Bansuri to Rumi

A Musical documentary of Dutch Bansuri musician Kees van Boxtel on his epic journey on the ancient pilgrimage route from Istanbul to the shrine of Mevlana Rumi in Konya. The revival of the music pilgrimage and intercultural connections. The music pilgrimage starts in Istanbul on the Sufi Trail and with his Bansuri Kees van Boxtel is on a quest to find the soul of the Sufi music pilgrims. One musician and four pilgrims on an epic 801 km hike. Music in the documentary is the fusion of the Indian Bansuri flute and the Turkish Nay flute. In this documentary, you will discover the musical diversity, historical richdom of the region, the still authentic and organic lifestyle of the Anatolian villages, the famous Turkish hospitality, and all in the decor of the most breathtaking Turkish nature and mountain views.

Pilgrimage to Rumi 40 DAYS TO DERVISHHOOD Izmit Istanbul Constantiniyye Iznik Yalova (Nicea) Unkapani Osmaneli (Lefke) Vezirhan Güneykoy Orhangazi Bilecik (Resadiye) Sögüt Uludere Küre Eskisehir (Dorylaeum) Bursa Seyitgazi (Nákolea) Emirdag (Aziziye) IN Han (Hüsrevpasa) Kemerkaya Bolvadin Küçükmuhsine Sultandagi Doganhisar Sille Çay Derbent Afyonkarahisar Aksehir Konya sufitrail.com

The musicians, artists, villagers, unknown and known people that support Sufi Trail that worked on this project are numerous. The team is endlessly big, one good example is a big plate of food that was brought to us along with our travelers and we have never met the people who made this delicious diner. The contribution that was already given to this project of kindness, sharing music and the wisdom of life is now ready to be shared with the world. We love to make this movie accessible for a large audience as the music will bring a long-forgotten tone of mystery into our creative souls. We believe humans are bound together and touched in a world beyond words and music is the best vehicle to reveal this oneness. 

Narrators were will the money go ARTISTS DESIGNERS DVD logistics Film Editor

What will happen with the money?

We have a group of artists who are already donating their time and creative input to this project. Musicians, designers and not to forget the narrators and film editors are spending a big chunk of their time into making this epic movie. 

When all this bundling of joy and creative workforce is done we have to share the joy via the physical DVD and mail the goods to the supporters of this project. We like to transit some of your rewards for rewarding them.

In short, the budget is very small due to the time that was already given freely by our artistic team, but we love to reward them properly. To bring all the efforts together we use several online subscriptions to share and keep, therefor we lean on the Sufi Trail foundation to keep the archives and take care of our precious data. 

Main costs: Video Editing, Narrator for Voice over, and production of physical DVD.

We are a hiking and cycling foundation called Sufi Trail, with a route from Istanbul to Konya. Iris Bezuijen and Sedat Çakır have developed the Sufi route for some years now and talked to our friend Kees van Boxtel about this route. After initial meetings with Sinan Arat (Nay player) and Kees van Boxtel we made the music journey together and shared our passion and fascination with ancient pilgrimages and traditions. 

As musicians miraculously always find each other we also had a first musical gathering in Istanbul with Marian Brehmer at his old house, as we met many musicians on our musical quest we introduce some of them briefly to get an idea of the people we met and you will meet in the documentary.

You will see in this documentary five pilgrims walking to Konya to visit the shrine of Mevlana Rumi. The hiking team features Iris Bezuijen, Marijke de Bruin, Kees van Boxtel, Sedat Çakır, and Karel de Groot. The story is narrated by Daisy Bowman who is a devoted Kirtan musician and her voice is taking us by the hand to experience this journey by yourself. Kees van Boxtel is our musician who has studied Indian classical music for over 15 years. He plays the Bansuri and with his foundation Helende Geluiden in the Netherlands he creates a stage for world music with concerts throughout the year. Every year he studies for three months in India to improve his Bansuri sounds and learn from his Indian Guru. 

Here is a short introduction of the musical artist that features in the documentary:

Kees van Boxtel is playing the flute since a young age, starting with the recorder, later followed by the Silver flute. After playing many different kinds of music (new wave, folk, blues, and pop) as well as producing and arranging within these styles, in 2006 the Bansuri (bamboo flute from India) crossed his path. During a trip to India Kees fell in love with this beautiful instrument and became interested in North Indian classical music. Back in Holland he took lessons from Hari Prasad Chaurasia and switched direction towards “World Music”.Besides studying the classical Indian repertoire (raga’s and tala’s) Kees was searching for new collaborations with musicians from all kinds of backgrounds. The result can be heard on the albums “We were born to be light”, “Music from the mountains” and recently “Medicine Buddha” with his project Shimayana.

