Monday, October 18, 2010

Dupnisa Cave

(Photo by Rob Pieh)
This weekend I went to the Dupnisa Cave, near Demirköy\vaguely near Kırklareli on the Bulgarian border. The cave has some kind of historical and linguistic relation to Dionysos, although I think some unsubstantiated writings of "ceremonies, including human-sacrifice" in the cave are a bit suspect.    I went with BÜMAK, my school's cave exploration club (and I think one of the very first in Turkey.) The 3.5 hour bus-ride became an (enjoyable) 6 hour ride  thanks to frequent stops and lively dancing in the center aisle of the bus. We made a rather surreal stop in a very empty and restful Kırklareli around 3 am to buy bread from a local bakery that had just opened for the morning. One sleepless local told be of a nearby town called Ceremi (Jeremy), but I haven't been able to find it on any map.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Baba Zula

Last night I went to hear Baba Zula, Turkey's top psychedelic Electro-Anatolian Bağalama band... It was interesting. The band, especially the lead player, was dressed as if they what looked like old Janissary "Mehter" costumes that had accumulated 100 years of dust in the attic of the musician's aunt's house. The highlight of the night was a song called "Pırasa," meaning "leek." The performance culminated in a single leek suspended from a fishing line that was lowered down to the stage. As it dangled, the band danced around it in various levels of seemingly drug-induced delirium. They sung directly to the leek, and perhaps the leek was singing back to them in a sense as well. While I didn't have the state-of-mind to understand what the leek was saying to them, luckily they translated through music. The song climaxed as the lead-player began to violently strike his instrument with the leek. The stage went dark, except for a spotlight on the leek, which was then raised back to the ceiling.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Istanbul Photos: Rain and Portraits

İstiklal Cd. Nostaljik Tram
İstiklal Cd. Nostaljik Tram

Turnacıbaşı Sokak: 1am
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