Mortissa & A Thousand Cranes
The Blues of the Aegean


Smyrneiko/Rembetiko is the first refugee to arrive in Greece from Asia Minor(Turkey) when the population exchange in the early 1920s took place.  Born out of hardship yet full of resilience and with a devil-may-care attitude, these are the ‘Blues of the Mediterranean’. Çiğdem Aslan brings this to life in song accompanied by Nikos Baimpas (kanun, santouri), Michalis Kouloumis (violin), Ant Romero (Percussion) and Colin Somervell. 





"One of the finest and most entertaining British-based exponents of global music” (The Guardian).

She’Koyokh is an international virtuosic, versatile and prize-winning band comprising seven expert musicians playing klezmer and traditional music from the Balkans and Turkey.

She’Koyokh has toured the world with highlights at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and festivals in Germany, Hungary, Poland, Cyprus, Spain, the Canary Islands and Norway; WOMAD UK, WOMAD Fuerteventura, Sziget and Pannonica Festivals; Fundación Juan March Madrid, London’s Southbank Centre, Aldeburgh’s Snape Proms and live sessions on BBC Radio.

She’Koyokh is a Yiddish word meaning “nice one!”


Çiğdem Aslan: Vocals

Susi Evans: Clarinet & Gaida

Meg Hamilton: Violin

Živorad Nikolić: Accordion & Vocals

Matt Bacon: Guitar & Kaval

Paul Moylan: Double Bass

Christina Borgenstierna: Percussion

Three Strings & Two Breaths


As a duo Çiğdem and Tahir are focused on Alevi songs from Anatolia- mostly songs of love and mysticism from 14th-20th century. 


The Alevi path as a belief system is an ancient way of testifying that has been passed on through oral traditions in all of the languages with which Alevis have become acquainted. Oral tradition is directly relevant to the ethnic identity of Alevis. An important source of Alevi beliefs and thoughts are the mystical poems and musical ballads (deyisler, nefesler) that have been passes down from generation to generation, many of which have not been recorded in writing. 

This belief is based on love and respect for all people, attitudes, knowledge, sharing and science. Alevis believe that one must respect and have knowledge of nature. The principles of love, tolerance and humanism are significant to Alevi philosophy. 


Tahir Palalı spent his early childhood in Nurhak and Elbistan (Turkey), where he was influenced musically by the local Alevi minstrels (aşık) and dedes (elder figures) which eventually helped him develop a unique yet authentic music style. 






Barış Güney - Produced and arranged  'Sabah Güneşi' 2021

Matoula Zamani - Guest musician on 'A Thousand Crane' 

Vasilis Korakakis - Guest musician on 'A Thousand Crane' 

Raphael Roginski - Workshops and Concerts in Poland

Trio Yas-  Concerts and Workshops in Germany and Austria 

Louis de Bernières- Concert in 2014 at Union Chapel

Hello Skinny - Recorded Bert Janch's 'Soho' for the London's Calling album, 2012

Paul Sartin- Recorded a song as part of The Last Post Project marking toe centenary of the Gallipoli Battle.

Pavlos Melas - Pavlos and Cigdem have done several concerts and recordings together.