Kees van Boxtel is currently chairman of “Helende geluiden” (healing sounds), which reflects his love for the beauty of sound. Within the project, “Paradiya” Kees feels at the right place because of the beautiful combination of Kora, Bansuri, and African or Indian percussion and its endless composing possibilities. With Sacred Groves, he forms an Indian Classical Jugelbandi Duo with Joel Veena. Besides solo cd’s he is been asked to play in many projects. Music heals and connect. 

 Kees van Boxtel on bandcamp

Sinan Arat is a ney (reed flute), player, and singer. He was born in Erzincan (Turkey) and studied ney at the Classical Ottoman music conservatory in Izmir. He got his master’s degree at Codarts Rotterdam lead by the legendary bansuri master Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia and ney master Kudsi Erguner. Since his meeting with the most mystical flute ney, he has been reflecting his sound through various approaches that are coming from his regional Anatolian folk music, Ottoman and Indian Classical Music as well as fusions and experimental forms. He believes that music is an invisible bridge of a breath, where we all are linked and somehow creating a view of life and love in a genuine dimension. It’s a bridge through a stone to human, through the hearth to cosmos, through silence to the big bang, through multitude to the oneness. source: Nederlands Blazers Ensemble

 YouTube playlist of Sinan Arat

Marian Brehmer recites the poems of Rumi in Farsi in wish the poems were originally written by Mevlana Rumi.  He lives in Istanbul and has fallen in love with the poetry of Rumi on his travels in Iran. He was born in Germany and is a journalist, his latest blog sacred journalism holds in-depth stories of his work. With his wife Aslinur the feature special travel events with groups and preform circles to really feel and share the special places, they visit apart from Anar Tours he also studied Farshi and cycled the Sufi Trail this year and beyond to the Syrian border. His instrument is the Bağlama from Iran and together with Kees van Boxtel they met for a musical collision in Istanbul.

Marian’s lovely wife Aslınur Akdeniz Brehmer works on many projects and here Anatolian Sufi work is one of the reasons we met, their work weaves seamlessly into the work of the Sufi Trail foundation. She opened the way for special recordings of the musical gatherings. One of the reasons the seed was born to make this into a Sufi Trail pilgrimage documentary. Their view on being a pilgrim:

Pilgrimage is the art of traveling with intention and attention. As pilgrims, we open our senses to the sacred around us, be it in shrines, temples, or in the lap of Mother Nature. Being a pilgrim also means learning to see the extraordinary in the ordinary. Ultimately we discover that all we see is a reflection of the sacred essence inside of us. For this, we need to learn to listen deeply. We become the “child of the moment” – as the Sufis say – fully present in the here and now. 

Esmani Kiliç is a percussion artist and met Kees in Istanbul at the house of Marian and Aslınur Akdeniz Brehmer. He is like a rive when you meet him first you slowly feel the comfort of the running water and the joy that rivers bring when you find them, then slowly when the room fills with more musicians the river starts streaming harder and can lift up the room like a waterfall of music. A percussionist that seamlessly joins our musical gathering and completes the initial start of our musical pilgrimage to Rumi.

Asli Büyükköksal plays the violin and is a member of the community of musical artists called Elif’in Hecesi, they are creating records of the ancient – traditional echoes. A one-take shot of one person—Elif and their instrument, song—Hece is the idea that Elif’in Hecesi is built upon. This one-take shot tries to mirror the presence of truth in each moment, each thing, each angle. Nature’s record-keeping (for instance the memory of water) is the principle idea that guides us in our work. A visual (elif) and its voice (hece, its syllable) aim to develop a simple yet deep language. Music, one of the most basic expressions of humanity, is as essential as breathing, speaking, sharing. The antithesis to our approach: sterile and synthetic production and recording settings, pay a price in loss of quality and authenticity. Elif’in Hecesi aims to present the pure voices of these musicians in a direct and clear manner, even if it is in a virtual world. In this virtual meeting place, we set out to record friendly sounds that we so revere. Now our dream is to reach beyond the crystal screen to actual contact. We realize that each one of us in the group is a syllable in this journey that started with Elif. We seek to relate our experiences of this land, its atmosphere, its essence, and its flavours, and form an archive of music and friendship.

