Avam Garde Trio
Gig Seeker Pro

Avam Garde Trio

İstanbul, Istanbul, Turkey | MAJOR

İstanbul, Istanbul, Turkey | MAJOR
Band World Avant-garde

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


Very few cities in the world can, like Istanbul, pretend to such a deep, clear and ancestral multicultural dimension. In the place where the Bosphorus enters the Sea of Marmara, many empires have left their mark since the ancient times. The Mongols, the Romans, the Arabs, the Ottomans, the Turks, the Greeks….have all helped create a historical and cultural mosaic, the result of an addition of languages, ethnic groups and cosmologies so powerful that it is still possible to perceive it today in its music, a fusion of oriental mysticism and Mediterranean sensuality which meets other western music styles.

From the desire to question and explore Turkey’s complex identity was born the Avam Garde Trio. The pun, Avam meaning Folk in Turk, shows the will to give tradition a new dimension. Fronted by Kemal Arslan, who plays a traditional stringed musical instrument called baglama, Avam Garde mix past and present effortlessly, organically and thoughtfully. This is the result of more than 3 years of maturing the project and recording in studio.

The beautiful melodies of Avam Garde, at times melancholic, at times passionate, use the electric baglama, some traditional instruments like the ney or the zuma, the clarinette, the darbuka, the cello and the fretless guitare. All these added to the bass of Bora Bekiroglu and the arrangements of Ugur Onatkut, the two other members of the trio, bring a subtle diversity which translate the spirit of today’s Istanbul.

After a self produced opus, Avram Garde has just released a first album with the label Kalan, the most prestigious in Turkey when it comes to traditional ethnic music. We hope to see them touring soon around the world but meanwhile we give you the opportunity to taste their colourful music on Groovalizacion Radio. - Radio Groovalizacion


Very few cities in the world can, like Istanbul, pretend to such a deep, clear and ancestral multicultural dimension. In the place where the Bosphorus enters the Sea of Marmara, many empires have left their mark since the ancient times. The Mongols, the Romans, the Arabs, the Ottomans, the Turks, the Greeks….have all helped create a historical and cultural mosaic, the result of an addition of languages, ethnic groups and cosmologies so powerful that it is still possible to perceive it today in its music, a fusion of oriental mysticism and Mediterranean sensuality which meets other western music styles.

From the desire to question and explore Turkey’s complex identity was born the Avam Garde Trio. The pun, Avam meaning Folk in Turk, shows the will to give tradition a new dimension. Fronted by Kemal Arslan, who plays a traditional stringed musical instrument called baglama, Avam Garde mix past and present effortlessly, organically and thoughtfully. This is the result of more than 3 years of maturing the project and recording in studio.

The beautiful melodies of Avam Garde, at times melancholic, at times passionate, use the electric baglama, some traditional instruments like the ney or the zuma, the clarinette, the darbuka, the cello and the fretless guitare. All these added to the bass of Bora Bekiroglu and the arrangements of Ugur Onatkut, the two other members of the trio, bring a subtle diversity which translate the spirit of today’s Istanbul.

After a self produced opus, Avram Garde has just released a first album with the label Kalan, the most prestigious in Turkey when it comes to traditional ethnic music. We hope to see them touring soon around the world but meanwhile we give you the opportunity to taste their colourful music on Groovalizacion Radio. - Radio Groovalizacion


26 February 2012 / ALI PEKTAS, ISTANBUL
Kemal Arslan, Bora Bekiroglu and Ugur Onatkut are three musicians who “do not try to cram music into certain shapes, who are spirited travelers and who search out harmony wherever they can.”
These three men have been drawn together by their similar feelings about making music, and their journey has involved taking much inspiration from traditional Turkish music, while adding it to the possibilities provided by more modern music.

The name they have given to their journey is the Avam Garde Trio.

The first album from the Avam Garde Trio came out recently under the Kalan Muzik label. Sunday’s Zaman had a chance to meet with group members and talk about their unique musical journey.

It would not be wrong to assert that these three men have been musicians since birth. Onatkut is a member of the group Yüksek Sadakat, the group that represented Turkey in the Eurovision Song Contest last year. Bekiroglu has played with this year’s Turkish Eurovision representative, musician Can Bonomo. And Arslan has been involved in a wide range of musical projects over the years.

