This is from my time in Azerbaijan. For Republic Day last year, I collaborated with two local musicians and music teachers, twins Sevindik and Sarvan, to create a medley of Western and Azerbaijani songs. (The “Oh Susanna” bit was their idea — the melody was familiar to them, but they’d never heard the words.) The distinctive stringed instrument you hear is called the tar, played by Sevindik muallim (“tar” means string in Persian, and you can note the importance of this root in the words “guitar” and “sitar,” among others). The pictures in this slideshow are a mixture of shots from my time in Azerbaijan; the first and last shots are of us performing this!
A medley of Azerbaijani and South and North American songs, arranged and performed live by Carla Seidl (vocal, guitar), Sevindik muallim (tar) and Sarvan muallim (vocal) in Khanlar, Azerbaijan, spring 2008. Pictures are from Carla’s Peace Corps service in Azerbaijan, during which she lived in a small village in Oguz for one year and in the region center of Khanlar for another year serving as an English teacher in the local schools.
Some of the life philosophy I try to follow. Set to the music of the traditional “Wade in the Water,” this song urges you to leave the cubicle of “supposed-to,” to find and pursue your passion. Recording from Under My Skin (2009).
There’s a new channel for videos from Carla Seidl on YouTube. If you are a YouTube user, you can subscribe to be updated when I upload any new videos. Slideshow to accompany the audio piece “Cannibal Theme Park” coming soon! Please also visit to rate or comment on “Azerbaijani Housewife.”
Carla will be returning to the US for just over a month in early May before she heads to Mauritania for another round of Peace Corps service. You can catch her while she’s here at these New-York-area performances:
Saturday, May 16th at 9pm at Cubbyhole Coffeehouse in Poughkeepsie, NY
Sunday, May 24th at 7:45 at The Bitter End, New York, NY
Saturday, June 6th, 7:30-8:30 at Cool Beanz, St. James, NY
Carla’s music is featured in a new iMix on iTunes called “Relax, Inspire: music for unwinding, reconnecting, and reflecting, featuring some of the best voices in female folk.” Other artists in the mix are Laura Nyro, Indigo Girls, Kate Chadbourne, Suzanne Vega, Lucy Kaplansky, and Kris Delmhorst. Click below to download or rate the mix.