30 Jun 2013

Uzun ince Bir Yoldayım

We uploaded a video of a Turkish folksong, Uzun İnce Bir Yoldayım (I'm On A Long Narrow Road) from previous concert in Izmir, Turkey. This is the first arrangement of a Turkish song for melodica & guitar. It might be rather surprise for us that we had not played Turkish music, considering for our big interest and love on the music.

The song, Uzun İnce Bir Yoldayım, is extremely popular in Turkey, has been continuously covered by many young musicians. The composer is Aşık Veysel Şatıroğlu, or just called as Aşık Veysel. Aşık, meaning 'one who is in love', is a minstrel or bard who traditionally travels with saz in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, and Iran. Veysel was born in a small village of the Şarkışla district, in central anatolia, in 1894. He was a blind musician lived in a time of a political and social upheaval—the fall of ottoman empire, founding of the Republic of Turkey, and a rapid modernisation in 20th century. (I overlap him a little with Miyagi Michio, a Japanese innovative koto player/composer. He was also blind, and coincidentally was born in the same year.)

The lyrics are full of metaphors and symbols, so it is difficult to translate into English (or Japanese). In the song, Veysel sings about his life, likening a narrow and long road which he enters "a door" and walks towards "another door"—the end, day and night.

Here are some photos taken when Ryusuke visited Veysel's village and home in 2010, looking for Veysel's trace.

Veysel's house


The tomb of Asık Veysel

27 Jun 2013

Pocket Penguin in Izmir, Turkey

Pocket penguin is now back in London from Izmir, Turkey, after finishing the concert and a performance in a private party. The modern and large city, Izmir had a fantastic weather during our stay. Far from raining, we saw absolute no cloud in such a profound blue sky. The temperature was twice or even three times more than London, so that was incapably hot for us!



And this is how the venue of the concert and the party look alike. The party was held outside of a restaurant in front of the Aegean sea—the sunset was very beautiful (çok güzel!).

The following was the programme for the concert.

Part 1

Johann Sebastian Bach: Cello Suite III, Jesus Bleibet Meine Freude

Ryusuke Koarashi: A Fragment of Dreams, 13th April

John Dowland: Frog Galliard, A Piece without Title

Part 2

Kazufumi Miyazawa: Shimauta

Kengyo Yatsuhashi: Rokudan no Shirabe

Aşık Veysel: Kara Toprak, Uzun Ince Bir Yoldayım

W.A.Mozart: La Majör Piyano Sonata No. 11 K331

Ryusuke Koarashi: Çok Güzeller

This time, notably, we tried to arrange some Turkish pieces as our new repertoire. Kara Toprak and Uzun ince Bir Yoldayım are very well known folk song among Turkish people—also our favourites, composed by a blind minstrel, A şık Veysel Şatıroğlu. We played Uzun ince Bir Yordayım in the party, too, and happily had generous comments from the guests.

We both have special interests in Turkey, Turkish culture, music, food, language etc. Ryusuke has been to Turkey every year since 2008, and also this was the third time for Ayumi. So having a performance in Turkey was a dream for us, and became true.

.....Here are some photos.


(Ryusuke bought an electric kettle for making Turkish tea and a new bağlama which is actually the third one for him.)

(Tasty Foods. The front one is "Kumru", a sandwich with ham, cheese and tomato. The back is jacket potato called "Kumpir".)


(Ayumi had her birthday during the stay, celebrated with our friend's family and their neighbourhood. The cake is a homemade by mother of our friend.)

(Izmir is not exception of protesting which has been expanded from Taksim square into all around Turkey. We witnessed that many residents in Izmir express their support for the protesters by putting flags of Kemal Atatürk orbanging pots or pans at night.)

(The high street at Karşıyaka. Photos of the victims of the protest and messages are sticked on the tree-like object surrounded by people.)

After the Concert, "Music for a while"

Date: 12th May (SUN) Time: 19:30~ Venue: East Finchley Methodist Church High Rd., London N2 8AJ (opp.Creighton Ave) Admission: Free Coll...