassador against Hunger. In 2015 Sami Yusuf promoted the world’s first interfaith anthem, a song called “The Gift of Love”, to mark the World Interfaith Harmony Week.

Through this effort, Sami Yusuf hopes to help people from different traditions recognize that the common values they hold far outweigh their differences and that this understanding can be the starting point for the journey toward a lasting peace.


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