Istanbul Sound Salad

It has been a while, I know… but internet was getting scarce as we were going up the Georgian mountains lately! Some Istanbul sounds for you. In this mix, you will hear:

-to start off, and because it’s your main soundtrack when you are in Turkey, the muezzins’ call, in stereo (two mosques close to each other)

- a jazzy british band in a random bar on the last floor of a building, Istanbul being a very international city, you are very likely to stumble upon something like that

- the vendors at the market in Tarlabaşı on Sunday

- some street music on Istiqlal (electric guitar and an instrument that sounded and looked like an Ukrainian cimbala, and the two guys singing)

- the green parrots (I was very surprised!) in the Gülhane park on the way back from the Blue Mosque

- the old sad-looking Italian street musician with his customized accordeon – he turned on his beatbox for us because we were curious about all the strange buttons

- a protest against fascism on Istiqlal

- the bağlama woman playing on Istiqlal

- an excerpt of the impromptu session between the young Sevgi Ujanık, who plays kanun, and my friend Bilen. Bilen took Astrid and I to a oudmaker’s place to show us what an oud is and what it sounds like. A young girl called Sevgi came in by chance with her father, carrying her kanun, so we asked if she could show us. Sevgi and Bilen started to play together; soon Sevgi asked if they could play together a piece that she was learning and that has been written by Bilen himself, so it turned into a session between student and master. I choose this moment so that you could notice that in Turkish they use the French system (do – ré – mi… and not C – D – E…)

- and the best for the end, Bilen playing for us at the oudmaker’s place!


If you are curious about those instruments, you can see them here.

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