 Asli her YouTube channel
 Moh’d Kafena plays the Gitar and has a lovely impression of his music on vimeo

  Moh’d Kafena on vimeo

Off course being on a pilgrimage the hikers of the Sufi Trail carried on on the journey and met many musicians on the way. Also old man in the Turkish teahouses were sometimes plesently suprised to hear the tones of the Bansuri. As the sound of the Bansuri is so close to the Nay it was often mistaken that Kees was a Nay player, the curiousity lead to special moments in a journey we love to share with you. As the Sufi Trail is also a hiking and cycling route we were lucky to have a gathering that was especially special, as our cyclist Tom Schimmel was on his Sufi Trail as we were gathering with the musicians in Nefes Cafe. We arranged to meet at Nefes Cafe and as you will see through this documentairy as called by the Hajira “serendipity”, we accidentaly discovery something wonderful. Tom Schimmel apearently plays the gitar and the band was playing through the night of Eskişehir. Let’s introduce our host of that evening Yavuz Kenarda.

Yavuz Kenarda was born in 1988 in Bursa, Turkey. He grew up in a musical environment because of his father Osman Kenarda as “Neyzen”, “Ney maker” and “Tanbur player”. Since he was young he likes to play sports therefore he studied “Tennis Coaching” at Anadolu University and graduated from this field of study. Playing Ney was like a hobby during university years but after being influenced by “Kutbi Nayi Niyazi Sayın”, who was a Master of Neyzens, as a teacher playing Ney became the only occupation for Yavuz Kenarda. After returning from the academy, he continued to the Bursa Metropolitan Municipality Turkish Music Conservatory. He has learned playing Ney with Osman Kenarda and Neyzen-Calligrapher Ömer Yildiz and he made an apprenticeship for a long time and he opened a “Ney Workshop” in “Eskişehir Kurşunlu Külliyesi Mevlevihanesi”  in 2010. He started to work as a neyzen and ney producer in Eskişehir Mevlevihanes since April 2010. He has been working with Qanun player Emre Türe and with “Aşkı Sada” ensemble since 2010. He has been continuing to give concerts composed of instrumental works. Since 2011 he has been continuing to work as a Ney Instructor at “Odunpazarı Public Education Center”. He represented his country Turkey as a Ney producer and a Neyzen at the “ITB Berlin Fair”  in 2012 and the “World Tree Festival”  in 2015. In 2013, he passed the exam, which was opened by the “Ministry of Culture and Tourism of T.C”  and received the artist’s identity as the Ney producer of the Turkish Ministry of Culture. He gave some lectures and conferences about Ney production at Mustafa Kemal University Mustafa Yazıcı State Conservatory and Trakya University Music Department. With the Foundation of the Turkish Capital of the World in 2013, the 6 projects prepared by him were accepted with the theme of “Development of Ney instruments and performance of things that can not be done due to physical insufficiency”. He worked with “Tepebaşı Municipality” as a Ney instructor in “19 Mayıs Youth Center during 2014-2016”. Ney producing, ney lessons, concert performances and “Mevlevi Sema Ayin-i Şerif” concerts are still being performed by Yavuz Kenarda at  “Eskişehir Odunpazarı Kurşunlu Külliyesi (Eskişehir Mevlevihanesi)”. He is married and has a daughter her name is “Nefes” means breath.

The musical gathering of travelers and musicians in Eskişehir  @Nefes Cafe 

The Sufi Trail has been the path of the Mevlevi Sufi order to perform their pilgrimage to Konya and Mecca. We explore and develop more routes and have a dream to revive these traditions by sharing experiences and helping new pilgrims on their way to explore these old routes to Mecca and Jerusalem. For five years we have cycled and hiked between Vienna and Konya and developed the Sultans Trail and the Sufi Trail hiking and cycling routes. The pilgrims Kees, Iris, Marijke and Sedat live in Haarlem in the Netherlands and try to life a simple life. We all maintain a vegetable garden and are nature lovers. In the Netherlands, Sufi Trail also has a circulair pilgrimage the 40 days Heiloo project, which is the longest pilgrimage route in the Netherlands. Iris and Sedat have launched several projects that all contribute to ancient pilgrimage routes. Together we have published hiking and cycling guidebooks. I believe that living a pilgrimage lifestyle can contribute to a peaceful world and creates a world around us that holds a deeper meaning, integrates values, creates simplicity in a complex world. Along the Sufi Trail, pilgrims as well as the Mevlevi order Sufis used to travel to Konya and played for people along the way in exchange for food and shelter. I think the combination of cultural heritage with something fun to do in our modern world, of high entertainment value, we can contribute by making films and documentaries with a message inside in a world where consumption has the upper hand but sure go hand in hand. We can still revive our deeply woven sounds of music while having a little walk in the stunning landscape of Anatolia.

Other ways to support the cause:

Any contribution helps. If you aren’t able to make a donation, you can forward our campaign to others and spread the word on social media. If you came this far we are very happy you gave your attention to read about our dreams.

 Iris Bezuijen  Sedat Çakır Kees van Boxtel