Much of Nasreddin's actions can be described as illogical yet logical, rational yet irrational, bizarre yet normal, foolish yet sharp, and simple yet profound. What adds even further to his uniqueness is the way he gets across his messages in unconventional yet very effective methods in a profound simplicity.” Wikipedia
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.
A headful of birds
Nurtured by music’s grey matter, hatchlings emerge from bone domes, striking them with their claws, beaks and wings, making sounds which can't be transcribed into a silent and still medium like a score, only held lightly in suspension; flickering like the shadows of a flock wheeling through the twilight whose organising principle is the collective invention of birds; like the cells of a body whose knowledge is imbedded in its being, and which can't be disintegrated except by unbearable extinction. their nests are made of interwoven pathways hanging between the real and imaginary like rainbows where the precise placement of things is always, even when still, in movement - from tiny to great - before the patterns are disturbed and rearranged by collegiate beings fated to the disciplined disorder of imprecise repetition because the same things can never be repeated in quite the same way, not even once, except by nailing them to the bark of dead trees, and who but frozen souls would wish to do that. And beauty lies in organising disorganisation and vice versa because the only thing which might be said to be true - a word best used with considerable qualification - is movement which birds know as flight and musicians know as music.
released June 21, 2018
Hoca Nasreddin were Kevin Davis (cello), Destroyevski (electric guitar), Nikolai Galen (voice) and Robert Reigle (tenor saxophone)
recorded at Deneyevi, Istanbul, May 27th-29th, 2009
engineered by Ergin Özler
edited and montaged by Nikolai Galen
mixed and mastered by Dolf Planteijdt at The Mesdag Clinic, Amsterdam;
CD master by Zlaya at LOUD!, Amsterdam
photos and text by Nikolai Galen
artwork by Gülşah Soyluer, to whom special thanks
all improvisations by Kevin Davis, Destroyevski, Nikolai Galen and Robert Reigle
released by Voice of Shade, Jones Apartment daire 7, Dr. Mehmet Öz sokak 5, Cihangir, Istanbul 34433, Turkey; www.voiceofshade.net