Friends & Family, the latest album by Turkish percussionist Ayhan Sicimoglu.
Whoa boy. You know how you occasionally run into a piece of music that stops you in your tracks? It was like that for me the first time I heard Radio Tarifa, Inti Illimani or NovaLima.
Listening to MPR today, I heard a short piece about a Turkish percussionist who's a veteran of New York's salsa scene. His name is Ayhan Sicimoglu. Upon returning to Istanbul, he started cranking out a blend of music that brings together Latin and Turkish music. Actually, that's not an accurate description. It's more like he lays a base of solid Latin rhythm (Salsa, Merengue, Reggaeton) and weaves elements of Turkish instrumentation throughout (imagine a Turkish bagpipe, or Tulum, playing over a Carribean beat). I'm sure it's more complex and synthetic than that. Regardless, it's really worth a listen. My favorite so far is Reggaeturkaton, which takes Reggaeton to a level I never imagined. Not far behind is Esperare (the classic Te Esperare).
Listen to samples and download the album at Calabash Music.
Lima: the tourist version
I don't mean to knock this video, because it actually does give a fair view of the city through the eyes of someone who's taking a guided tour. Nothing wrong with that.
But contrast this with the traffic jam video I posted earlier. Same city, just different facets.
Traffic jam in Lima
One day this June, as Sophie and I were being chauffeured by my dear Tía Chabuca to downtown Lima, we got caught in a temporary traffic snarl, made worse by an ambulance trying to push through. In fact, you can hear the ambulance driver on his PA system urging other drivers to clear the way. Yeah, right.
Is it possible to pine for noise pollution? When I watch this, I long to feel the jolt of energy that only a city like Lima can provide.