A recent swing through Istanbul airport gave the chance to browse the book/music stores, which in most modern airports is a soulless undertaking. Happily not so in Turkey’s bustling jetdrome. The shelves were heavy with all sorts of books in Turkish, English and several European languages. And the music selection was not a single naughty stand off in the corner somewhere. In addition to a few current global pop chart toppers (don’t ask me for names please, I couldn’t tell you any) there was a luxurious section of Turkish CDs of many stripes: classical, folk, gypsy, jazz, fusion, rock and vintage garage psych pop. Mixed in this selection like lumpy raisins in a fresh roll, were Greek, North African, Arabic and Jewish CDs.
I had an armful ready to go until I noticed the prices…in Euro! Gulp. They love music in Turkey that’s for sure, but airports are rip offs everywhere! A difficult self-talk session followed before a more painful culling exercise left me with but a few items. Today begins a short mini-series of Turkish music which I hope you will enjoy.
First up, is the clarinet of Hüsnü Şenlendirici. It’s been on auto repeat for three days now…and I love it more each day. Part bellydance sway, part mournful funeral band, part jazz, part swirling Turkish camp!
Hüsnü Şenlendirici was born in Bergama in 1976. He started playing clarinet at the age of five. He learned and experienced Aegean and Anatolian culture in his childhood. In 1990, he entered the Turkish Music State Conservatory at Istanbul Technical University, but discontinued. He began working beside percussionist Oktay Temiz, and participated in various festivals with the group “Magnetic Band”. Şenlendirici also joined his father and clarinetist Ergun Şenlendirici’s group “Laço”, and attended many important music festivals. Hüsnü has performed with various Turkish and foreign musicians, and has played not only Turkish music, but also Turkish pop and jazz music. In 1996, Şenlendirici founded “Laço Tayfa”, and released the album “In the Buzbag” with the Brooklyn Funk Essentials. He has given many concerts in Turkey and abroad as a soloist or a member of the group “Laço Tayfa”. In 2000, he released his first solo album “Bergama Gaydası” (Doublemoon and Traditional Crossroads). Within the project “Anadolu Güneşi”, which was organized by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Office of the Turkish Prime Ministry Publicity Fund in 2002, he accompanied the artists Kubat and Belkıs Akkale with a symphonic orchestra at the Lütfi Kırdar Congress and Exhibition Center. Şenlendirici has also performed for various TV dramas, films and commercial music. (http://www.turkishculture.org/whoiswho/husnu-senlendirici-2185.htm)
01 Oyun Havası (Dance Mood)
02 Çığ ( Avalanche)
04 Istanbul Istanbul olalı (Since Istanbul has been..)
05 Sina Nari
06 Leylim Ley
07 Bülbülüm Altın Kafeste (My golden-caged nightingale)
08 Kumsalda (On the shore)
09 Kimseye etmem şikayet (I won’t complain)
10 Tatlı dillim (Sweet Talker)
11 Dört Zeybek (Four Zeybek)