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Hedûr: Solace of Time

Dreyer & Gaido
Review by Tyran Grillo

The seventh studio album from singer and composer Aynur Doğan finds these ears at a time when both physical and metaphysical distances have beset the world with unprecedented force. In such a climate, we seek humanity in every possible form, and hold on to it dearly for fear it might slip away, get trampled on in violent protest, or be silenced by the ignorance of pride. Hence the title Hedûr, a word in Aynur's native Kurdish referring to that moment of solace when spatiality and temporality become one in the self. Aynur makes a compelling and organic case for song as one viable way of achieving said solace, and does so by means of a voice that thrives on building bridges from one soul to another.

If anything can be interpreted from "Rabe Hîve" (The Moon Is Up), the leap before the deep dive that follows, it's that sadness and tragedy exist to bind, not separate. Steeping ourselves in the lyrics at hand, we wonder whether the lover being sung about is even alive, whether somehow death has intervened and nothing but memory is left. And so, the narrator sings on, holding on to feelings that will forever remain unrequited. The original title song begins with solo voices before the full ensemble of her band scales a peak of catharsis. "Berfek Barî" (Snow Falls), by contrast, carries tenderness like the remnant of a fallen past, transitioning into a traditional lullaby. The next color shift comes by way of "Govend E" (It's A Dance), a folksong about an alluring dancer and the possibilities swirling around her.

That all of this sounds so cinematic—which is to say, alive with fleshed-out characters and storylines—is due in large part to Franz Von Chossy, who serves as co-arranger on many tracks. His pianism complements Aynur's vocal prowess as a pond reflects the risen moon, and their interlacing of strings (courtesy of the Istanbul String Quartet), drums (Ediz Hafızoğlu), and bass (Kağan Yıldız) unleashes the power of every sentiment she articulates. From the yearning of "Ezim Ezim Eziliyor" (My Heart Sings) to the droning of "Xelîl Qurban" (My Beloved Halîl), Aynur overcomes mountains and valleys alike to arrive at "Kal Î Kal Î" (You're Old), another song of her own creation about the value of individual growth. If anything, Hedûr guides us on a path paved by shale and mortar from personal experience and regards it with retrospective honesty. Her verses ring all too presciently in today's socially severed reality:

Come on, get up instead of sighing
The world keeps turning
I listened, the mountains and stones are not mute
The wind gave voice to the earth and underbrush


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