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Hoca Nasreddin

Hoca Nasreddin: Serkan Şener (kaval) Nikolai Galen (voice) Robert Reigle (tenor saxophone)

We see ourselves as musical nomads, spurred on by a wanderlust which makes us restless in familiar fields. The same spirit which holds that musical conventions need to be challenged and reinvented - out of which a different kind of music might emerge, one unfettered by predictability yet rich in musicality, one which resonates in the now. Our emphasis is on improvising with timbre, with texture, with the complexity, colour and nature of sound itself. Making working with timbre as essential to a modern notion of musicality as rhythm, melody and harmony. And making spontaneous, un-notated and un-notable composition a way of composition in its own right. The band formed in 2008 after saxophonist Robert Reigle and singer Nikolai Galen's previous free-improvising band Transsonance went into hibernation following the decamping to Ankara of the band's other half. The first members were Robert, Nikolai, saxophonist Duru Tuna and guitarist Turgut Erçetin. Then Duru left to pursue other projects. Then cellist Kevin Davis joined. In 2009 we recorded an album 'Headful of Birds' as a quartet. Then Turgut left to study in America and Kevin returned to America to teach. Then kavul player Serkan Şener joined and we became a trio. In 2011/12 we recorded the band's second album. As well as the recordings, we have given various concerts in Istanbul, sometimes working with dancers and guest musicians, and led workshops at MIAM (Istanbul Technical University's music department) and Borusan Müzik Evi.

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The Wire 12/2016 issue 394: Mike Barnes

Hoca Nasreddin “A Headful of Birds” Voice of Shade 2 x CD

Hoca Nasreddin's wholly improvised “A Headful of Birds” sessions were recorded over three days in Istanbul in May 2009 with saxophonist Robert Reigle - who Galen has played with the improvising group Transsonance and they were joined by Kevin Davis on cello and Destroyevski on guitar. The two CD's contain a total of 48 improvised tracks ranging from fragments of ideas under a minute long and to more expansive pieces of nearly 5 minutes. Galen edited and montaged these discrete peaces into a “meta composition” of edits, and as the group's playing can be pithy and terse, some a just a thought or a texture before the next one arrives

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