Though it might appear from the outside that the Avam Garde Trio is a completely new group, the fact is the process of their creation actually goes back years. Both Arslan and Bekiroglu have been friends since university. They met in 1999 and worked on a number of projects together while members of the Sabanci University music club. One of these projects was the Avam Garde Orchestra, a creation of Arslan.

The various members of this orchestra began taking pieces of music they picked up from the central cultural pool of Istanbul, reinterpreting them in the process. They played many different pieces, some well-known, others not known at all, some even anonymous.

Here is how musician Arslan describes the birth of the actual Avam Garde Trio, which began to take shape in this atmosphere: “While working with the orchestra, sometimes we would hear music that we had never encountered before that seemed like our music. And at that point, we began to question the borders that exist within music. What makes something our music? What are the borders? We are never actually able to get rid of borders. But we loosen them. This was sort of the driving spirit of the orchestra. In any case, what wound up coming about was this sort of unique musical climate. And it was from this that the Avam Garde Trio was born.”

As compositions began to flow forward, and as the two musicians were thinking about how to proceed, Onatkut knocked at the door of Bekiroglu. And from there, the three carried forth with their music, though in the absence of any particular roadmap or strict framework.

The group’s name might bring to mind the term “avant-garde,” and they do in fact take inspiration from this term, which refers to innovators at the helm of the arts. At the same time, the placement of the word “avam” (common) in their title should not fool listeners, for this group is anything but that.

“Determination and production are not so easy. This group has a troubled relationship with both the traditional and the modern. We are inspired by both, fed by both, but we transform both,” Arslan noted.

Here is how Arslan relates the group with the term “avam”: “This group takes its inspiration from local culture. The instrument we feature is the baglama. There is always a search for new music. But there is no strict framework. In the pursuit of a new synthesis, we would actually prefer to pursue melody through using our hands rather than trying to offer it up as some sort of theoretical product.”

Bekiroglu said the recent pieces done by the group are much different than the first pieces, and noted that sometimes one composition can even turn into two. “Our music goes off in pursuit of whatever the melody or tune wants, rather than trying to fit the music into any particular shape or form we have in our heads. There have been times when we have recorded the same song but in five different ways each time.”

Here is how Onatkut described the music made by Avam Garde: “This is Turkey’s music. When you allow yourself to be free and eliminate borders, this is what sort of music emerges. Based on the geography we inhabit, Turkey’s music really should be a synthesis. Avam Garde actually reminds me of myself.”

Arslan noted that all of the songs on this album have different stories to them, but the essential story is this: “Of course, because of what music essentially requires of people, we are in pursuit of a sort of harmony. But because of this, our work really has us dealing with disharmonies as well. With the thought in mind that renewal and rejuvenation can only happen when different things come into contact, we bring together completely different things. We do this in full awareness that the differences and clashes that arise from separation and uniqueness are at the same time the driving reason behind art. And we also know - Today's Zaman


26 February 2012 / ALI PEKTAS, ISTANBUL
Kemal Arslan, Bora Bekiroglu and Ugur Onatkut are three musicians who “do not try to cram music into certain shapes, who are spirited travelers and who search out harmony wherever they can.”
These three men have been drawn together by their similar feelings about making music, and their journey has involved taking much inspiration from traditional Turkish music, while adding it to the possibilities provided by more modern music.

The name they have given to their journey is the Avam Garde Trio.

The first album from the Avam Garde Trio came out recently under the Kalan Muzik label. Sunday’s Zaman had a chance to meet with group members and talk about their unique musical journey.

It would not be wrong to assert that these three men have been musicians since birth. Onatkut is a member of the group Yüksek Sadakat, the group that represented Turkey in the Eurovision Song Contest last year. Bekiroglu has played with this year’s Turkish Eurovision representative, musician Can Bonomo. And Arslan has been involved in a wide range of musical projects over the years.

Though it might appear from the outside that the Avam Garde Trio is a completely new group, the fact is the process of their creation actually goes back years. Both Arslan and Bekiroglu have been friends since university. They met in 1999 and worked on a number of projects together while members of the Sabanci University music club. One of these projects was the Avam Garde Orchestra, a creation of Arslan.

The various members of this orchestra began taking pieces of music they picked up from the central cultural pool of Istanbul, reinterpreting them in the process. They played many different pieces, some well-known, others not known at all, some even anonymous.

