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Cicadas & Kitharas

by Berke Can Ozcan

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A few years ago I came by a book titled “Making Noise” by Hillel Schwartz. Last year when the pandemic began it felt like it was the right time to start exploring this heavy book. In the very beginning there it was, a myth about a cicada and a kithara which struck me deep at heart and let me start working on new music again.

“There was once, wrote Asclepius, a god-favored kithara player who had a string break during a contest of music and song; the Mighty one, listening in, caused a cicada to light upon the kithara and restore the song by keeping the space where the string had been”.

Life happened and my paths crossed with three guitar players that inspired me with their music while I was growing up. Serdar Ateşer (the creator of the mysterious album titled “Avdet Seyri” back in 1998), Sarp Maden (who had a quartet named after a local southwestern breeze, Lodos, which published a cassette i listened to maybe a thousand times as a teenager) and Erkan Oğur (the white haired wise man who touched my heart eversince i first heard his magical piece of music “Purple Mountains”).

I had visited Serdar in his studio on a cold December day and he was preparing the stove and a distant acapella coming out from the radio was setting the mood while we talked. I was recording for the memory of it, that’s how the track “1901 Burning Down” started. Sarp guided me and Elif, my partner in life, on a journey while we were looking for a new place to live near The Lycian Way in southwestern Turkey. That was when he contributed to the track “99 Underground Nymphs” and shaped it into something “alive”. He gave us the big bucket of yoghurt which we took from Kaş to Şirince where we met Erkan Oğur, had a feast together and then for two nights we improvised and talked a few words only. “1200 Years Ago” was the opening up of the second night’s improvisation. I wanted the track “Never Alone” to fit in there because it represented my emotions when the first curfew of pandemic was declared so I worked on the tracks for a few months more and that was it. Later, Elif finished it up with her beautiful art on the front and back covers of this EP that is titled “Cicadas & Kitharas”. Further behind the moon, the rocks and the green of the grass, the cicadas are singing endlessly, the abdominal drumming is the scent of the air above.

As Hillel Schwartz suggests; myths of creation and re-creation are sonic, whether cicada and kithara or boom, babble, brouhaha.

This music is an ode to “1901”, Serdar’s studio which was partially burnt down in fire last year. It’s a farewell to all the tapes full of good music that got burnt with it.


released June 24, 2021

Artwork by Elif Kayaman
Mixed by Mahmut Albulak and Berke Can Özcan
Produced by Berke Can Özcan


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Berke Can Ozcan İstanbul, Turkey

He began as a drummer. He has founded and killed many bands. He wrote music, sang, played the drums and many other instruments within a variety of projects, recorded and produced albums, travelled and received acclaim, but you know, everything keeps changing. ... more

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