graduation

December 10, 2013

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Last night I was challenged in many ways. Eren wasn’t there for the show, Eren is my drummer. I love playing with him because there is such magic, twists and turns in his playing and he is such a sensitive listener, just a gorgeous musician. But he could not be there so I had invited a few new faces to join me. I wasn’t sure who would show up but they actually all did, Can on trumpet (pronounced Djan) Savaş on vocals (pronounced Savash) Cabbar Cabbar on percussion.

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I can’t really get into it here, but some things really ticked me off, those were immediately tempered by the amazing playing from Erkan, I dunno what it is but he nails everything in my music. I really enjoyed Savaş ‘ vocals and the trumpet playing as well, the room was pretty full which was great for a Monday night, there was a vibe, something building. Nice.

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At break I met with members of the audience.

You know when you “know”? You meet people and you “know” it’s either good or bad, you know whether the person “wants” something from you or is just being real. When I play sometimes people get taken by the energy, they are moved. Some will be very shy about it, some are just open and excited, some try to hang on to you.

I met with Mr X. I will not say more about this. Immediately, I feel a strong desire to escape. There is nothing fundamentally bad or wrong it’s just that I know this is not honest, or real. Within seconds there are talks of recordings and too much honey. I have the perfect excuse that I need to tune my baglama to escape the slide in the funnel.

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We played the second set, things degrade some on stage, when one member of the band obviously is not in the game anymore and is simply rude. The show ends, Mister X wants to go eat, and would I come along? Hmgn…. come to the rescue my friends Maryam, Felix, Meron, Hakan. We will all go eat soup together, that is ok with me.

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We eat, it’s a long narrow table, Maryam sits next to me, Meron across from me. I really love those guys… people start to leave. I end up talking with Mr X. I realize that he’s already “producing” a project with me in it. It is not sounding right to me. They’re talking about mixing this and that style of music, get arrangers to arrange things and so on, they’re talking as if we already are some sort of band, of unit… as if this was something… I spoke up:

“This “project”, is a baby! Actually, it’s not even born, it’s not even a “thing” yet. Tonight was an experiment… We played together for the first time and I’m not even sure I’m OK with what happened.

Protestations came: “no, no, it was great…”

“it wasn’t great. There were some very nice moments, but this is not what I want to do…”

“We can get “people” to work… make an album, the producer’s role is to take all these elements and make a product out of it.” he says.

Hmgnnnn…. this is so far away from what I envision…

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The conversation went on. Blah, blah, blah… I see the hungry look in the eyes of the musician sitting across from me, I see the calculating mind of the man sitting next to me. I sit here and I realize that this guy has no idea of who I am, what I know, if I’ve done anything or not. It is really interesting sometimes to see how a person will disregard completely what is in front of them while they make massive constructions in their minds as to what is needed and wanted. In essence: zero communication.

They talk about constructing something and finally I said:

“I tried to be a classical guitarist and I couldn’t be that. I tried to be a jazz guitarist and I couldn’t be that. I tried to play music in bars and be an entertainer and I couldn’t be that. With music all I can do, the only thing I can do really well, is to be me. I came to Turkey to learn, not to make a generic pop album of some kind…. or looking for some sort of fame… I do not want this sort of thing. I am not ready for the studio. I am learning now. The songs will come, but they are not here yet.

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To that, the response to my words was first a “No you are great” as if what I said was demeaning to myself. to that I replied that it’s not about being good or not it is about being on a path, on a journey. Then came the kicker:

“Well, you are beautiful… but where you come from there are lots of people like you (a dime a dozen would have been the north American equivalent) … You are good on stage, you move well but you need to have something that separates you from the rest. Lady Gaga…” that sentence ended in a chorus of other meaningless words…

“You could show some leg….”

Show some leg… Dude… really?

I see it all. I am very calm if not a little bit bored… But something magnificent is happening here for me. I am finally in full knowing of what I am, what I want, what is real to me and in full possession of my self determinism.

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In the past I would have felt obligated to say yes, to bend, to try to please. Wondering, should I hope? Questionning. I would have felt a doubt as to my own choices, a kind of “maybe this man knows better… maybe it is something I must hang on to… maybe, maybe, maybe…” I got myself into so many situations where I had to live with the consequences of having doubted… Now, my position is very clear to me.

“I’ve become very strong.” is what came to me a few hours lying in bed as I was thinking about the night. I felt a burst of incredible energy in my heart.

A few days ago I had had a very intense conversation with Bartin, yeah, Bartin again… it was about honesty, about not zig zagging your way in and out of situations trying to please whoever is in front of you… It had shocked me as he did expose something I had done. I had done it without even realizing it. First I denied, then I went “holy shit…” I had thought and thought about it. Honesty. Beautiful, ugly, lame or stupid you owe it to yourself to tell it like it is. To say no. To say what you think, do what you want and believe in.

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Standing for myself, without getting angry or scared or without playing the victim, with clarity and without doubts. Standing in peace.

I am on a learning journey where I am fine with having nothing, living with little possessions. I am on a journey where truth is the goal. Where the beauty of a day is shaped by the faces of my brothers and sisters around me. Where the beauty of the life, the seasons, the colors, the shapes of the places I am in touch me deeply. I do not believe in lack, in need, in loneliness, all is there right within. There is no owning, there is no protecting, there is no conquering. There is this beautiful maze of paths that we criss and cross, the beings we meet who gift their essence to us.

Last night was revelatory. I felt almost as if I was detaching from everything rising, flying gently, in a moment nothing had any hold on me. I understand Mr X. What he does, what he imagines. I know his world. I understand the musician who was rude. It is all truly OK. It does not matter. Nothing does actually, there are no stakes, no odds.

Last night was a graduation of sorts. I was able to be. I was truly an electron. Life is incredible.

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2 Responses to “graduation”

  1. Danielle Liard Says:

    Well, all I can truly say is, it’s about time! 😉

    Love to you

    Danielle

  2. David Says:

    Freedom, enlightenment and alive.


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