Sivan Perwer,
Sivan Perwer
(Caprice, 2003)

The songs on Sivan Perwer's self-titled CD have an edge in them that speaks of the desert and the wild. While the liner notes do mention a bit about what each song is about, they regrettably lack a translation of the lyrics into English. They are listed in the same language he sings in, which is Kurdish. Perwer (vocals and saz) is joined by Ismet Alaattin Demirhan, Hassan Kanjo, Najmaldin Najm and Dealer Saaty on a variety of exotic-sounding instruments. The music they create tells you to listen as they share it with you. Perwer has a rich voice that undulates with the music.

There is a voice in "Sebra Malan" that cries out to be heard, and the music drives the song relentlessly. You can hear the longing in Perwer's voice in "Nazdar" and the musicians carry that feeling over when he does not sing. From longing you are brought to the loneliness of "Xeribe." And out of despair comes a cry to God in form of "Sexa Cane," each song is a separate story, but the emotional thread ties them together.

You can hear the speaker of the voice entreating his love to come with him in "Sare." The music continues to set the emotional feel for the lyrics in "Evin," as the speaker calls his love to come to him. The two songs are very different in feel, with "Evin" having a darker undertone. The darkness grows in "Cae Berbena," a song about lovers on the verge of parting. "Yek Mumik" is a call to celebrate and dance; it is a sharp contrast in mood from the previous songs.

The longing and passion in "Tembura Min" could almost make you weep, for the question is when and the song leaves no sense that the answer is soon. The first part of "Dilbere'" is spoken and then it switches to song. "Dayik" is a lesson from parent to child, full of love and caring. Every song on Perwer's self-titled CD is rich in emotion. The liner notes give some of the story for each song, as the musicians create the emotional context for each song. The CD is a window into another culture, and all you have to do is listen.

- Rambles
written by Paul de Bruijn
published 25 April 2004