December 24, 2012


Episode 9/ Ankara / 22 Dec 2012

In the episode 6 (Şarkışla), Ferman said that he was at home. But it's in this episode that he is really at home. Because he'll be at "home" in his hometown, Ankara, where he was born and raised. And he is now addressing us from his family's home.

In Ankara, he'll visit different places; he'll introduce us different types of music. With us, also Ferman will witness how developed Ankara has become in the past years. He'll go to Sincan and there he'll listen to cheerful folk songs of Ankara.

Then he'll introduce us a little bit of the short history of Ankara-based rock music; how the bands are holding on; how the circumstances were for the rock bands in the past in Ankara.

And then he'll be talking to the authorities about the development of the western classical music in Ankara. After the foundation of Turkish Republic, Ottoman State Orchestra moved to the new capital Ankara in 1924 and become Presidential Symphony Orchestra. How did the polyphonic music and opera develop in Ankara and how did Ankara become a pioneer in western classical music in Turkey? He'll get some information about these as well. In a nutshell, Ferman will rediscover Ankara with us!

The only address to listen to Ankara's real folk music is Sincan and one of the main figures who's in the business is Mehmet Demirtaş, an Ankara-born minstrel.

Mehmet Demirtaş and Ferman in Sincan, Ankara

Ferman has a talk about the real folk songs of Ankara with Mehmet Bey. First of all, Mehmet Bey performs "Fidayda" with his saz, a very well-known folk song. It's a cheerful dance song of a rhythmical tempo. Ferman says that not many people think of something like this when we say "folk music of Ankara". The young people think that Ankara's folk songs contain too much slang; has too many colloquial expressions and it's simply entertainment music.

 Mehmet Bey explains his opinions on this. We're Nasreddin Hoca's descendants and we're not against the humour. But the folk music of the modern day Ankara has too much simplicity and it's just exploitation of the musical heritage. This is not sense of humour; this is something else. He means the music that is performed in the wedding halls and restaurant-bars in Ankara. What he played earlier is the real folk music of Ankara. That's what he has learned from his masters. After this, he plays one more original folk song. This one makes Ferman's eyes wet. He's touched by the song very much. And then Mehmet Bey gives some technical information about the various sorts of saz in the music shop he owns.

Ferman wants us to listen to a humorous folk song called "Apache" by Mehmet Demirtaş as an example of real sense of humour.

Hüseyin Kağıt

Now we'll go to meet another musician in Sincan. He belongs to a younger generation and an internet phenomenon. It's Hüseyin Kağıt. He has tattoos all over, chain around his neck, rings on his fingers; he's wearing a shirt with his name embroidered on it. It's not wrong that we call him alternative performer of folk music of Ankara. His interpretation of folk music is a little different from the others. He has an unique style of singing.

Hüseyin Kağıt sings his original songs that he writes. He says that he's not good at singing somebody else's songs, but he sings his own songs very well. So the people adopted him and his songs dearly.

Ferman explains his observation that there is a group of underground performers in Turkey that their songs have remarkable views on the internet; their concert tickets are sold out on the first day. Hüseyin Kağıt is one of them. The song that he's about to sing has a 8 and a half million views on You Tube and once after a concert, people parked cars behind his car so that he can't leave the concert hall! The 45-minute concert was finally over after 2 hours and there was a stampede.

The people think that the music in Turkey belongs only to the popular culture and the popular performers. But in fact, underground performers have a huge fan base that nobody knows about. Hüseyin Kağıt hasn't got a big orchestra, just a small group of instrumentalists. He has concerts every day and he participates in festivals all over the region. Some nights, he even sleeps in his car so that he can make his concert schedule.

Then he sings his famous song on You Tube and Ferman just watches his performance with an expression on his face saying "how can this be possible?"
Ferman at the Sincan local radio

After his meeting with his Hüseyin Kağıt, he visits a local radio station in Sincan as a guest. Apparently, the people of this radio station helped him find the right people in Sincan. Because first thing he does is to thank the host. The host lady thanks him back hoping Ferman will introduce the right folk songs of Ankara and correct the wrong perception about the folk music of Ankara. Then Ferman gives a short information about his program Kulaktan Kulağa.
Ferman and his former tutor Ms.Ayşe Meral at the Opera House

After the shootings in Sincan is completed, he returns to downtown Ankara. This time he goes to The Opera House. Here he meets his former tutor of voice training, Ms.Ayşe Meral.

