Review: You Can’t Get There From Here, Feriha Guney (Turkish)

Kim Sanders’in, Turk ve Balkan muzigine dayali parcalarin yer aldigi, “You can’t get there from here” Buradan oraya gidemezsin adini verdigi albumu, gercekte dunyanin ta oteki ucunda ki bizleri oralara goturebilen bir calisma.

Bunun nedenini belki de Kim Sanders’in, yasamin her ikliminde, her diliminde, ustelik dag tas, yagmur camur demeden, kimi zaman en ucuzundan otobuse veya trene atlayip, en ucuz otellerde kalarak, kimi zaman karanlik gecelerde bir tir soforunun insafina siginip uzun yollar katetmesine, ama en onemlisi, her seferinde gittigi ulkenin insanlarini yakindan tanimaya calismasinda aramak gerek.

Seker kamisi kesiciliginden kasapliga, belgesel yapimciligindan felsefe egitimine ve oradan profosyonel olarak muzikle ugrasmasina kadar uzanan donemde gitmedigi yer kalmamis Kim Sanders’in.

Turkiye ise en fazla gonul verdigi, en sik gittigi yerlerden biri olmus. Gidip Turk muzigi dersleri almis, Okay Temiz gibi unlu isimlerin pesine dusmus ders alabilmek icin. Ve Istanbul’da ara sokaklarda , artik unutulmaya yuz tutmus bir plakci dukkaninin vitrininde gorup dinleyince hayran kaldigi bir kasetin pesinden Luleburgaz yollarina dusmus. Sirf bu harika muzigi calani bulup ders alabilmek icin.

Kaseti cikaran firmanin verdigi yegane bilgi olan “galiba Luleburgaz’da yasiyor” cumlesinin pesine hic usenmeden dusen Sanders, sehre varir varmaz kahveleri dolasmaya baslamis. Kaseti gosterip soruyormus, bu adami taniyormusunuz diye. Cok gecmeden bir taniyan cikmis, ve gunler sonra Kamil Gul’u Kirklareli’nin bir koyunde bulmus.

O kadar ugrasmasina da degmis. Cunku diyor, ben cok tulum calan dinledim Bulgaristan’da Romanya’da. Ustelik onlar egitimde almislardi. Ama hic biri Kamil Gul gibi duygulari yansitmiyor, onun gibi hisli calamiyorlardi.

Bir sure orada kalip, Kamil Gul’den ders alan Sanders Avustralya ya geldikten sonra izini kaybetmis onun. Iki yil sonra tekrar Turkiye’ye gittiginde, yine uzun uzun arayip sorarak Kamil Gul’un kizini bulmus Istanbul’da. Ne yazikki Kamil gul 1 yil once olmus. Kim Sanders o gece Kamil Gul’un kizinin evine konuk olup, biraz rakidan sonra baslamis tulum calmaya. O an diyor sanki ben degil, Kamil Gul caliyordu benim araciligiumla. Goz yaslarimi tutamadim. Sander albumunde ki ikinci parcayi “Hepimiz deliyiz” adli parcayi, iste bu en cilgin, en iyi, en harikulade tulum calandi dedigi Kamil Gul’e adamis.

Onun Turk muzigine ilgisi, Saydney’de tanidigi bazi Turk muzisyenlerle baslamis. 1982 yilinda Turk Muzigi ve Guzel Sanatlar Akademisi’nin bir gecesinde, o yillarda calacak baska adam olmadiginda, zorla da olsa ilk kez eline zurnayi alip calmasi ile sevgisi iyice percinlenmis.

Kim Sanders’i etkileyenlerden bir baskasi da Okay Temiz olmus. Okay Temiz’in Isvec’te Isvec’li ve Turk sanatcilarla doldurdugu plakla ilgili bir yaziyi Kanada’da bir jaz magazin dergisinde okuyan Sanders, plagi en kisa zamanda elde edip , yapilan muzige bayilmis.

Ona gore Turk muziginin ritm ve makamlarinin pesine takilmamak cok guc. Sanders’in son calismasini elde etmek isteyenler kimzgaida@hotmail.com adresine yazabilirler.

