A brief note on the creation of this project and a round of thanks. Listening guide below.
A Work in Progress
Some things have no clear ending.
In the spring of this year (2016) I set off for what turned into four months of adventure in and around Turkey. The idea, hastily thrown together, was to go out and document the music of a people, a place. To show hidden mysteries to the world. Yet to encompass an entire country, all of it’s peoples and cultures, in one moment, one story, is a foolish thing, and many threads are tattered by such boldness. Many paths run out of sight, unfollowed, out of time. Thus, I can only give you a glimpse into another world. Please enjoy the view and seek your own paths to follow.
The root purpose of this documentary was to show the depths to which we share a common humanity. Across language or ethnicity, culture or religion, we all hold the same needs, the same dreams, and the same kindness. We all have Music.
It is the kindness of the people which brings you these images and it is what brought me through this journey. It is what took me to festival after festival, from Cappadocia to Çeşme. It is what fed me and gave me a roof on cold rainy nights stuck in the middle of Anatolia. What gave me a lift from one end of the country to the other through the most amazing landscapes.
I have to thank the many friends I made on couchsurfing, and all the others who gave me a place to call home, whether it was for a night or a month. Thanks is also due to those that sat and had endless conversations with me, reframing my perspective, suggesting music, places, and people, connecting me with the world ahead. Also to all the drivers who picked me up on the side of the road, thank you. To my editors, friends and family who have helped me cut words and images down to form something palatable, you well know what this would have looked like if you were not involved, please pat yourselves on the back. And finally, more than anyone else, I have to dedicate this project to the musicians. To people everywhere who pick up an instrument, or tap out a rhythm on a table, making something that comes from their own self. Whether none but your own ears ever hear you, or you sing solely to the birds, or you take the stage before thousands, thank you. You define Us.
To everyone then, you know who you are, çok teşekkür ederim.
Please note that this is only a sample of the music now being made in Turkey. In an attempt to give an exhaustive account of the scene I have exhausted myself. While it would be easy enough to list my 5 (or 20) favorite artists, I hope that the below gives everyone something to enjoy or discover without being limited by personal taste. Unfortunately, due to ignorance and forgetfulness on my part, or lack of any web presence, I have had to leave many fine musicians off of this list. This is especially true of numerous traditional artists, and to any not included below, my humblest apologies.
I suggest that you merely take this as a springboard from which to dive into the rich and varied sounds of the region. Enjoy.
As genre and style is infinitely varied the below artistes are arranged alphabetically.