The secret energy of the saz

The »Saz Music Festival« with Petra Nachtmanova

In the film »Saz - The Key of Trust«, the instrumentalist Petra Nachtmanova follows the traces of the saz. Hardly represented in books, the history of this Persian or Ottoman-Turkish instrument is a mystery. At the »Saz Musik Fest« on 18 June, she will present her journey from Bosnia to Iran, recorded on film, and will play songs from there together with guests.

»I set out on this journey because I think that the saz holds a secret.« This is how Petra Nachtmanova entices viewers at the beginning of the film »Saz - The Key of Trust« to join her on a search for clues. In Berlin Kreuzberg, the Vienna-born multilingualist got to know the Turkish instrument and continued her education not only artistically but also theoretically. For four years she searched for the history of the saz in books, but the findings were not satisfactory. The research was complicated by the fact that the saz has sometimes been given a different name over the centuries. So Nachtmanova set out on a month-long and 5,000-kilometre journey with the following stops: Bosnia, Albania, Bulgaria, Istanbul, Anatolia, Azerbaijan and finally Iran.

»It immediately opens the heart. Yes, the saz is like a key of hearts.«

In the different countries, she benefits from the fact that she speaks eight languages, including Turkish and French. It is therefore easy for her to come into exchange with people who have mastered the saz or even build it themselves. There, her »research results« are very emotional: making music together, setting prayers or poems to music and passing on traditional songs. The film brings the audience into empathy, resonance and sound. The saz »immediately opens the heart«, says Petra Nachtmanova, deeply touched. Regardless of the country, the type of construction and whether it has six or ten strings - the instrument has a »secret energy« that the Berlin resident wanted to capture on her journey. She asked the people she met along the 5,000 kilometres to teach her a song that she could take home with her. On Friday, 18 June, she will present the filmic narrative of her journey as well as some of the songs she brought along at Scala Ludwigsburg. She has also brought guests with her. She will play music on stage with Firat Tuncer, Güney Yildiz and Serpil Aktas, and Asik Nargile Mehtiyeva and Seyyed Arash Shahriyari will also join the ensemble via zoom.

Come along on the journey, swing along with the vibrato of the saz songs and be cordially invited to this special event on June 18th at the Scala Ludwigsburg!