Performed in London in 2010 by the combined forces of the Brighton Early Music Festival, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and a chorus of over 250 children.
Turkish Songs for Children's Chorus and Orchestra was conceived in 1986 while I was living adjacent to a primary school in Istanbul, Turkey. The daily cries of children playing outdoors inspired the creation of an original song cycle based on Turkish nursery rhymes. The natural, musical rhythms of the Turkish language contributed to the ease of composing the music; it is designed for live or pre-recorded orchestra and children's chorus ages 10-16.
Turkish Songs for Children's Chorus and Orchestra is in 6 short movements and is approximately 20 minutes long. The orchestra opens the work with a viola solo that sets the mood; Movement 2--Bir Iki Uç (One Two Three)--is a fun counting song. Movement 3--Kis Baba(Father Winter)--is written in the Turkish Huzzam makam (mode) and captures the stillness of a snowy winter morning. Movement 4--Benim Turnam (My Crane)--reflects ancient reverence for the long-necked bird. Movement 5--Onki Donki is an energetic nonsense song which kids love singing. The final movement Anne (pronounced Ah-nay), is a poignant song for mother, from a poem by the Turkish poet F. Husnu Dag•larca. The work ends with a reflective moment presented by a solo bassoon.
Turkish Songs for Children's Chorus and Orchestra is a unique and dramatic composition; it can be performed with chorus and full live orchestra or chorus with a special pre-recorded orchestra on CD. The Turkish in this piece is very easy to learn and sing. To assist teaching the music and learning pronunciation, a rehearsal/performance CD includes vocal demonstrations and phrase by phrase drills of the text.