The soul of the poet: composers will write the music to the poems of the Turkmen classic

The soul of the poet: composers will write the music to the poems of the Turkmen classic

Verbal skills are given to some of us, and poets are the best example of this. Like “treasure hunters”, they choose the best words from the rubbish of everyday language and create exquisite literary “bouquets”. Gurbannazar Ezizov, a classic of Turkmen poetry, also was the master of the subject as admirers of his talent are still delighted with his works.

In 2020, he would have celebrated his 80th anniversary. And the month of March in the poet’s jubilee year was marked by readings and meetings to listen to the poems by Ezizov, to remember him and sing the songs. Many music compositions of different styles set on the poems of the Turkmen classicist were performed.

The combination of circumstances that only geniuses have – the poet’s anniversary and the indescribable melody of the author’s poetic language – was the reason to announce a creative contest. The Moscow International Arts Festival “Sounds of the Dutar” named after Nury Halmamedov invites contemporary composers to set musical scores for voice and piano to the poems by Gurbannazar Ezizov.

Composer Nury Halmamedov and Gurbannazar Ezizov were very close friends. However, even more they were united by a special love for art, they each worked in their own direction, but they thought and felt like twin brothers. Sometimes something that was hard to express in words was reflected in Halmamedov’s music, and vice versa, inspired by a creative impulse, Gurbannazar Ezizov was able to reveal in his poems those facets that music could not reach.

“They were interconnected, therefore, when we talk about Gurbannazar Ezizov, then we mention, of course, Nury Halmamedov,” Yazgul Ezizova, the poet’s daughter, says. “Two creative personalities created many joint works; their bright tandem is in the history of art of Turkmenistan. And at the annual International Festival “Sounds of the Dutar”, my father’s poems are perfromed. This year, Mamed Guseynov and I as the author of the music project, decided to organize a competition among composers and invited them to write a music to my father’s poems. Especially for this contest, I am working on the digitization of the collection of poems “Two Trees”.

According to the poet’s daughter, the active collaboration with the organizers of the International Festival is aimed to acquaint the foreign audience with the rich creative heritage and the outstanding personality of the poet. He is remembered and honored at home; one of the streets of Ashgabat and a branch of the city library that can be visited by admirers of the Turkmen classic at any time are named after Gurbannazar Ezizov.

The library exhibits photographs from the poet’s family archive, books that were published during his lifetime, as well as completely new publications translated into several languages of the world.

“We have a permanent exhibition of the poet’s works,” Irina Abdrimova, head of the library named after Gurbannazar Ezizov, says. “In the course of year, we try to hold events dedicated to his work. On March 01, 2020, at the birthday of the classic, a big creative event in memory of him that gathered many people took place. Many participants were interested to not only in reading poetry, while in listening to the beautiful and poetic language of poems.

It happens that poems make music somehow, and, in this case, there is no any subtleties and troubles of translation. The language of feelings is common; the world-view of the Turkmen poet is expressed in “magic” lines, transmitting his personal attitude to life on all of us:

With the earth, the soul of the poet, you are similar:
you live and do not fear the fuss,
but even if the poison is planted in the heart,
you should care
to grow flowers.

To learn more details about participation in the competition among composers to write a music to poems by Kurbannazar Ezizov, visit the website of the International Arts Festival “Sounds of the Dutar”.