EZGİNİN GÜNLÜĞÜ (Diary of Melody)
Ezginin Günlüğü was founded in İstanbul in 1982. Those were the years, the suppressions of the military coup of 1980 were still being intensely felt and the people were deterred from getting together; organizing events like concerts or shows and making music albums were really difficult with all the obstacles people encountered. Since Ezginin Günlüğü appeared as an oppositional voice those days, it carried on its way getting its share from all these enforcements.
Its repertory of the first years included both traditional folk songs and the songs composed by group members from the poems of famous Turkish and world poets such as Nazım Hikmet, Shakespeare, Ritsos, A. Kadir, Mevlana, Kavafis, Paul Valéry, Orhan Veli, Omar Khayyam, G. Lorca, Sheikh Galip and Sadi.
The foundation established by Emin İgüs, Hakan Yılmaz, Şebnem Ünal, Vedat Verter and Nadir Göktürk was applied onto stage by a group of 10 people. Ezginin Günlüğü performed its first concert in January 1983 in Hodri Meydan Kültür Merkezi, İstanbul. The records of this concert were made into a music cassette and released later on under the name “İstanbul Konserleri”. After having performed many concerts in İstanbul, Ankara and İzmir, in 1985, Ezginin Günlüğü released its first studio work album ‘Seni Düşünmek’ (To Think of You). Before this work, which was released as a Long Play and a music cassette, there had been changes in the group’s members; Tanju Duru and Cüneyt Duru had joined Ezginin Günlüğü and together with Emin İgüs and Nadir Göktürk, they had formed the core of the group. In 1986, the second LP work ‘Sabah Türküsü’ (Morning Ballad) was put out. Since Emin İgüs was serving in the military during the recordings, Hakan Yılmaz and Gülnaz Göver were on vocals instead.
In these years, songs and ballads from Azerbaijan comprised a large part of the stage repertory of Ezginin Günlüğü. So, the third album ‘Alagözlü Yar’ (Hazel eyed Love) was made based on Azerbaijani music. In this work, Azerbaijani songs (mahnis) which had formerly been interpreted by various Azerbaijani singers like Mustafa Bülbül and Reşit Behbudov were recorded. Again in this album, Şebnem Ünal sings ‘Gülçehre’ from the operetta Arşın Mal Alan of Üzeyir Hacıbekov.
Later on, the album ‘Bahçedeki Sandal’ (The Boat in the Garden) in 1988 and the album ‘Ölüdeniz’ (Dead Sea) in 1990 were released. The repertories of these two albums were comprised of the various poets’ poems which were all composed by the members of the group.
Through the end of year 1990, a very important change took place in the group. Emin İgüs, Cüneyt Duru and Tanju Duru left the group, seeking different musical and professional experiences. Nadir Göktürk, the only remaining member began trying to set up the group again. Thus, Ezginin Günlüğü entered a new period with Fatih Saçlı who had formerly been in various studio works of the group and with Hüsnü Arkan who had to live in Holland for long years due to the military coup of September 12, (1980).
The Germany tour in 1991 accelerated the process of the group’s gathering. And the group was formed by Hüsnü Arkan (vocal), Arzu Bursa (vocal), Fatih Saçlı (flute), Nadir Göktürk (keyboard), Sedat Yapıcı (guitar), Erkan Gürer (bass), Güven Şancı (drum). But, before the completion of this formation, the records of the album İstavrit (Bluefin) had already been completed. What made this album special was that the group wrote its own lyrics for the first time besides various poems from other poets.
With the differences that came along with change of “sound” by Husnu Arkan being the soloist and the “lyrics” written by the members of the group, the album “İstavrit” of 1993, revealed that Ezginin Günlüğü was opening a new page.
