Yayli Tanbur in Central Tunnel

Yayli Tanbur in Central Tunnel
3 min 49 sec / 5.24 MB / 192 kbps MP3

Last night I was on my usual Friday night walk from Sydney Uni to Central when I started to hear the sound of a bowed instrument reverberating through Central tunnel. I thought it must have been the old Chinese man who sometimes sits at Town Hall playing erhu, or the guy who busks in Newtown with something that might be a morin khuur. As I got closer I saw that it was neither of them. A man was sitting, playing an instrument that I’d never seen before.

I walked past him. At the entrance to the station I checked my train time and found out I had a twelve minute wait for the next all stops to Campbelltown. So I decided I’d waste the time by retracing my steps and find out what the instrument was. Fortunately, the man had stopped playing to re-tune whatever the long-necked thing sitting on his lap was, so starting a conversation was relatively simple.

He told me that he was playing a Turkish instrument called a Yayli Tanbur. I’d never heard of it, and I pretended that I’d remember the name. He introduced himself as Zane Lazos and told me he’s from America but is currently travelling down the east coast of Australia – Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Armidale. Armidale seemed an odd choice amongst the obvious east coast destinations but I soon found out that there’s a man named Peter Biffin who builds and invents instruments similar to the yayli tanbur – and he lives in Armidale.

I asked if I could record him playing a piece and he gave his permission. Here is a short recording of him playing, complete with a backing track of footsteps, winter coughs, a lot of chatter and some “overhead train track sub-bass”. If you want to hear what Zane does with his yayli tanbur, without the ambience of Central tunnel on a Friday night, there’s a few recordings that you can check out on his website.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: