EPISODE 12 / Adapazari Sakarya / 19 Jan 2013
This week Ferman surprises us in his first presentation: He says he is in Norway! The town behind him is Znactanc (?). It means in Norwegian "a haunt of a few people" and the hill are called "the hills of Znactanc". :) He says laughing "I don't know how much of this you believed, but we are in Sakarya Adapazari this week!". He feels himself in far away places, because the snowy landscape of the surroundings of the Lake Sapanca makes him feel in far-off countries. (İNCİ: He is a little playful today. Maybe it's because of the snow. :) Snow makes everybody a little childish! )
The Lake Sapanca in snow
He will be in Adapazari where is very close to İstanbul and as cosmopolitan as İstanbul. He'll listen to many stories and many songs. He'll find out so many things about music due to this cosmopolitan structure of the society. Maybe he'll hear some stories about the earthquake in 1999.
On the way to Adapazari, there is snow everywhere and snow will accompany them everywhere in this episode. He would like to have a beautiful breakfast in a warm place when they get their destination.
A beautiful Bosnian breakfast
Ms.Hadiye Uslu welcomes Ferman and the KK crew in Adapazari. They get a warm welcoming hospitality here. He was daydreaming about a beautiful breakfast on the way and he gets what he wants: an incredibly rich breakfast table! There is Bosnian pastry called zeljanica which is very famous and it's very delicious. And another delicious treat is a kind of Bosnian pickles with yogurt and cream called Soka. In some episodes of Kulaktan Kulaga, Ferman was impressed by the delicious dishes so much that he wanted to make a cooking program.
Ferman at Sakarya University campus
Ferman first visits the Sakarya University campus area which is very important in maNga's musical career. Before maNga's first album, Sakarya University became the place for one of maNga's first concerts. Somehow the university people heard the reputation about the "underground" rock band maNga of Ankara and invited them for a concert. There was a crowd of around 1,500 people. They couldn't believe their eyes! This was an unforgettable concert for maNga, because they played here one night before Limon Bar closed down. And they dedicated one song that night to their friend who died in Ankara.
Ferman takes a stroll on the streets of Adapazari. This is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Turkey. It's very near to Istanbul and it has major industries located here. However, it's still an Anatolian town. You can come across the people of various ethnic background, such as Laz people, Georgians, Bosnians, Albanians, etc...All of them have been living in Adapazari in peace for ages.
Ferman drops by a game center and returns to his childhood for a while.
Ferman at the Justinianus Bridge
Let's talk about some history now. They are on the Justinianus Bridge ( local people call it "5 Bridges"). One of the most important remains of historical significance is the Justinianus Bridge in Adapazari. Ferman had no idea about the existence of this bridge before Kulaktan Kulaga. It was built around 560 AD. Ferman thought that it was smaller than this, but it has a length of 430 m and seven arches. This bridge was one of the crazy projects of Emperor Justinianus to construct a navigable canal that would bypass the Bosphorus Strait and connect The Gulf of İzmit and the Black Sea. Even though the river beds changed and in spite of the big earthquake in 1999, it's still standing.
Ferman sees that two lovers wrote their names on the virgin snow on the dried river bed. He wants to immortalize it taking the video of it. He says "carved their names" mistakenly and then corrects it as "wrote their names". :)
Ferman is now on the banks of the Lake Sapanca, that's one of the things associated with Adapazari. The region around Lake Sapanca has become very important for day trips and weekend excursions with its charming natural beauty. This lake is one of the forgotten beauties near İstanbul. If we can escape from İstanbul to this lake once in a while, each one of us might benefit from this change of air immensely.
Ferman at the lakeside
Ferman stops over at a lakeside restaurant. The lake has a length of 16 km east-west and 5 km north-south. When maNga is on tour on the way to Anatolia, they often take time to eat fish around this lake. There is an unwritten rule in the lakeside restaurants and it's that you are to eat the fish of the day that is recommended by the restaurant. Trout, roach and barracuda is quite famous as the fish of the lake.
Ferman and Yasar Bey
Ferman introduces us to the owner of the restaurant, Yasar Bey from Artvin. He treats them to tea! He settled in here in 1983. He likes the nature around the lake. He runs this little restaurant with his wife and his children. Ferman asks him "Do you like music?". Yasar Bey likes folk and classical music. Ferman, "There must be lots of things from the Black Sea Region that you miss so much, right?". The nature of the surroundings of the lake is very much alike the Black Sea Region with all the greenery. Also there are so many people from the Black Sea Region living around here. So he doesn't feel himself as a stranger here. As it comes to the music of the Black Sea, they watch satellite broadcasts of the local TV channels of the Black Sea Region.
Ferman asks "Is there a song of Kazim Koyuncu (a folk-rock singer from Artvin who died of lung cancer at 33 in 2005) that you remember? For example, 'Gelevera Deresi' (The Creek of Gelevera) ?". Yasar Bey knows the song but he is a little shy and says that he can't sing it. Ferman tries to persuade him to sing it praising his deep voice and even singing the song a little himself, but to no avail. Yasar Bey just says that he is a good listener. :) Ferman says, "I hope we can meet again in Artvin this time. We plan to visit the Black Sea Region, if we have a second season on this program". Yasar Bey hopes the same thing, too.
The snow landscape impresses the KK crew very much. Ferman takes pictures. It's cold, it's tough, but at the same time it's pleasant.
They started the day with a rich Bosnian breakfast. Now they will listen to Bosnian music at the Adapazari Bosnian Association for Cultural Assistance. The Bosnian immigrants have 14 associations in different Turkish cities and even a federation of these associations. The Chairwoman is Behiye Çark. Ferman will have a short interview with her.
Ferman first thanks her for having them. Ferman's first question is why they are in Adapazari. He didn't know that there was a Bosnian immigrant community here who try to keep the Bosnian folk culture alive.
Ferman and Behiye Hanım
Behiye Hanim speaks as if she reads a poem. :) She thinks that Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country of frozen problems. It's a region of three communities: the Muslims, the Orthodox Christians and the Catholics. This ethnic diversity was a beauty for Bosnians but at the same time it was a big inconvenience. The last 1,000 years of Bosnian history is full of massacres and exiles. This is why Bosnia & Herzegovina and the Balkans is very important in the world's history. Islam affected the region very much with the architecture, civilized style of life and the sense of aesthetics. And of course there are world famous traditional genre of 'sevdalinka' folk music. In musical sense, sevdalinka songs are about love, affection and intolerance.
With the expansion of the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century, the Balkans make a great contribution in both Western and Islamic civilizations. Ferman says that they gave a concert in Bosnia and they have been invited in Bosnia & Herzegovina Film Festival and played there. They were impressed by the scars of war, still visible on the buildings, some of them preserved as they were on purpose. Some destroyed part of the hotel in which they stayed was preserved with all the scars and Ferman as an architect admired the restoration technique that was used. They were able to feel the sadness and pain the war has caused in the city, maybe because they are musicians.
He asks that in case of a wedding, if some relatives are still invited from Bosnia and if the old traditions still alive. Behiye Hanim says that they had forgotten the old traditions mostly, but with the foundation of this association, they remembered and studied the traditions and the music again. They have a folk dance group who performs the Bosnian folk dances. She says that the Ottomans invested in the Balkans greatly and emphasized the importance of the region. Ferman says that TRT also cares about the Balkans so much that they held music concerts with the bands like maNga. MaNga also collaborated with TRT in Bosnia.
She says that music is the life itself and a reflection of what is inside of the human beings just like architecture. In the time of war, the people held fashion shows and operas in the basements of the buildings. They never fell victim to the war. Once after a bombardment, the people cleaned up the debris, washed down the whole neigborhood and they had breakfast right in the middle of the street out of spite.
