1. Goodbye My Country
Was written by Umit to reflect his sorrow at leaving Turkey. He was at risk on three main levels: his Socialist leanings were essentially a death threat and his affiliation with some Kurdish groups which he refused to stop and over which he consequently ended up in gaol. He went to France as a refugee and has settled there in Toulouse. He works as a freelance musician and teacher at the local university.
2. The Village Party:
Was written by Ittai and came to him on a bus trip. He kept humming the tune to himself so he wouldn’t forget it and put it down as soon as he got home. He was in a ‘jolly mood’ on the bus and felt that the tune seemed to him to feel like a party somewhere in Morocco.
3. Gowend Relax:
Is of course one of those quaint Turkish/English plays on words. It’s a trad Kurdish melody that Umit picked up during his sojourns with the Turkish Kurdish community in Turkey.
Composed by Andy. During the time of this project Andy’s sister was taken to the critical stage of her terminal illness. Sorrow did its thing and produced this piece which he dedicated to her and which he has played for her. At the time of writing this she is lingering on in the final stages of her all too short life.
Mary-Rose passed away on November 13th, 2011. RIP
5. My Afternoon Jam
Was composed by Ittai during a session he had with oud player Doron Furman in Tel Aviv.
6. Agladikca (pronounced: Aah’la-dick-cha)
Trad Turkish composition. A song of sorrow and reconciliation and this is the signature for the band. Its lyrics were translated into Hebrew so there is a brother and sister rendition of this song from Umit in Turkish and Oshrat Fahima in Hebrew. It’s a beautiful song of unification of two beautiful languages and of respect and relationship in the face of international political conflict.
7. My Sin.
This one is personal for Ümit and apparently private!
8. Our End.
Which was originally going to be the first or last piece on the CD depending on our thinking at the time. Of course it transmogrified into a place in the middle of the album instead. This is characteristic of the collaborative process between the three members. Fluidity was the order of the day and in this whole process, which as you could understand was torturous at times due to the enormous complexity and number of pro tools sessions, audio and fade files going backwards and forwards, there was never once a sign of impatience within the band. A great relationship has been formed.
9. The Crane.
Reflecting the bird of peace. This piece features amongst other instruments the hybrid Chinese/Turkish zurna produced here in Australia by Linsey Pollak. It also features a guest spot by Australia’s own Comatone (Greg Seiler), a talented young techno musician based in the Blue Mountains and becoming renowned globally for his skill in both production and engineering of great musical works.
10. Bridge of Lives
Shows the different lives being expressed by each of us being bridged together in this piece of music that was introduced by Umit. He allowed the space for everyone to ‘speak’ to each other through their instruments. Bridge of Lives is exactly that and demonstrates Israeli, Armenian/Turk and Australo/Maltese transculturalism at its very best.
11. Three Persons Are Travelling
Was Umit’s name for this piece which he wanted to use demonstrating the nature of the journey we were taking together. It’s a jaunty journey and full of the excitement of the collaboration.
12. Dear Zahra Farag
Umit and Ittai kindly donated this song as a tribute to the memory of Andy’s good friend Zahra Farag who died following a long battle with breast cancer. Zahra was a Kurd from the North of Iraq who, with her husband and three children, escaped Saddam’s secret police and fled to neighbouring Iran and then back to Turkey and came to Australia as refugees. Zahra had raised her children and seen them grow and succeed. She then turned back to her beloved artwork and started a course at TAFE to further her skills. At the age of 53 she died just when her life was starting to flower. She glued the community together in the small Blue Mountains community in Hazelbrook. A celebration of her life was held and attended by so many people who knew and loved her that the local school hall overflowed. A special life indeed and a beautiful song featuring Maltese lyrics as well as those in Turkish.