In these years, due to the government’s gradual demilitarization and permission to broadcasting of private TV channels in Turkey, Ezginin Günlüğü which had been banned from the public television before, started to appear on these private TV channels. The album ‘Oyun’ (Game) became especially popular since its videoclips were broadcasted at the same time. While it had formerly been known only among the young population in college and to a limited number of listeners, now it came to be recognized all over Turkey. Particularly, the song ‘Düşler Sokağı’ increased the sales to above 100.000s.
In 1996, Feyza Erenmemiş joined the group as soloist with the album ‘Ebruli’ (Variegated). In 1997, the album ‘Hürriyete Doğru’ (Towards Freedom) which was a composition of re-recording of the earlier songs, in 1998 the album ‘ Aşk Yüzünden’ (Because of Love), in 2000 the album’ Rüya’ (The Dream) and in 2002 the album ‘Her Şey Yolunda’ Everything is OK) were released. In this year also, Eylem Atmaca joined the group. Later, the album ‘İlk Aşk’ (First Love) in 2003 and the album ‘Dargın mıyız’ (Are you offended?) in 2005 followed the others. And in year 2007, as a tribute to the group’s 25th anniversary, the album ‘Çeyrek’ (Quarter) was released. In Çeyrek, there are 25 songs of the group sang by 25 prominent singers of Turkey.
Besides the group members, several other musician friends have contributed to the recordings of Ezginin Günlüğü; those contributors are; Sumru Ağıryürüyen (vocal), Ebru Kalabas (vocal), Ayşegül Uslu (back vocal), Alpdoğan Türeci (back vocal), Ebru Yılmaz Kale (back vocal), Bora Yalçınduran (back vocal), Göksun Doğan (clarinet), Cem Doğan (viola), Hüseyin Kaya (piano), Doğan Dikmen (reed flute), Güneş Uras (flute), Kent Mete (violoncello), Erhan Pamukbezci (percussion), Metin Keşkek (trumpet), Zafer Oğuz (drum), Levon Balıkçıoğlu (accordion), Halis Bütünley (percussion), Tanju Erol (Clarinet), Ömer Özgeç (guitar), Reyend Bölükbaşı (violoncello), Atilla Altınkeser (bass), Cezmi Başeğmez (drum), Güneş Demirci (guitar), Özgür Yurtoğlu (guitar), Serdar Gönenç (percussion), Uğur Ustaoğlu (flute), Mustafa Süder (viola, violin, clarinet, saxophone), Erkan Oğur (lute, guitar), Selim Atakan (piano), Göksel Baktagir (zither), Ayşe Tütüncü (piano), İlyas Mirzayev (piano), Özer Arkun (violoncello), İsmail Soyberk (bass), Yurdal Tokcan (lute), Can Göktürk (basson), Kamil Özler (guitar), Renato Voglino (bandoneon), Hüsnü Şenlendirici (clarinet, trumpet), Sinan Çelik (pipe), Tolga Bedir (violin, piano), Ant Şimşek (guitar), Cemal Kaplan (percussion), Erdem Sökmen (guitar), Fahri Ünlüce (violin), Çetin Akdeniz (bağlama), Deniz Bayrak (guitar), Muammer Ketencoğlu (accordion), Cem Aksel (drum), Oğuz Büyükberber (bass clarinet), Kaan Gökhan Varol (piano), Kadir Şan Tarhan (guitar), Mehmet Akatay (percussion), Memduh Akatay (percussion).
Having performed many concerts in several cities in Turkey, Ezginin Günlüğü also performed in countries like Germany, Holland, Sweden, Belgium, England and Cyprus.
In 2010, the soloist and song writer Hüsnü Arkan has left the group. Ezginin Günlüğü, continued their works with Murat Kurt as soloist and guitarist until being replaced by Çağrı Çetinsel in 2014.
Ezginin Günlüğü has released its 17th album İstanbul Gibi (Like Istanbul) in the beginning of 2015. The current line-up of Ezginin Günlüğü is, Deniz Sujana, Mahmut Çınar, Cafer İşleyen, Can Göktürk, Nadir Göktürk, Deniz Bayrak, Erkan Gürer and Ayberk Garagon.