A late March snow descends on a modest farmhouse in central Anatolia. An oil stove hisses away inside, as afternoon gives way to twilight.
A heavyset man with a thick black mustache adjusts his cap, takes a deep breath and fills the room with a piercing, impassioned cry. The small audience settles back for an evening of traditional dengbej singing.
For centuries, dengbej songs served as a combination news bulletin, history lesson and evening's entertainment. Master singers built up large repertoires of songs — and could recite the historical events they describe.