– Feriha Guney (SBS Turkish programme presenter) (www.abhaber.com)

Review: Trance’n’Dancin, Stacy Meyn, Global Rhythm, Dec 2006

Australian composer/arranger Kim Sanders has traversed the globe for over two decades, assembling a CV resembling a patchwork quilt (cane-cutter, “meatworks labourer”, documentary film researcher) in the process. He’s performed in some unusual global hot spots, including Senegal, the Balkans, China and Indonesia – basically every continent except Antarctica, and that might be next. Sanders’ instrumental abilities are broad: Macedonian, Turkish and Bulgarian gaidas (bagpipes), Bulgarian and Turkish kavals (wooden flutes), saluang (Sumatran flute), furulya Hungarian flute), ney (Turkish flute), tenor saxophone, tin whistle, drums, percussion and a host of other ethnic instruments. On his latest etherial romp, Trance’n’Dancin, Sanders features the ney, gaidas and…Hammond organ.  Pal Peter Kennard helps out on bendir (frame drum), darabukka and megabukka (Middle-Eastern drums), riq (Egyptian tambourine), surdo (Brazillian bass drum) zills (finger cymbals, wood-blocks, harmonium, keyboards, gong-on-a-mattress and…”dried budgies”. Trance’n’Dancin is primarily Turkish music, opening with a beloved makam (important note joining a tetra- and penta-chord). Other songs range from straight-up bop to Dervish trance tunes.  The album tries to inspire the titular actions in listeners, and succeeds.

– Stacy Meyn, Global Rhythm, (U.S.)Dec 06 (www.globalrhythm.net)

Review: Trance’n’Dancin, Oonagh Sherrard, Indie Cds, 2006

The album opens with Saba Taksim. The taksim being the opening section of a piece of music usually improvised, which introduces the mood of the piece and its tonality – in this case the scale or Makam is Saba, which Sanders describes as ‘strange and beautiful’ – an apt description. It’s a sublime, haunting and spacious start to the album – transcendental. Sanders is playing ney (Turkish flute) with a simple drone, which also sounds like a ney loop. From here we move into the main body of the piece, the composition Saba Saz Semaisa also on ney, this is dervish music from Turkey by Celebi Murad, arranged by Sanders and Kennard. Kennard joins the frey,
perhaps on daf, the Sufi’s traditional frame drum of choice. Track 3 Kimizi Gul is a steady paced introduction to the more dancey numbers, a more sensual and earthy sound. Sanders is playing a reed instrument, perhaps
aardvark, a kind of bagpipes, or mey (double reed instrument). The track remains focused on its steady pace, with wandering traditional melody arranged by Sanders and Kennard. The pace picks up again with track 4 Tamzara. Kennard gives us a very funky rhythm supporting Sanders beautiful light and playful melody on flute, sitting on a harmonium drone. The cover notes don’t give away what instruments are featured in each track, but they do share the time signatures – this one is in 9/4.

Track 5 Solitary Circumambulation is the original composition for Hammond and Gaida – Bulgarian Bagpipe, with Kennard on surdo. The gaida holds the tune throughout, with some flute doubling. I would have liked to hear the Hammond break into a solo, from its bass/rhythm ostinato. We are treated to three more taksims on the album, the next track being Kaval Taksim then Beyati Taksim both on ney and then Soporific Taksim. They are all haunting and beautiful, particularly the last. The album is a beautifully shaped journey from the spacious taksims to fast and upbeat dance tunes, such as the Arabic Ah Ya Zane or Turkish Gidemem Siraza Ben steadier grooves like Yuksek, Yuksek Teperlere, and the occasional jazz influence underlying very traditional sounding melodies in tracks like Impossible Dreams of Sonia. Closing with a magical traditional Turkish lullaby Bebek.  Sanders has spent years studying the music of Turkey and the Balkans and his passion and skill for this music are clearly evident in this superb album. If you’re interested in the music of Eastern Europe or the Middle East, you should get this album.

–  Oonagh Sherrard, 2006,  for indie-cds.com website (www.indie-cds.com)

Review: Trance’n’Dancin, Dush Perera, Jazz’n’Blues, January 2006

Given the jazz provenance of Kim Sanders, prior expectations that this is a jazz album may be justified. A few minutes listening to this CD however, will quickly put such suppositions to rest. From the very first track, the dominant flavour is clearly not just Middle Eastern but very particular strands within the complex heritage of Middle Eastern music and Balkan music.
A major part of this album is a modern interpretation of Traditional Mevlevi (Whirling Dervish) and Balkan dance music. Yet it loses none of the meditative and languid qualities of the original trance music, especially in the initial tracks, “Saba Saz Semaisi” and “Kimizi Gul”, but most apparent in Kim Sanders’ own composition “Saba Taksim”.
These pieces give way to the effervescence of “Solitary Circumambulation”, an acquired taste perhaps, being according to the liner notes, the world’s first composition for gaida, Hammond organ, and surdo, as well as the more buoyant “Kaval Taksim.” Yet, the real beauty of the album is the way that the bulk of the tracks achieve the near impossible feat of exuding a sound that is elegiac but at the same time spirited. The hauntingly beautiful “Gidemem Siraza ben” is almost heartrending in this technically masterful and emotionally uplifting intertwining of the plaintive with the exuberant. If there is a killer track in this album, this has to be it.
It is little wonder that the album announces itself as trance music-the listener is transported by this otherworldly music to a mysterious and rarefied atmosphere. Kim Sanders’ superb flute playing, with the Turkish ney and the Bulgarian wooden kaval goes a long way in creating the overarching mesmerising quality of this album.
Multi-instrumentalist Kim Sanders achieves total command over all his instruments and together with Peter Kennard has produced a masterful album which is an ideal vehicle for a breakthrough to a wider audience.

