September 4, 2005

I'm a turkey

I'd like to write more in my blog but all I want to write about is very personal, and largely I try to use this space to communicate ideas or imaginative stuff. Less introspection. I do so much of that that I am too sick of myself to add to my stack of shameless self-expression platforms. Plus, Jesus, the work! Busy, busy.

So. I'll talk music: my friend Suzanne, who lives in Turkey for work, sent me an album by Nazan Oncel (2 dots on the o -- my tablet can't do 'em).

I can't understand a word on the jacket except "Istanbul"... so I'm guessing she's Turkish. On one track I hear words like Mandela, Shalom, Van Gogh, and Beatles. God knows how all that adds up. I hear accordion, violin, flutes, rattles, electric bass, synthesizer, electric bass, hand drumming. Sampling. Guitar. Singing and rapping. Lots of dulcimer and its fabulous bent notes. The clarinet. At times what sounds like the whole strings section.

The music suggests so much, even to my uneducated ears. Striving, melancholy. Humour, sensuality. Something dangerous, I don't know, just lots of feelings. A sense of alertness.

On the cover, her eyes are lidded, lips pinched up at the corner ('tell me something I don't know, my dear' -type expression), in traditional garb of some sort that looks Mexican but I've exactly zero knowledge of Turkey, other than social/ military so maybe it's Turkish daily wear. Red flower on her head and lots of beads and lace. A very mature, self-assured look mixed with flirtation and something demure.

The music really swings. It's hard to describe music when you've got no reference points. I own maybe three or four albums from the middle east and south east, so no comparators (is that a word?). Oh I mean the songs have recognizable patterning of verses and choruses, and they're all that standard three-four minute length. She's the melody and the rest accompany. So it's not so different.

I haven't heard music that was truly different since going to see the Michael Snow Project. I got hysterical and had to go to the bathroom to calm town. Pie plates on piano strings. It doesn't sound so wild now.

I'm disappointed at how poorly I've described this Turkish album. It's good. To me. So. Oh well, I tried!

I was going to talk about my other find, saving the best for last - Songs from the Capeman by Paul Simon - but too tired. I spent the morning painting walls, afternoon hauling tree trunks out of the forest, the evening chainsawing them into split-able pieces.

I am happy to report that I did as much today as I ever could do physically. My left wrist is very tired is all, but it made it. Everything is waking up again through the pain of these months, getting back to work.

This morning I was suspended over a stairwell by three stacked boards, reaching up on tiptoes to paint edges. I'm scared of heights and my balance is terrible at the best of times. I'd had my arms above my shoulders for a long while. Everything hurt. I was thinking about sad stuff. Then I remembered that I could, instead, have been writing a report.



  1. isn't it funny how the act of remembering you could be workign in an office suddenly makes the shitty manual labour thingy you're doing so much LESS shitty?

    i've really noticed that myself!

  2. Lately I've been saying to myself, "Well, at least I don't have lepercy." Little comfort. I know. But it actually helps distract me sometimes.