We have been to many legendary concerts in Istanbul. These concerts make us wonder about the backgrounds of these singers and bands. How did they get together, how were they discovered, how did they become legendary? Can there be street singers and players on the streets of Istanbul and at the metro stations who will be the next legends wanting to be discovered? Who are these people? Is it possible that they are waiting to be discovered? Why are they playing on the streets? Who has given them permission to sing and play? We decided to look into them and find out who they were and where they came from. In the end, we came up with the idea of “discovering the undiscovered” by taking a small but first step.
On a freezing March 2011 day, I and Ulaş Saruhan went to different metro stations. There were many players. There was a lady playing the violin at the Gayrettepe station and she was playing classical music. At the same station in the afternoon, there was a gentleman who played the accordion. He played the musicals and the classics of pop music. At the Taksim station we met a gentleman who played Turkish classical songs on the “kanun”. Then at Mecidiyeköy metro station entrance we met a young gentleman who played “sipsi” with so much joy that he radiated the pleasure of his music to the whole tunnel. These two gentlemen had a lot of money in their caps that were in front of them. That was enough for us to choose them. We wanted to announce them that this was going to be a small AdLab project but we had a worldwide online school newspaper and if they came to our school, we would publish their performances in our newspaper. We first needed to interview them and get some more details about them.
We had two short interviews with them. The gentleman who played “kanun” was very happy to be playing because he had a good audience. When we asked him about his background he said he studied music for four years at the Mimar Sinan conservatory and he has a brother who studies engineering at university. He was very proud about his brother and sounded a little sad about his life. He got excited about our project and he said he would be happy to visit our school for an interview and a presentation. We also noticed that many passer-bys were asking him the way to their destination as if he was the tunnel guide and a friend. The next gentleman who played the “ney” is a university student at Yıldız Technical University and had been playing the instrument for less than a year. He said he had been interested in street playing for a long time and wanted to try it out. His modesty, his cap in front of him and his bag which had the name of University of Oxford were interesting to watch. When we told them about our project they were very excited and wanted to be part of it.
After this experience we thought the two players could be playing classical Turkish music together or separately and be our most impressive ‘’undiscovered legends’’. We also plan to accompany them with our musical instruments and try out a jam session. We plan to get together one weekend, our music band, and improvise a playing session- on the street.
We will then have them over at the school to present their talents and their aspirations at leat to the few keen ears on our campus. Who knows, maybe we’ll be their passage to fame !