Years ago, Ferman took private lessons of voice training from Ms.Ayşe Meral around 2002-2003, then he participated in the classical Turkish music classes at Uskudar Music Society in İstanbul. He asks his tutor about what she remembers from that time. She remembers a lot of things about Ferman and the lessons with him. She remembers very well that he showed perfect discipline; he had a persistent attitude and a determination towards his goal. These were all telling that he was a whiz-kid! It was obvious that he would have a bright future in music. She's very proud of him when she thinks about his achievements so far. Ferman adds that he still practices the technical tips he learned from her before all the concerts. She suggests an update of vocal techniques if he desires. Ferman wishes that, too, when he has time to do it.

Then she gives some information about the history of opera in Ankara. The Opera House was originally designed as an exhibition center and later it was converted into an opera house and started serving this function in 1948 with the performance of pieces of "The Turkish Five" (Five pioneers of western classical music in Turkey). The Turkish Five are Ahmet Adnan Saygun, Ulvi Cemal Erkin, Hasan Ferit Alnar, Necil Kazim Akses and Cemal Reşit Rey. The organization of the opera orchestra, ballet and the chorus was completed in 1950-1953.

Ferman thinks that the heart of the opera is still in Ankara and Ankara is also the capital of the western classical music in Turkey. She agrees with him. In 1935, The Music Teachers School which was opened in Ankara in 1924, subsequently transformed into Ankara State Conservatory. This was a big benefit in terms of music and remarkably important steps have been taken in classical music.

Ferman asks again, "Did the gloominess and the so-called boringness as some people say, not us, affect the development of classical music in Ankara?". She says that the Turkish people has a prejudice about opera; opera is not only singing like a soprano. Some people think of opera as noise or just some shouts. But opera in fact is a combination of art of all sorts. She invites people to see an opera and says, "Just once, come and see what opera is really like!"
There is music, vocals, decoration, costumes, lighting, etc. The people will surely find at least one thing that they like. Ferman asks, "Do we have to understand it?". She answers, "Definitely no! There is magic in opera. Just once you must enter in that magical world of opera without prejudice. Yes, we all raised in a world of traditional folk music, so it might be a little hard to understand this universal art of music. Because we're not familiar to this kind of music unless we are educated in classical music." She says again, "Just once come and see that enormous work that we put in opera". Ferman repeats to us,"What else can I say? Come and see!"

Ferman and Egemen Ünal of "Metropolis"

Now it's time to see why Ankara is so important for Ferman and maNga. maNga was formed in Ankara. They crooned first songs here in this city. maNga is not the first rock band of Ankara, of course. Before them, there were incredible elder rockers. One of them is Egemen Ünal, legendary drummer of "Metropolis".
Every band has some idols. For maNga, one of the biggest legends is "Metropolis". Now he'll remember the old days and talk about the present day with Egemen Abi. Ferman asks him how he remembers the past and what changed and how; what he missed the most; what happened in 10 years in Ankara.

The people's perspective on music has changed. The economic structure of Turkey has changed as well. Due to increased commercial concerns, bar owners turned to what is popular. Rather than music, drink and ticket sales grew in importance. Therefore, the concerts where the musicians played their own original songs decreased in numbers. There were times when they went to some concerts where about 1000 people gathered to listen to some metal bands. Those places all closed down. For him, Seattle ecole is not so different from Ankara. Ten years have passed and now there are very few people who buy albums and listens to original composed music. The people lost interest in music. Once people used to come just to listen to the guitarist or the drummer. That's gone, either. Now people just come to listen to the singer and the brand name gained more importance. These are tough times for an artist.
Ferman, Egemen Ünal and Yalçın Köprücü

One of the most important venues in those times was Limon Bar. It was very important in maNga's past as well. Now Ferman meets the ex-owner of Limon, Yalçın Köprücü who made Limon an important place for rockers of Ankara. He is a figure of great importance for Ankara's history of rock music. Because he gave many bands the opportunities to play their own music. They called him "Yalçın Abi", but at the same time he was their boss. Metropolis and Yalçın Abi gave maNga great support to play their own songs at Limon. Ferman summarizes what he and Egemen Abi talked earlier to him. He says that those who encourage the new bands to make their own music have been decreased. He asks him what he thinks about the old days at Limon. Yalçın Abi says that Limon was a venue for those who make original music. They encouraged them to make and play original songs, not only cover songs. This encouragement cleared the way for the younger rockers and gave the new bands opportunities to play at Limon. They didn't need well-known names in those times. A lot of bands played at Limon and achieved many things.

