Andrew Downing & Güç Başar Gülle
Istanbul, 2013

is the Turkish word for ‘key’ and this project, not unlike the city of İstanbul Turkey, is like a doorway between East and West. Award winning Canadian musician and composer Andrew Downing has, for the last few years, been spending time in the great city of İstanbul absorbing the culture and the music. In the Spring of 2013 he was there studying centuries-old Ottoman/Turkish ‘Makam’ music and collaborating with ud (Turkish lute) player Güç Başar Gülle (with assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts). During his stay he happened to witness the ‘Gezi Park’ protests and subsequent violence that will change Turkey forever. These life-altering events inspired a series of compositions about the great city of İstanbul and its great mosaic of cultures, beliefs and people. The music combines East, West, old and new, and is styled after Makam music but with some Western performance sensibilities and forms. He recorded the music with Güç, kaval player Ömer Can Satır, percussionist/tabla player Gürkan Özkan and saxophonist Serhan Erkol.

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