November 4, 2012


(Izmir - Urla - Bademler Village)
Ferman visits Bademler Village near Izmir in the Aegean Region in the 2nd episode of KULAKTAN KULAGA this week. Izmir is the 3rd biggest city in Turkey with a population of about 3 millions. The Greeks called it Smyrna in history. We call it "Pearl of Aegean Sea" or just "Beautiful Izmir". Rich in history, Izmir is a student town and a big metropolis. Every Turk longs for a tranquil life in Izmir.
Ferman in Izmir's Love Road
Ferman visited Izmir many times before, mostly for concerts. He says that he never wandered around the city except for the resort towns near Izmir. This is his first time in rural Izmir.

Ferman, discovering Bademler Village
Bademler Village is a lovely village with friendly people. The coffee house is the heart of the village. He visits the coffee house and chatted with the people about music. He is in pursuit of the elegies (as they call in Bademler Village, "yakma") this time.
Ferman, listening to the elegies in Mr.Hasan's house

He is welcomed in Mr.Hasan Şengül's house and Mr.Hasan tells him about the elegies. The elegies can be about anything, mostly about absence from homeland, traditions, death, love, separation, pain, or joy, etc...Just here, Ferman expresses his opinion about this:

Ferman: Don't you come up with the most beautiful songs when anything hurts you? In my case, I make better songs when something hurts me very much. It is a quite remarkable one that you come up with when you hurt.

The villager who plays saz (a traditional musical instrument) agrees with him: Doesn't it hurt when you break up with the one you love?

Ferman again: That's exactly when you come up with the best stuff!

Then they laugh together! And we discover that Mr.Hasan himself wrote an elegy, too. Even the university people who wrote a thesis about elegies, put his elegy into their thesis. He wrote his elegy to his girlfriend, who is his present-day wife, Şehriban. When he went to an another town, Bergama to work, she offended him and he started improvising an elegy about how he was hurt by what she said, or did.

The elegies (yakmalar) are considered as a means to express emotions of all kinds. It is a kind of indication that the music is the greatest friend during these painful moments. They are momentary improvisations and explosions of emotions...That's why they are so difficult to archive. The greatest sources of these melodies are the memories of the people.

Ferman records these elegies that he heard from Mr.Hasan and 2 village people in the Mr.Hasan's house, intending to re-arrange one of these elegies.

Bademler Village is interesting. There is an another Mr.Hasan in the village. It was said that it was hard to record these elegies, but he managed to record some of them with the 1970's technology. He is the walking musical archive of the village.

Ferman with the village's walking music archive, Mr.Hasan #2
There is a theater house in the village! No, it's not a joke! Their love for theater started with school plays in 1933 and now it's a big passion that they stage one play every year. And there is also a museum in the village. Ferman first heard about this Bademler Village Museum from his friend, writer and the owner of the Toy Museum in İstanbul, Sunay Akin. When Ferman said him that he would go to Izmir, Sunay Akin said to him "You should go to Bademler Village. You will see a musuem in the village and you won't believe your eyes!"

The story of this museum started with an archaelogist who was born in the village, Musa Baranli. Seeing life as a game, he started his research on toys in the 1970's. He discovered that some children games such as top-spinning date back to Hittite period around 800 BC.

After he visits this little toy museum, he goes to Mr.Hasan's house again, this time to listen to the most important elegy in the world for Mr.Hasan: The one that he wrote for his wife. He and his wife, Mrs.Şehriban sing this elegy together in the backyard, each of them expressing their own feelings in the form of elegiac couplets.

Mr.Hasan & his wife Mrs.Şehriban, singing their special love song

Ferman went to Ragusa in Sicily last year and he was very impressed with Ragusa. Because there were metallic statues all over, town fairs or concert halls in the town. Ferman thought "why don't we have a village like that in Turkey?". And he thinks that he has found his Ragusa in Bademler Village now. Reading is not enough for imagining. You have to travel to see it. This is a village that produced an archaelogist. This archaelogist founded a toy museum in the village. This village has a theater house and they create different plays every year. In a nutshell, this lovely village surprised Ferman very much. He knew that it would be pretty, but what he didn't expect was that lots of surprises were waiting for him in every corner of the village.

In fact, Ferman wasn't thinking about intervening in the elegy that Mr.Hasan wrote to his wife. Because it was a very special little love song just between the two. Back in Istanbul, at the studio, when they listen to all the recordings again and again, they just found themselves in the heart of the song itself and couldn't help intervening in it. Then they started to think about whose voice will suit this little song the best and they thought of the rocker Aslı Gökyokuş.

Ferman & Aslı Gökyokuş

When she comes over, Ferman tells her elaborately about his little adventure in Bademler Village and how he was impressed by it, the people, their music, and especially this loving couple, Mr.Hasan & Mrs.Şehriban's elegy. She is very impressed by them and their love, too. Ferman says that the meeting with them changed all his plans and he wanted to rearrange this particular song, not the other ones! Aslı says that she likes doing this kind of work and she hopes them to like her interpretation of the song, because this is a very private song for them.

Asli, Ferman & Cagatay, working on the song

After the briefing, they start to work on the arrangement of the song with Asli. They discuss how the arragement should be. These scenes are particularly interesting because we witnessed how a song was born at the studio. In the meantime, I couldn't help thinking about how this duet would be with just Ferman and Aslı! :)

Asli Gökyokuş - YAKMA
(video uploaded to YouTube by Barişcan Özay)
Aslı's voice is just perfect for this melancholic song and she performes it very touchingly and makes our eyes wet. The song is really sad. It is about two lovers who hurt each other. And just one guitar as the background music is just right for the mood of the song.

After the first episode's cheerful dance music which is the main title of KULAKTAN KULAGA, this week, we had a dramatic change in the theme. In this episode, we met a loving couple living in a little Aegean village in Western Turkey and heard a very touching little love song that brought tears to our eyes.

Thanks very much, guys, for your enthusiastic efforts to discover these unheard music of Turkish villages! We're looking forward to the next week! 

You can watch the full episode 2 on the You Tube link below:

You can watch the episodes online on TRT MUZIK's KULAKTAN KULAGA video page:


No comments:

Post a Comment