The story of our meeting is not so different from many other meetings between musicians in the
rather small world of improvised music. In October 2009 I travelled from Israel to Istanbul.
Curious to connect with like-minded improvisers, I contacted Korhan, a founding member of
Turkey's pioneering free improvisation group, Islak Kopek. Korhan arranged for us to meet with
Kevin, the group's American-born cellist.
We played in a little studio in Galata, an ancient neighbourhood that has been home to many
shifting communities over nearly two thousand years of Istanbul's cosmopolitan history. As a
result of this we decided to form a project that eventually resulted in a tour of Israel and a
As it happened, our tour began in June 2010, just a few days after the May 31 raid on a
Gaza-bound flotilla in which nine Turkish citizens were killed by the Israeli military. The incident
marked a new low point in diplomatie relations between Turkey and Israel. We were once again
reminded of the bluntness of politics and the fragility of the human condition. Korhan and
Kevin's arrivai in Israel took on another layer of significance.
Our tour coincided with a heat wave, too. We saw cars stopped by the side of the road, unable
to cope with the heat. In Jerusalem, a hundred thousand ultra-Orthodox Jews took to the
streets to protest a Supreme Court decision that ruled against ethnie discrimination in one of
their schools. Weather, politics, religion; it seemed that nothing would ever cool down. We
pushed on through Tel Aviv and Haifa, and finished a week later in Jaffa, where we recorded
Aline was drawn from our first meeting in Istanbul to our last days in Jaffa. While we recorded,
this line hovered in the air, connecting our individual histories with a multitude of histories of
confrontation, resistance, and co-existence. The music we made together wasn't political per
se, but it opened a path for an international dialogue different from the one that was going on
around us. Music travels to places diplomacy cannot. In ways audible and inaudible, these
histories add another dimension to our sounds.
Tel Aviv, February 2012