Melike Tarhan – BARABAR

‘Together’ is the central idea of Melike Tarhan’s new project Barabar.

Through various musical experiments and wanderings, the Turkish-Flemish singer came closer and closer to her gut feeling. She found a world in which music means connection. Coming together from different sides, being part of the music together: listening with heart, soul and body, voice and hands.

Together with a baglama (Turkish long-necked lute), a guitar, bass and percussion, she brings music that first and foremost touches people. Songs about lovers who yearn for each other, stirring rhythms, and the inspiring songs of people who have to climb a mountain but do not give up.

Barabar is the East Turkish word for together. To Flemish ears, it sounds like something to do with a café. That is not so strange. After series of performances and concerts in large halls, it was in a typical small türkü bar in Istanbul that Melike found her roots again. The music of her childhood was still very much alive there: traditionals that everyone knows, accompanied by clapping and choruses sung along.

Melike was inspired by this natural shared experience. She drew from the abundance of source material and gave it a new, personal touch. With respect for authenticity. But at the same time, with all the carefree attitude of someone who grew up with traditionals: they are not only for the people, but especially of the people. They live and continue to live because they are always given a new voice.

Together is a current concept. Our society is slowly but surely becoming a by-passing society. We tend to think in terms of boxes: he or she, immigrant or native, work or leisure, left or right, right or wrong. In her refugee work, Melike noticed that there is also another undercurrent: coming together. Getting to know people who have been living behind the corner for ten years, while you are volunteering fifty kilometres away. Working until the middle of the night, because there are not enough hands, but you are a team and you persevere. Together.


  • Guitar, arrangements : Hendrik Braeckman
  • Bass guitar, double bass : Henk de Laat
  • Baglama : Ferhat Elma
  • Percussion : Francois Taillefer
  • Vocals : Melike Tarhan

Comments are closed.