Ismet Siral Creative Music Studio Istanbul 2006
But the defining moment of the festival and the truest tribute to Ismet's vision was when the two groups joined on stage for the finale. The enthusiastic crowd requested an encore, and after the group started playing there was a second of silence while the audience with bated breath realized that the international ensemble was playing a beautiful arrangement of Zeynebim, My Zeynep, one of the most loved Turkish folk-songs, one that Ismet taught everybody in Woodstock and that nobody forgot. This time Zeynep was not only the beauty of five Turkish villages around Sivas, but of five continents, a song of universal love carried through a world in dire need of it.
Orient and Occident meet on stage for the final concert
Despite several shortcomings on the organisational plan, perhaps inevitable for the first edition of a complex event of this kind in Istanbul, the 2006 inaugural edition of ISCMS was a major success as it demonstrated that now there are the people and the resources to make Ismet Siral's dream finally happen. I hope that more people and institutions will wake up to this idea, and that in 2007 the festival will not only happen again, but will expand according to plan with more courses, workshop and international visitors to the most fascinating of cities, Istanbul.
A deep thank you to the people at Argos who supported Dost's idea and to the angels that stepped in at the last minute to make things possible smoothing almost all angles: Göksin Ilicali, Nihan Altinok, Serap Cakil, Sumru Agiryürüyen, Onok Bozkurt, Ebru and all the others that gave their time and committment. To my Turkish readers I ask forgiveness because HTML is not happy with Turkish letters and I had to sacrifice ortography to readability.