– Dush Perera, Jazz’n’Blues (Trance’n’Dancin was Jazz’n’BluesAlbum of the Month Jan 06)

Rating 4 stars (out of 5)

Review: Trance’n’Dancin, John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald, December 2005

There is a profound dignity about the expression of sadness in Turkish Music.With neither histrionics nor sentimentality, the sadness is distilled into beauty.

Kim Sanders has immersed himself in this culture for years and achieves an extraordinary sound on ney (Dervish flute) for the rubato improvisations on this gloriuos album. He is accompanied by percussionist Peter Kennard, whose realisations of the slowest tempos in tricky time signatures is a marvel of meditative concentration and execution.

The carefully devised programming slowly transports the listener into a progressively denser sound world, beginning with solo ney, then ney and percussion, then the fatter sound of another Turkish wind instrument, the double-reed mey, with hand-drums and bells.  By the tme they release the mounting tension with a 9/4 dance called Tamzara, you are ready to rise and join the party. A particular joy is the soulful Solitary Circumambulation for the unlikely combination of gaida (bagpipes) organ and percussion.

– John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald,Dec 5, 2005

Review: Trance’n’Dancin, Kuranda Seyit, Australia Fair, December 2005

Kim’s first album ‘You Cant Get There From Here’ was nominated for an ARIA in 2002 for Best World Music CD. Kim’s second album offers as much as the first with a nuance that is both soothing and sensual. The album features the sounds of the ney (Turkish flute), kaval, Bulgarian and Turkish gaidas (bagpipes) and his own inovation, the Aardvark.
Kim takes you on a journey. The Traditional sounds of the Sufi flute will touch the deeper moods of the soul.Don’t be afraid to engage with the rhythms and let down your defences so it can penetrate you deeper and lead you to new discoveries and travels.
Track 3 is my favourite, ‘Kirmizi Gul’. It is sorrowful yet uplifting and sets a mood of optimism.  It is a good track to write to or when the kids have gone out for the afternoon with dad and you’ve got some “me” time.
Tracks 4 and 7 are more upbeat and merry. But essentially, what stirs you throughout this album is the realisation that the breath is what brings you closer to God, that is the ‘ruh’ or the soul. Kim’s brand of music is based on the movement of breath and an inner connection to the mind and spirit.
The album is a must for world music conoisseurs and anyone who enjoys the world of Islam.

– Kuranda Seyit, Australia Fair, Dec 05

Kim Sanders and Friends, Side On Café, Sydney, November 14, 2002: Cooking up multicultural treats in a musical fantasy land

Some people’s idea of travel is to insulate themselves from the local culture, while others like to wallow in it. The former bounce from plane to hotel to tour bus to tourist attraction, perhaps rubbing shoulders with the “natives” in a market or, gulp, a restaurant.
The latter try to get to grips with everything from the public transport system to the food and even the language. The parallels with world music are obvious. Much of the output in this all-encompassing category suggests musicians having flirtations rather than love affairs. Or perhaps the metaphor should be food-based: Want instant Indian? Just add sitar. Instant Celtic? That will be a bodhran and a pint of Guinness.
Kim Sanders is a “wallower” who has immersed himself in the music of Bulgaria, Macedonia and Turkey, in particular. These cultures inform his vocabulary as an improviser and contribute instruments to his arsenal.
But because he is not a Bulgarian, Macedonian or Turk, and because he is an improvising artist, he then looks to cook these influences up in his own pot, and what comes to the boil is more home-made than homage.
The line-up of his band ensures this. Besides his own tenor saxophone, assorted flutes, bagpipes and double-reed instruments, he has the double-bass of Steve Elphick and the tablas of Bobby Singh. The band’s texture immediately heaves the pot into a kind of musical fantasy land. However much the bass throbbed and goat-skinned bagpipes wailed Balkan laments, however much the deft rhythms came in time signatures of 10/8 and 18/8, the very sound of the tablas drew us to an imaginary land in central Asia, perhaps colonised by eastern Europeans and keen on jazz.
This was offset somewhat when the trio was joined by Peter Kennard on tambourines and dhaf (a bodhran-like drum played with the hands). He helped pull the music west of Afghanistan again, but it remained a fascinating cultural tug of war.
I will never view animals in quite the same way after seeing Sanders’ inflated managerie of bagpipes. But it was the saxophone that most warmed the blood: a big, braying, honking beast of a thing that could unexpectedly whisper sweet nothings in your ear.

– John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald