Istanbul is arguably one of the most fascinating cities of the world, in addition to being Turkey’s cultural centre. The rich history and pounding heart of the city have given Taksim Trio’s members inspiration to collaborate in a group that has made them the most virtuosic group in Turkey today.
Aytaç Doğan plays the quanun, a well-known oriental string instrument, and has performed for Arabian sheiks and with Turkish star musicians. His style has a solid base in Turkish tradition, but he has distinguished himself amongst other performers for subtly drawing influence from jazz, blues and Gypsy music.
İsmail Tunçbilek handles the baglama, another string instrument resembling the Greek bouzouki. Ismail has spent much time with musicians from all parts of the Middle East, including Israel, and has travelled extensively in Southern Europe. New impulses from different corners of the world hav provided him new perspectives on both music and technique, and he gained many fans in Spain while performing there during his travels.
Hüsnü Şenlendirici plays the clarinet, and used to play in the band Laço Tayfa, winning international accolades for their collaboration with American outfit Brooklyn Funk Essentials in the early 2000s. Hüsnü later recorded a solo album, The Joy of Clarinet, which was well enough received in Turkey to stay on top of the pop charts for three months – unique for an instrumental album.
As a group, the three experienced musicians have specialised in improvising themes in Turkish and oriental music. Taksim is not only the name of the central, bustling square in Istanbul where demonstrations are currently being held; it is also a Turkish word for musical improvisation. Handling their instruments with stunning skill, the members of Taksim Trio switch between ambiences and traditions creating a mosaic that only the very city of Istanbul can match.
I collaboration with Norges Tyrkiske Ungdomsforening.
Text: Kristian Krogh-Sørensen