Ismayil Meqchiyev: "If the tanbur (a string instrument) will become world-famous, it will forget me."
Zagatala region in Azerbaijan is famous for its ethnic minorities, diversity and dense settlement. Along with Azerbaijanis, here live Tsakhurs, Avars, Lezgins and Ingiloys villagers. Danachi is the largest village in Zaqatala. The village is dense with Avars and is popular not only in Azerbaijan, but also in Dagestan. The reason for this is the master who is living here.
After a while, he began to have dreams. These dreams worried him. A dream interpreter told him that he must make tanburs, specifically telling him that "tanburs are calling you." Meqchiyev says that once his friend's father wanted a tanbur. He barely made a body for the tanbur, and his friend's father finished the body and attached the strings. "After while I wanted to take the tanbur back from him but I was ashamed. Because I did not make it fully. So for this reason I started to make a new one for myself. Then I continued to do it and soon I had done several tanburs."
Meqchiyev says that due to the fact that he could not work with both hands, with a special tool he was finally able to make his job easier. "Although it makes my work easier, it also makes it longer. If I could work with both hands, I would be able to finish making one tanbur in 10-12 days. However, currently it takes me 1 month in order to finish it. Firstly I saw the wood in a square to a certain size and then I draw the lines on it and saw again and make the tanbur. A tanbur can be done from several trees: a mulberry tree, poplar, oak, pine and so on. However, when it is done from a walnut tree, the sound of the tanbur is like the saz (a national string instrument) sound.