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Hayalgibi 2 by Turkish kanun virtuoso Göksel Baktagir hits as deeply and invincibly as Le pas du chat noir by Tunisian oud maestro Anouar Brahem, one of my all-time favorite albums. Minimalist structures intertwine with cello and piano and the profound lyrical magic of Hayalgibi unlocks in glorious melodies and masterful use of silences.

The absence of percussive time keeping devices means that the intrinsic meter, like recited poetry, remains malleable to forge forward, hesitate, turn and retreat on a whim. This liquidity of time quickly installs a timeless quality to this music. It's unbelievably sweet, fragrant and fragile without ever turning saccharine (a lesson Yannis Parios, Greek singer of the gorgeous voice, refuses to learn).

There's another absence - that of giveaway cultural syntax that would let you quickly and securely identify where this music was from. The timbre and playing style of the Turkish zither occasionally evokes Japanese koto flavors or Chinese equivalents. The upper registers of the cello recall the erhu at times. Because the piano doesn't allow for Middle-Eastern quarter notes, Hayalgibi remains mostly well-tempered. A brief vocal interlude will eventually assist but I still doubt that the average listener shall peg the music's origin properly the first time. The only thing readily obvious is that the unamplified classicist acoustic trio setting makes it chamber music.

What this adds up to is that Hayalgibi is essentially universal like the best of all music. From dreamily meandering water music to galloping romps with folk dance motifs and finely filigreed meditations suspended somewhere in the anahata heart chakra, the 13 tracks explore a wide variety of highly expressive instrumental moods. This is delicate, highly refined stuff that wears very well with repeat listening and, for my tastes and biases, belongs right alongside Brahem's before-mentioned masterpiece and others like Abed Azrié's Aromates and Lapislazuli or the Swedish gem Tiny Island on the Opus label.