“Dreamers” with Shirin Neshat

I do remember the first time I saw Shirin Neshat’s work at a gallery, a good ten years ago now.   I had just moved to Istanbul.  And I also remember being so emotionally moved.  I remember very vividly the power of those photographs. Veiled women, just their faces, sometimes only eyes, feet or hands showing, inscribed with Persian calligraphy and poetry.  The impact, the dominance, the political message was just so strong.  Her photographs so evocative. The visual language so powerful. And I remember watching on tv the commanding speech She gave at the Crystal Awards ceremony during the World … Continue reading “Dreamers” with Shirin Neshat

An evening remembering Qara Qarayev at the Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Hall

Whenever I am visiting a new city or country, attending a classical music concert or the opera is on my priority list.   Main reason is of course the therapeutic effect.  Music is my salvation and antidote to the fatigue of walking around, trying to absorb every single detail during my travels.  Those concerts are my secret gardens only I allow myself to enter.  I feel elevated.  And the music itself of course feels wonderfully soothing There is another reason. Attending a classic music concert or the opera opens the window to the cultural state of the city or the country.  I … Continue reading An evening remembering Qara Qarayev at the Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Hall

Fazıl Say’s Mesopotamia Symphony is beyond words

Music is no doubt a universal language and a very powerful at that. It has the potential to evoke a myriad emotions…comfort, solace, jubilance, bliss, joy, sorrow, misery, distress, anguish, grief, heartache and the feelings it stirs can go on and on…but above all it has the power to soothe and feed the soul. There are of course composers one feels closer to, perhaps because of the emotional impact they convey with their music, perhaps because their themes strike closer to heart, perhaps due to the historical context, perhaps due to choice of instruments, the familiarity of the melodies, perhaps … Continue reading Fazıl Say’s Mesopotamia Symphony is beyond words

A Rendez-Vous with Nana Mouskouri

Even though I do not remember the first time I heard a song by Nana Mouskouri, or which one it was for that matter, her folksy tunes have been traveling with me throughout my life – from way back when I was in primary school in the 70s, to my boarding school days in the 80s, to college in the early 90s and presently in my car CD collection touring Istanbul. Her multi-languaged repertoire has hence surpassed just being a name on album covers to becoming sountracks reminiscent of my life episodes, bringing into my mind a remark by the … Continue reading A Rendez-Vous with Nana Mouskouri