The rhythm of Gezi, the rhythms of my life

February 5, 2014

Last night we were treated to a premiere of Michaelangelo Severgnini and Güvenç Özgur’s documentary “The Rhythms of Gezi”

It took us back to the events at Gezi Park that took place last summer. The first date on the screen: May 28th 2013, that is the day I arrived here. As I watch the screen I can feel, recall everything that I lived then so vividly, the color of the light, the feeling in the streets… Back then I didn’t know any of the members of Sambistanbul but now I know a large number of them first hand.

I was so glad to hear the message conveyed by this film. So many times I wished to explain to my friends overseas what was going on here but I would be stopped by the already formed opinions generated by media and really, I could not find words other than “you’d have to have been here…”

I am so grateful, proud and happy for my two friends who created this. I will share it, as soon as there is some sort of link available… and I hope you watch it to get inside the minds, inside the spirit of what this was about for a large amount of people as it is such a different picture than what was painted by the media, this is what I felt, what I lived, the truth was on the streets, not in the medias.

***

Other than that, well…
to start, I have not used my computer at all much in these last two weeks, that means no blog, no email, no Facebook, so right now I have a bit of a back log of communications and “life” things to handle. I have been playing many shows and they have been really going well. Three venues now on a somewhat regular if unpredictable schedule. I am so grateful for Eren’s music. There are moments where instinct and exploration bring us to such exciting places musically, I end up with this big grin on my face or even burst out laughing on stage. There is much excitement in the air.

Last Monday at Karakedi I was asked if I would be interested in doing a performance video. Ibrahim, one of the owners of the place is a film maker. He has a song, shots and concept in mind. So, Sunday morning we are on.

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***

At Chillout things have been tense. I am not sure what I should do. I now am sick with a chest flu, was sick last week and that is always a sign that there is too much stress going on. Sometimes it’s just too much. Too many people, zero privacy, mind games and flaring tempers. Right now I am carrying on with what I promised to do, namely painting rooms, I started on room 12 yesterday. I need to resume my meditations… I have stopped a few weeks back… not finding the space or time to do it and without fail, if I stop those, my life turns into chaos, especially emotional chaos.

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***

I have had news of the Labyrinth, the music center in Greece where I was planning to go last summer for a baglama workshop but had postponed it. In April there will be another workshop. I will go. I am actually so very glad I did postpone this last year. It was wise. Right now I am taking weekly lessons and learning so much. I have been very disciplined and have practiced many hours daily. I think that since January I missed two days of practice. I am learning a technique called selpe, using the two hands on the neck, without pick, it is an ancient technique, Eddy Van Halen didn’t invent anything… I am also learning some fragments of Alevi music, I feel that my sound is getting stronger, my feel more convincing. It is interesting in the lessons how for some techniques I blaze through and then suddenly I will be a complete beginner with another technique as it is so foreign to what I know. Undoing habits is a tough thing.

***

Lately, many of my friends have written to me, telling me how much they miss me. “When are you coming back… You have roots here too… Miss you…” well my friends, I miss you all too. Forrest, Mona, Aaron, Asbjorn, Crystal, Chris, Madeleine, Hector, Erika, Steve, Sunny, Lynn, Liz, all of you I do miss. I do not know how long I will stay here. I came here to study baglama and it took that long to get things underway. Now I realize that this is correct. The time I took to get to the right teacher allowed me to feel and integrate this culture, the rhythms, the soul of this place. In turn this shows in the music I play. I never intended to perform my own music as much as I have. I actually debated before leaving if I should take my guitar with me at all… Now I am playing shows more than I have in years… it is taking a life of its own and I am following this development with curiosity. My songs are morphing into new forms and feels. My stage presence has also morphed into something new. So I am going along with these discoveries. I am starting to think that I should maybe look into studying more aspects of the music. If I can get my life together, maybe I can take some classes in rhythm, makams and such things. This makes me think that maybe I should stay longer. We will see. I want to organize a tour with Eren… in Europe… I need to find someone to book us a tour… anyone knows such a person? If so let me know.

***

OK, enough of this… I must go work then tonight there is a show. I hope I have a voice, I became sick with a cough two days ago, a flu that went directly in my lungs. It was astounding to me that I was able to sing Monday… When I am done here I’ll go buy some ginger and make my “voice potion” that I’ll drink before the show.

Love you all. Truly. The voyage continues. I am grateful.

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