“This really is a wonderful CD… lots of variety and all the pieces are passionately realized. It was something of an eye-opener for me.”
-- Jeff Harington, Composer
“A fascinating recital of piano music by contemporary Turkish composers [...] Anybody who wants to explore new things should savor this.”
-- Leonard Link (Arthur S. Leonard)
“ [Listening to Istanbul is] a rich soundscape that includes an audio image of the frantic pace of rush hour in the nation’s capital, Istanbul, and a piece modeled after the traditional Turkish makams, or scales that use notes that fall between the conventional Western scales’ configuration of half steps.”
-- Harvard Gazette
“I am listening to Istanbul, intent, with my eyes closed.” This is how Orhan Veli, the great Turkish poet of the 20th century, began his most celebrated poem about Istanbul. What Veli heard more than half a century ago was a romanticized soundscape of the oriental city at the Bosphorus: the bells of water carriers, the busy sounds of the Grand Bazaar, pigeons in the yard of a mosque, fishing nets drawn out of the water, and banging hammers of workers in the docks.
Today, at the beginning of the 21st century, the Turkish pianist Seda Röder listens to Istanbul once more; intently, with open ears and eyes for an emerging new era. What she hears in 2010 while the city bears the title of the “Cultural Capital of Europe,” are captivating and exciting sounds of a new generation of Turkish composers. Filled with energy and innovative creative force, their music represents the vivid and quickly changing atmosphere that the melting pot of Turkey radiates into the world.
In an effort to introduce this unexplored world of Turkish contemporary music to a wider international audience, the pioneer of contemporary music and Associate at Harvard University Seda Röder has commissioned six works by the most important composers from Istanbul, which she will present to the world in a series of concerts in the United States, Great Britain, and Europe.