Turkfest 2011 Concert

Posted: October 20, 2011 in gigs

Since the Antik concert in METU spring festival 2001, I hadn’t tasted the thrill of performing live with a band. It turned out to be even better than I had remembered it.

The set contained a lot of pop and folk songs that were way out of my comfort zone. But I think that added to the thrill of the experience.

As in every live show, various unexpected technical difficulties manifested themselves. Like a guitar string not breaking but stretching to the point of uselessness, monitors having completely uneven sound etc. But the sound that was heard by the audience was really good, and the engineers there did a great job setting up a 7 piece band (with 4 additional performers coming in for one song) in around 15 minutes. I am very greatful to those guys.

I must also express my gratitude to my fellow band members. They made this challenging experience fun and fulfilling.
Baris (drums) for introducing me to the band and the great fills in “Cayir Cimen”
Berk (bass) for providing the backbone of the music and his performance on two of my favorite songs (Yaz Yaz and Bir Derdim Var)
Batu (keys and management) for the solo piano at the end of Uzun Ince, for patiently working with me while we reverse engineer the new songs and teaching me the old songs. Also managing the not so visible, but impactful management side of things
Mert (vocals, percussion) for being a kick ass male tenor with a bass color (my favorite type of male singing voice) with plenty of “majun*” skills and sharing his great energy in studio and on stage.
Asli (vocals) for her peaceful and welcoming attitude, her emotional performance on “Bu ask fazla sana”, her patience with Opeth and for connecting me with a fellow metal head Alper.
Gunes (vocals, flute) for her greatly fun attitude in studio, for her Jethro-like flute, for the better-than-Funda-Arar performance of Arap Saci and for the tattoo parlor suggestions.
Tamer (percussion) for rekindling the Turkish rhythm in me with his darbuka.

I would also like to send a final greet to my dear wife Seval and dear friend Simge for shooting many videos and photos from the event.

I am planning to write a more detailed “behind the scenes” post for my Turkfest experience. Check back soon.

*Majun (macun): an informal term used in Turkish music scene to refer to melodic embelishments in Middle Eastern scales.

  1. Batuhan Biyikoglu says:

    We said “welcome” too many times to you Bilgem – we are really happy to have you in the band, so it is now the time to say you are already an inevitable part of this band.. Do not forget to unclude yourself in the list above;
    Bilgem: for showing full responsibility, incredible music passion, chords, technique and applying the original where needed(amazing Bir Derdim Var), owning the band as much as any of us from the very first day, your calmness(with wild guitarist while playing) in studio.
    I learned a lot already working with you – we couldn’t do it without you, but this is just a beginning we will still do a lot all together..
    As a note, again thanks to Seval from me as well for the patience on last 3 weeks where we had to rehearse 2 nights a week for 6 hours in total.
    I appreciate all bands members endless support, hard work and patience for all this period and amazing concert as a triumph at the end!
    Batu B.

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