We Were on TV!!!
On Thursday as my conversation group was starting, Bilge came in chuckling and said, “Sarah, I saw you on TV this morning!” Wow – I felt like a celebrity, even though I just was part of a group of woman who sang on a morning program here. It was fun to be on a real TV set, with the lights and cameras and microphones and random TV people everywhere. Here’s the story, and the link, if you want to jump directly to the show:
Last fall I joined a choir, called Dostluk Korosu (Friendship Chorus), a group of international women living in Ankara who mostly sing Turkish folk songs. It’s a fun way to learn more about the Turkish language and culture, as well as meet really great people from all over the world. The choir is linked to the Turkish American Association, which also provides English classes and conversation groups and sponsors various charities and scholarships in Ankara. I’m also the leader of one of the conversation groups.
At a lot of traditional Turkish restaurants, a band will go around the table and sing on request, a lot like the mariachi bands in Mexico. The difference is that here the diners at the table, and sometimes the whole restaurant, will join in the singing! Laurence Bridges, a Belgian living in Ankara, wanted to learn some of the songs so she could sing along as well. I met her on a trip to the Black Sea Region this summer, and was impressed with her ability to sing along with the Turks at the campfire. She told me about the choir and eventually I joined – now I just need to go back to a folk restaurant to test my spontaneous Turkish singing skills!
There are two kinds of Turkish traditional music – halk (folk) and sanat (art). Actually, there are probably way more, as the Turkish population includes thousands of tribes of people with unique traditions. Over time, though, most traditional music was divided into folk or art categories. We sing a mixture and occasionally throw in western songs for holidays like Christmas. I like the folk music better, as it’s usually fun and upbeat. Almost all of the Ottoman music is about love, or lost loves, and has a slightly sad tone. In fact, the majority of all the songs are love songs.
So, on Thursday, we did a concert on a Turkish women’s show, called Biz Bize, which translates to We Us, or something like that. The link is below. The show starts out with a psychiatrist (the lady with the fun blond hair), then a Turkish girl who sings American songs, and then us. In between the songs are some directors from the Turkish American Association talking about the organization’s program. The soloist is Suzey, another American who studied voice at Brigham Young and, apart from our director/pianist Hamde, is the singing strength of the choir. We have 3 Americans, a Turk, a Belgian, a Danish, a Bosnian, and an Italian women, along with our Turkish director, Hamde, who is a professional musician. There are a few more women from other countries in the choir who couldn’t make it on Thursday.
To watch us on the show, click the link below, then click on 07 Mart 2013. You’ll have to scroll to about halfway through (there’s no timer). And if you’re a mac user like me, you’ll have to download a plug-in to watch wmv files. Your browser should walk you through it.
I’m in the back on the left, near the piano. Amazingly, I wasn’t at all nervous to do the show. I think it’s due to the Navy training – once you have to explain complex physics principles to people who obviously know way more than you do, I guess singing a few songs is no big deal. Thanks, Navy.