Ferman and Ahmet Sorgun
Now it's turn to listen to the music. Ahmet Sorgun is going to play harmonica and then Cagatay with his guitar and Ferman with his vocals will accompany him.
Ferman first asks for some information about Bosnian music and sevdalinkas. Sevdalinka songs are about love and the beauties of Bosnia. Ferman says that he heard that they are played with saz and vocals. Ahmet Bey answers that traditionally they are played with accordion in Bosnia, but in Turkey saz is added afterwards. Today Ahmet Bey will use harmonica. Ferman asks why he uses harmonica. This is because of some inconvenience. When Ahmet Bey was young, they needed intrumentalists to play with them in the weddings, but when they couldn't find an instrumentalist to play, he had to learn something easier to play, so he decided to learn how to play harmonica by himself. He plays a Bosnian folk song about a sick girl who wants to dance in a wedding.
Cagatay and his laptop computer
In the meantime, Cagatay is unhappy because he has a problem with his laptop. He thinks that the computer burned down and doesn't start. So they can't connect the recording microphone and the metronome. Ferman asks Cagatay if he thinks he can solve this problem. "Can we solve it, or will we just get out of here without any recording?"
Ferman and Cagatay
Cagatay is hopeful anyway. He thinks he's going to connect the microphone to the camera and use the metronome via smart phones to connect the earphones during the recording. So this means that they are not going to hear their own music and voices during the recording. They have to hope it'll go well. Ferman asks us not to tell this to anyone.
And then they practice the song in Bosnian for the recording. Ferman writes the Bosnian lyrics down for the performance. Cagatay tries to find matching chords on his guitar. And then they perform the song without any problem.
Before leaving Adapazari, the people at the Bosnian association and Ferman dance all together to a Bosnian wedding music. This is their goodbye to Adapazari.
Ferman and Mabel Matiz at the briefing
Back in İstanbul. This episode's guest star is Mabel Matiz. Ferman is a little nervous-looking in the briefing with Mabel. It seems that they have just met for the first time. Mabel just released his second album. Ferman wishes him good luck on his new album and says that he can understand how excited he must has been, because they are working on their own album right now. He thanks him for coming to the program. Mabel also thanks him for inviting him to the program. This is very formal. (İNCİ: This is their first time together I think).
Ferman gives him a summary of his visit to Adapazari. In this episode they remake a Bosnian folk song. Ferman sent the song to Mabel beforehand, so he asks him what he thought about it when he first listened to it. Mabel is very interested in the Balkan music. There is this Balkan vibe in his compositions, too. So when he first listened to the song, he was very happy. The song has a very naive vocal music. He's going to perform it in Bosnian and this will be a first on KK. Ferman thinks Bosnian lyrics will match Mabel's voice very much. They talk about how the song should be better for a while and start to practice on the song.
At the end, Ferman asks Mabel if he has been to Bosnia before. No, he hasn't, but he'd love to. Ferman talks about what he saw in Bosnia, the remnants of the war, how the people love movies and the music, how they love to invite Turkish artists, etc...He says, "You should see Bosnia!"
And the next thing to do is to record the song.
USTAY FATO USTAY ZATO (Get Up Fatma, Get Up) /
Ahmet Sorgun - Mabel Matiz
This week's song is a Bosnian folk song. Mabel performed it in original Bosnian lyrics very softly with a nice-sounding guitar at the background. His soft voice was matching the melody very much.
Next week's episode will be the last of the first season. We don't know if this is the one and only season of Kulaktan Kulaga. We're bombarding TRT's social network addresses with messages and keeping our fingers crossed for a second season! We know that Ferman is in negotiation with TRT for a second season. But nothing is certain yet. We wish you good luck, Ferman!
The photos on this blogpost belong to MaNga Greece Facebook Fan Page. Thank you so much, girls! You make my work easier and faster!
You can watch the full video of the episode 12 on the You Tube link below:
FOR FULL KULAKTAN KULAGA VIDEOS, PLEASE VISIT TRT MUZIK'S KK VIDEO PAGE: