Black Earth, featuring Leyla Kabuli

We invite you to experience the exquisite sounds of 16-year-old pianist Leyla Kabuli in this stunning and moving new video by filmmaker Nathan D. Lee. Leyla plays selections from a piece called “Black Earth,” written by Turkish composer Fazil Say.

There’s a lot more we could say about this video, including information about the composer, Leyla herself, and the universal human struggle it illuminates. But sometimes, trying to explain something takes away from its power. So, we hope you’ll watch the video, and then, if you’re interested, you can learn more below.

Warning: this video contains images that could be disturbing to some viewers.



Hear from Layla about the music and the poetry that inspired it in this short behind the scenes interview.

Layla performed the full “Black Earth” on NPR’s From the Top with Host Christopher O’Riley this past spring; you can listen to it here.

Here’s more information on the composer, Fazil Say.

And finally, if you are interested in supporting either of the organizations mentioned in the video, please click visit their websites: