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2009 - week 16, from 25 April. Sound of Turkey, Part One

PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:42 pm
by Charlie
Seq - Artist - Song Title - Album - Country - Label

1 - Selim Sesler - Kurdili Hicazkar Longa - Crossing The Bridge (S/T) - Turkey - Doublemoon

2 - Burhan Oçal , with Smadj - Kara Cali - Oynamaya Geldik - Turkey/Tunis - Doublemoon

3 - Wax Poetic - Mother Earth - Three - Turkey/USA - Doublemoon

4 - Orient Expressions - Istanbul 1.26 am - Crossing The Bridge (S/T) - Turkey - Doublemoon

5 - Orient Expressions - Poyraz - in session - Turkey

6 - Orient Expressions - Başa Sar Beni - in session - Turkey

7 - A Latav - Turna - in session - Turkey

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For the first time since I have been at the World Service, two programmes were recorded on location, in this case in Istanbul, Turkey. Producer Dana Stevens suggested we do as many of the links as possible outside, to give a real sense that we were really there. I spent a lot of time standing in the Istanbul’s main street, Istiklal Caddesi (Independence Avenue) with my back to the crowd, talking into a microphone which picked up the sounds of conversations, tram bells and even a man selling bread from a tray on his head.

One of the main purposes of the trip was to demonstrate not simply the wide diversity of Turkish music but to highlight the efforts of two record labels in particular, each pursuing entirely different policies, which is many ways epitomise the nature of record labels in the world today, one (Doublemoon) aiming to sell music outside its home territory and the other (Kalan) primarily targeting a local market.

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As we continually improvised to deal whatever became possible, we soon learned that it was a mistake ever to do an introduction before we knew exactly what was to follow, and with hindsight I should have made a much clearer reference to one of the mains inspirations for the whole trip, the film Crossing The Bridge, directed by Fatih Akim and featuring the German musician Alexander Hacke (formerly of Einstüzende Neubauten) who spent a couple of months recording a dozen Turkish musicians, some of whom he actually played with, others whom he simply documented in performance. Three of the artists featured in the film also wound up in our programme, one of them accidentally. It was only when we ran across SiyaSiyaBand, a group of street buskers whom I recognised from the film, that I remembered what a big impact it had made when I saw it a couple of years ago. As it happens, the film’s soundtrack album is released on the label that is at the centre of this first programme, Doublemoon.

Founder Ahmet Ulug (the final ‘g’ is not pronounced) explains how the label evolved almost accidentally out of the primary activities of his company Pozitif Music, which was initially set up to stage live events and festivals and eventually to run the club, Babylon, which has become Istanbul’s premier mid-size venue (capacity about 600). Ahmet explains that Pozitif hired local students and musicians to act as couriers to greet visiting musicians at the airport and bring them into town.

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Orient Expressions at their studio (Richard Hamer, sax,
Cem Yildiz, baglama, DJ Yakuza, gadgets and mixing desk) *

When one of those messengers, an American saxophonist based in Istanbul called Richard Hamer, mentioned he was setting up a studio group to make records, Doublemoon found itself with a house band and an artist, Orient Expressions.

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Singer Berin in the Orient Expressions studio *

The band convened at Richard’s basement studio to perform two songs specially for us, featuring current lead vocalist Berin Koç. The group epitomises Doublemoon’s aim of merging melodies played on traditional instruments with programmed rhythms that can fit into any dance context.

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Street musicians Alatav attract a crowd (including the World Service presenter and his guide, the singer Sevval Sam) *

Returning to Istiklal to record the links (now that we knew what we had recorded), we ran across a group that I took to be the buskers who were a highlight of Crossing the Bridge. Having asked permission, we recorded a performance by the musicians and learned from the singer that although he was in SiyaSiyaBand, this outfit comprises different musicians whose name is Alatav, meaning not quite cooked, or underdone. Their ethos is to bypass the music business entirely by recording live in the streets, finding an audience of all ages and dispositions and selling their CD to anybody who likes their sound.

Next week, we feature two of the artists launched by Kalan Records.

* photos by Dana Stevens

Listen again for 7 days at http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/p002mbzb

emails

PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 11:41 am
by Charlie
email from:

1. Seema Khurana, Memphis, USA

I discovered this program by accident and now I listen to it every week. All this incredible music from all over the world, I discover in less than 30 minutes - all put together for us.....

Thank you Thank you

By the way - I love your JOB - wish I had such a job....

Seema Khurana

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2. Oteke Erick, Kampala, Uganda

How can i dowload some of these music?

please advice me if possible?

Thanks a lot.

Oteke Erick
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CG reply: any suggestions?

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3. james mathis, amsterdam

Greetings. What you are doing with this great show? You ran a promo for 3 days on the Turkish scene (I like) - There is no preview on the show's web page - worse -- the show was not on the 'programme schedule' - Even worse - Show is knocked off the Saturday midday slot and it comes up 12:30 (Amsterdam) Saturday night - no replay. After the show I check 'latest episode' to listen to it - the last you have posted is 18-04-09.

Why promote something from a show you are obviously killing off?

james mathis

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 10:25 pm
by judith
Charlie wrote:email from:
3. james mathis, amsterdam

Greetings. What you are doing with this great show? You ran a promo for 3 days on the Turkish scene (I like) - There is no preview on the show's web page - worse -- the show was not on the 'programme schedule' - Even worse - Show is knocked off the Saturday midday slot and it comes up 12:30 (Amsterdam) Saturday night - no replay. After the show I check 'latest episode' to listen to it - the last you have posted is 18-04-09.

Why promote something from a show you are obviously killing off?

james mathis


I'm not quite certain if I am understanding James correctly, but he might be referring to links like the one above which takes me to a show from April 4 which is no longer available. This happens occasionally and if one doesn't know where to look, it appears as though the show in question is no longer reachable by the Listen Again Feature even though the 7 days have not passed. The following link to the Charlie's BBC World of Music page successfully took me to this thread's show:
http://tinyurl.com/cfstph

Again and again I would like to express thanks to Alan's posting of links to Charlie's shows. When I was ('was' is the keyword here. I am the proud owner of a new computer. Finally!) working from different strange computers with no way to save anything, these links have been so helpful to me.

Oh, lest I forget, I love this show for the music itself and for the little things like the recording of footsteps and the shutting of doors when entering a room. All together - a successful expedition into the atmosphere of the unexpected.
Charlie wrote: For the first time since I have been at the World Service, two programmes were recorded on location, in this case in Istanbul, Turkey. b


Given this week's program, I would hope to hear more shows on location, but why now, might I ask?

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 10:55 pm
by Chris P
I didn't have much time, but I've listened to the beginning & end of the programme so far (I'm not keen on Orient Expressions anyway)

Like you Charlie, SiyaSiya band were the highlight of the Crossing the Bridge film for me (as was Aynur's performance). I've been to Istanbul once and a young duo playing music on the street late at night : santur and vocals was one of the most enduringly musical & magical things I've heard.
So, I'm a sucker for santurs played in the street !
What a pity the Alatav recording was such a brief snippet & cruelly truncated by the end of the programme - I liked the sound of it

Anyway very much looking forward to next weeks programme with Aynur & Sevval Sam (did you meet her English husband Rupert from Up Bustle & Out ?)

thanks to Judith for the working listen-again link

And if anyone knows of any recordings of Istanbul street santur players or groups.....

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:51 am
by Charlie
Chris Potts wrote: (did you meet her English husband Rupert from Up Bustle & Out ?)

I realised that they had known each other beyond the recording studio but had no idea they were married.

Rupert was a Ping Pong guest on Radio London back around 1996, when I think he was a bit dumfounded by this older fanatical radio DJ who seemed to like his music so much. But he quickly adapted and since then has kept me up to date with his various adventures, some in Cuba and some with reggae singers (many of whom I have found to be a bit cliched) but this is the only new album I've liked as much as his first. He already has sent me another finished CD of the planned follow-up that I haven't listened to yet, called Solitaire.

Chris Potts wrote: very much looking forward to next weeks programme with Aynur & Sevval Sam

I think it is the better of the two.

judith wrote:I love this show for the music itself and for the little things like the recording of footsteps and the shutting of doors when entering a room. All together - a successful expedition into the atmosphere of the unexpected.

All credit to producer Dana Stevens, who thought things out ahead of time and then did such a good job threading everything into the narrative. We had not worked together before, although coincidentally Dana was producer of Dotun Adebayo, whose show followed mine at Radio London, so we did know each other slightly.

judith wrote:
Charlie wrote:For the first time since I have been at the World Service, two programmes were recorded on location, in this case in Istanbul, Turkey.


Given this week's program, I would hope to hear more shows on location, but why now, might I ask?

There is a new commissioning editor at the World Service called Tony Phillips, who is very keen on A World of Music and on extending its potential range of activities. But that was an expensive jaunt and I will be surprised if they can find funds to do something similar again.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:29 am
by Chris P
Charlie wrote:
Chris Potts wrote: (did you meet her English husband Rupert from Up Bustle & Out ?)

I ... had no idea they were married.


oh, maybe my source of info was incorrect, I can't remember who told me.

emails, cont

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:30 am
by Charlie
email from:
1. mark gilbertson, fargo,north dakota, usa

unable to replay instanbul program from monday april 27 2009 3am gmt. began listening during group played just before interview with Doublemoon label.

would like name/purchase info said group. would like notice when website program is playable. I listen to bbc very often on satellite radio in my vehicle.

mark gilbertson

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2. mei snyder

Very beautiful music. Nice to see the pictures.