Playing under the stars

June 8, 2013


Construction noise. People coming and going. Different accents, body languages, foreigners, laptops, diffused light… Music out of the speakers. Mosquitoes. The taste of Turkish cheese in my mouth. Sitting at the Chill Out with the laptop in front of me, life moves around me.


Last night I played my saz for hours. . A few things clicked:  The tezene’s position, a tremolo!!! some embellishments I could not do before, some speed… only two lessons but I already see progress. It is very exciting. I need to listen to more music. Play along. I realize that most of the learning is that. Listen… that was what the oud player in Ottawa had said to me when I first was looking for help with learning this music.


The hostel is a hub where one can meet all sorts of people. Like the Iranian musicians who play “The Thrill is Gone”  the two German girls, the French clarinet player, a producer from LA…


Yeah, how funny that I meet someone like this here… He came walking by, Indian, long black hair, elegant, very stylish… I was standing out there with the two German girls who sadly have to leave tomorrow. They had asked me to play songs for them. I had just finished playing one when he arrived. He said:

“Can you play something?”


“Yeah, I can”


“Play something.”


I thought for a second, I had just played 3 Fois Passera, so I launched into Don’t Wanna Drown. Standing there on a side street of Istanbul, under the night sky, in the cool breeze that wraps itself around us at night. He whipped out a video camera.


“Do you mind if I film?”


“Nope.” In these days… it is useless to mind anything like this as you get filmed, shot, photographed anytime, anywhere want it or not.


I played the song, finished.


“That was really good. I am a producer from LA, the music we do is all about constructing it, structuring it, building it. We are all in the mind. You are all from the heart.”


“Yeah, all from the heart.” I responded.


We chatted for another bit.


“Can I play something?” he asked.


“Of course.” I handed him the guitar. He proceeded to tune the guitar to a D and played a very nice song in a language I did not recognize. It was quite beautiful.


“A song from a long time ago…” He gave me back the guitar.


“Do you have a Facebook page?”


“Yes, I do… let me get a card with all the info on there.” I ran up to my room and got some cards. I came back down and we exchanged information.


I said something about my upcoming release


“I will make a video to put on Youtube, that is what I do, I’ll put it all together, maybe that will help you.”


“Wow, thank you that is very cool” of course it remains to be seen,  I don’t get bent out of shape anymore over meeting producers or agents or any type of industry characters.  But it was a fun spirited meeting and I had enjoyed it.


“I had gone out to get some food, so I’ll go do that. Thanks for the music.”


“No problem.”


Istanbul is in constant motion. As old and unchanged as fickle and restless. Moments race, one after another all there for the picking. Yet, When you sit with an Istanbulite to talk, all time stops. Yesterday walking with Harkan, on my way to see the room I might elect to take, we stopped to look at the Asian side of the Bosphorus.  He showed me different things, talked philosophy, practiced my Turkish…  We must have stopped there for 40 minutes.  For a North American… that is just not done!   There is nothing like this… Nothing I have seen so far.  I understand now some of the comments I had read in different blogs that related how the writers had fallen in love with this city.


I might have found a room to stay. Well I have found one, I have to decide if I’ll take it… I have a bed here at the hostel until Tuesday morning.  I am reluctant to leave the hostel because of the social hub it offers.  But price wise, it’s not the wisest.   I might still look at more rooms today and see what comes up. The idea is to find the least expensive and most homey thing where I can base myself from.


Lesson wise.. well… it’s not simple.  I am again waiting for my teacher’s call.  I am not sure what the politics of this are.  The culture is different and my pushy north american ways may not be what is called for.  The best route is likely to let things come.  we’ll see what happens.


Well, I should get this day going.


All my love










2 Responses to “Playing under the stars”

  1. Danielle, tu es une inspiration. J’t’embrasse fort! Anique.xo

  2. Hooman Says:

    As a Zen poem says,

    Sitting quietly, doing nothing,
    Spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.

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