Here is how musician Arslan describes the birth of the actual Avam Garde Trio, which began to take shape in this atmosphere: “While working with the orchestra, sometimes we would hear music that we had never encountered before that seemed like our music. And at that point, we began to question the borders that exist within music. What makes something our music? What are the borders? We are never actually able to get rid of borders. But we loosen them. This was sort of the driving spirit of the orchestra. In any case, what wound up coming about was this sort of unique musical climate. And it was from this that the Avam Garde Trio was born.”

As compositions began to flow forward, and as the two musicians were thinking about how to proceed, Onatkut knocked at the door of Bekiroglu. And from there, the three carried forth with their music, though in the absence of any particular roadmap or strict framework.

The group’s name might bring to mind the term “avant-garde,” and they do in fact take inspiration from this term, which refers to innovators at the helm of the arts. At the same time, the placement of the word “avam” (common) in their title should not fool listeners, for this group is anything but that.

“Determination and production are not so easy. This group has a troubled relationship with both the traditional and the modern. We are inspired by both, fed by both, but we transform both,” Arslan noted.

Here is how Arslan relates the group with the term “avam”: “This group takes its inspiration from local culture. The instrument we feature is the baglama. There is always a search for new music. But there is no strict framework. In the pursuit of a new synthesis, we would actually prefer to pursue melody through using our hands rather than trying to offer it up as some sort of theoretical product.”

Bekiroglu said the recent pieces done by the group are much different than the first pieces, and noted that sometimes one composition can even turn into two. “Our music goes off in pursuit of whatever the melody or tune wants, rather than trying to fit the music into any particular shape or form we have in our heads. There have been times when we have recorded the same song but in five different ways each time.”

Here is how Onatkut described the music made by Avam Garde: “This is Turkey’s music. When you allow yourself to be free and eliminate borders, this is what sort of music emerges. Based on the geography we inhabit, Turkey’s music really should be a synthesis. Avam Garde actually reminds me of myself.”

Arslan noted that all of the songs on this album have different stories to them, but the essential story is this: “Of course, because of what music essentially requires of people, we are in pursuit of a sort of harmony. But because of this, our work really has us dealing with disharmonies as well. With the thought in mind that renewal and rejuvenation can only happen when different things come into contact, we bring together completely different things. We do this in full awareness that the differences and clashes that arise from separation and uniqueness are at the same time the driving reason behind art. And we also know - Today's Zaman


Discography

Streaming audio at http://www.last.fm/music/Avam+Garde+Trio

Debut album "Avam Garde Trio" from KALAN on October 2011

Photos

Bio

Avam Garde Trio is after the perfect blend of the melodies and rhythms of traditional Turkish music with modern electronic sound. Placing contemporary influences around a traditional core by weaving an intense and effective sound tapestry, Avam Garde Trio makes the meeting of these two worlds seem so inevitable and natural, which provides a convenient allegory for Turkey's quest for identity.

Named after the frets being tied around its neck, Baglama is the main folk instrument; and its place is so central that synonym of Baglama is Saz, Turkish for 'musical instrument', despite there are over 40 other folk instruments. It is also the first and yet only modernized instrument: Taking the form of electric baglama paves the way for boundaries between the classical and the folkloric become much more indistinct.

The founder of the band, Kemal Arslan, who is from Sivas, a middle Anatolian city renowned for being the homeland of the most eminent folk artists, composes all of the songs inspired by not only his gypsy roots which enables him to enrich his imagination by means of his musical journeys through various cultures, but also the city he lives in, Istanbul, the crossroads where Europe and Asia meet, a melange of all sorts of diversity...

Bora Bekiroglu (bass guitar) and Ugur Onatkut (keyboards) amalgamate his melodies with leading edge musical substructure and form cunnigly wrought pieces glittering with delicate ornamentation and incisive rhythmic style. Besides Kemal's baglama and wailing vocals, featuring instruments like ney, clarinet and zurna to exemplify typical Turkish sound and violin, cello and fretless guitar to bring new stylistic perspectives, they mingle a marvelously live dynamic with studio wizardry. As a result of this sublime fusion, at times poignant and mournful, at others uplifting, moving or euphoric pieces emerge, all of which have a visual, theatrical quality.

Band Members