“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, Seda Röder has commissioned six works by the most important composers from Istanbul, which she presented to the world in a CD and a series of concerts in the United States, and Europe.
Listening to Istanbul was presented in;
USA, CCRMA at Stanford University (April 30, 2011)
USA, CNMAT at the University of California, Berkeley (April 28, 2011)
Turkey, Aksanat Beyoğlu, Istanbul (December 17, 2010)
USA, Goethe Institute in Boston (October 30, 2010)
USA, Curtiss Hall, Fine Arts Building, Chicago (October 9, 2010)