Buoyant Black Sea dreams
As some of you already know, I just couldn’t stay away from Istanbul, he lured me back in like an unpredictable lover, maintaining his ground as my muse and master. I say 'master' because I keep on learning difficult lessons here and ‘he’ because my friend suggested Istanbul was a man, free-spirited, powerful and intoxicating. The image made me laugh. “How true”, I thought, “I’m hooked”.
So just a few days after arriving, I was called away to the East Black Sea coastal town of Arhavi, near Trabzon (border of Georgia). Friends of mine are working on a documentary/music project with some local kids there.
Part of my dream and vision is to create my own music project involving young people learning traditional folk music from older generations, and then exchanging these songs with other children. So this magical trip was a great opportunity and first step towards realizing this vision.
Check out this video of the children in Kapistona singing an old Laz folk song:
“Dere Beni Bogamaz” (translated below)
The brook can’t drown me
Shall I dive into the sea?
Now that there are two of you
Which one of you should I marry?
Or the local people spontaneously dancing in 5/8 rhythm to the wailing of the tulum (a bag pipe) in the village square. I am amazed at the similarities between Celtic and Black Sea cultures.
Apparently Celtic Civilisation used to spread from the Black Sea to NW Spain so my Arhavi 'Turkish/Muslim' friends could actually be direct descendants of the Celts. There's a redheaded young man in these photos that proves this theory.