Ferman adds that they used to go to Limon to listen to music, play music or just to have a chat. Limon was their hangout. Yalçın Abi says that different bands used to played each night but those bands also used to come to listen to their fellow rockers. It was like a home for rockers. Sundays were only for employees of Limon. Egemen Abi even proposed to his wife of 9 years at Limon.
Ferman and Volkan Yırtıcı

The last stop for Ferman in Ankara is a studio. This studio is significant for Ferman, because maNga recorded their first songs here at this studio. The first notes, first melodies of maNga's musical adventure were recorded here in the hands of Volkan Abi (Yırtıcı).

Ferman remembers very well that how many times they stayed up all night with him here. Volkan Abi's studio is a very important milestone for many groups in Ankara. maNga recorded their first demo tape here, for instance. It was exactly ten years ago and it was a very important turning point for maNga. Ferman still has that demo tape and promises to send that tape to Volkan Abi. Volkan Abi produced TNK's album and Zakkum's latest album. Volkan Abi still works mostly with the pop-rock or rock groups from Ankara. Among his latest work is albums of SonDört, Sade and Nükleer Başlıklı Kız. He is so busy with these artists' work that he can't find time to work on his own solo album.
Ferman asks the same question to him: What changed in 10 years in Ankara? Volkan Abi says that the groups from Ankara used to make more original songs in the past. They worked in amateur spirit. Ankara produced a lot of rock groups in the past and most of them moved to İstanbul like maNga. In this respect, Ankara is Turkey's Seattle. The groups have to invest in making their own music. He can't sense that old energy in Ankara now. Ferman adds that in those times there was only Kızılay district where the musicians gathered. But now there are several central districts in the city.
Ferman and PLAN

Ferman introduces us in this episode PLAN, a rock band of Ankara who is obstinately trying to make music in Ankara. They join Ferman and Volkan Abi at the studio.

Ferman asks them what they think about making an album; what kind of hardships they go through on this road and if they think about moving to İstanbul. Now they are in the phase of producing the album. After they completed it, they think maybe it will be advantageous to be in İstanbul for promoting the album. Ferman reminds them of some groups who preferred to stay in Ankara such as Zakkum or Seksendört. maNga chose to move to İstanbul instead of staying here. Ferman thinks that maNga was lucky in many aspects and everything went very well. He wishes them all the best on the road to their goal.
Efe and Ferman at the maNga's studio

Back in İstanbul. This episode's guest will be Ferman again. 3 episodes before, the guest was Ferman and maNga, because we discovered Ferman's roots in that episode 6. Now we're in Ankara where Ferman was born and raised. That's why he will be the guest again. He personally thinks that rock music is very important for Ankara. Rock music is one of the local musical motifs which represents Ankara's several type of music. He will duet with PLAN on one of their songs. And the surprise of this episode will be maNga's own Efe! Efe likes the song, but he needs to go to his house to do his own recording. He can't do it at the studio, because he has a studio phobia. :) He's going to cook his part in his own kitchen! :)
Ferman recording the song
DİSKO / PLAN / Ferman

This episode's song is an original rock song of a rock band from Ankara. They are trying to produce their first album right now.

In this "very special" episode for Ferman, we got to know several different music styles of Ankara. Ferman revisited the milestones for maNga in the city. Rock music represents Ankara's local music among other music styles now. So it is significant to have a rock band as a guest in this program.

So, next week, where to, Ferman?

You can watch the full episode 9 on the You Tube link below:

For full videos of KULAKTAN KULAĞA episodes, please click on the link of TRT Muzik's KK video page:


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