4. Female Singers of Turkey
Presumably it was the work with Uzelli, and also the Ladies on Records project, which had prompted Sony Music Turkey to approach Ms Binicewicz with a collaboration proposal - a compilation of Turkish music written or performed by women. Called “Turkish Ladies. Female Singers from Turkey 1974 – 1988”, the project is an effort to bring into the limelight the work of Turkish women singers from the 60s, 70s and 80s, who, in Binicewicz’s opinion, have been, for the most part, “underappreciated and hardly known, even in Turkey”. The compilation, which is released this month on vinyl, CD and digital, features music from a broad selection of artists, from different social and cultural backgrounds. There are the representatives of the Gazino music scene, Yeşilcam movies, Arabesk and Fantezi, as well as Türku, folk and Alevi. One might hear while listening to the compilation various Turkish music styles, such as Oyun Havalari (Turkish Cypriot folk music), Arabesque, Türku, Uzun Hava, Türk Sanat, Alafranga, which are infused with Byzantine, Persian, Ottoman, Arab, Balkan and Gypsy influences. Furthermore, Binicewicz explains that “the songs are arranged in modern, innovative, sometimes edgy way. The selected tracks show a variety of influences - from classical Ottoman Türk Sanat Müziği, Argentinian tango, Spanish flamenco, Egyptian classical orchestras, traditional folk songs, worldwide popular disco, psychedelia and funk. All these styles were popular in Turkey, but they all sounded in a different, local way.”
Ms Binicewicz feels it is important to state that, in most cases, the songs on the compilation have been written and composed by men, and some of them are love stories of desperation, lost, or betrayal. Such is the opening song, “Bir Şans Daha Ver”, performed by Huri Sapan, including lyrics which roughly translate to “I beg you for one more chance, I'm crying my eyes out for one more chance”. The songs of Handan Kara (“Aşkım ve Gururum” - “Could never confess my words of love. Silenced my desire to ask you stay”) and Esmeray (“Ölmeden De Yaşamak” - “Will make no difference now. Living or dying without your love”) reflect the same line, to various degrees. Other songs which belong to Türku or folk genres may suggest more individual power for women in relationships and society, such as “Tut Kalbimi Tut”, by Nese Alkan or “Yanıyorum” by Gülden Karaböcek. Binicewicz feels that the songs by Alevi singers, such as “Ara Leyli” by Gül Sorgun and “Yıkılla Köyler” by Dilber Doğan, present perhaps “the most open and straightforward perspective on social and family issues”. Lyrics from “Ara Leyli” roughly translate to: “Pear tree has been pruned so that it won’t sprout again. I have been displaced from the village so that I won’t love again”, while “Yıkılla Köyler” says something like: “In my beautiful garden owls used to sing all the time. So, instead of roses only mustard leaves grew. So we ended up in this far away land. That town of Şavşık should fall apart. That town of Güneş should fall apart”.