Recorded live at TivoliVredenburg, Grote Zaal (Utrecht, NL)
In 2010, when I was a curious and passionate student, I attended the International Cuneyd Orhon Kemenche Symposium. In the program, there was a duo (kemenche-cello) performance by Neva and Yelda Ozgen, the daughters of my artistic role model: grandmaster Ihsan Ozgen. Their performance and the intimately harmonious combination of the kemenche and cello, left a profound impression on me. Ever since that day I’ve dreamt of performing with a cello and creating music for this concept. With this idea in mind, I even prompted (maybe even insisted) my younger brother to be a cellist, who is currently a cello student at the Barenboim-Said Akademie in Berlin.
After completing an intense education on Ottoman-Turkish makam music in Istanbul, four years ago I moved to the Netherlands to explore and shape my musical direction. I participated in a large variety of projects, giving me the opportunity to perform with inspirational artists from many corners of the world.
After this period of musical exploration, I felt I was ready to embark on my dream duo: kemenche-cello. In my view, these two instruments are extremely complimentary and have the power to provide an all-encompassing musical expression. I started to search for a cello performer to create this dreamy soundscape. When I first encountered Maya, I was amazed by her creativity in exploring new ways of musical expression and the sheer power of her performance; her virtuosity on the cello, beautiful and lyrical voice, sophisticated composition skill. And of course, her charming presence on the stage…I immediately thought that I wouldn’t find anyone better to work on this dream project together. When I first approached her to start a project together, surprisingly, she told me that she had been thinking about reaching out to me with the same intention.
We quickly started to work on a repertoire together. Personally, I find combining a traditional and Western music instrument together in a harmonious way, instead of just showing our own musical styles, quite challenging. However, the magic happened! Once we started to work together, somehow, we found a way to even combine our sketch compositions with each other and they sounded like they were always meant to be together. Using our combined strengths, our repertoire takes its inspiration from the beauty of modality, the dynamic character of bowing and the rich world of rhythms. Beata in our first EP is a very good example of this collaboration.
Liner notes by Emine Bostancı