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Freedom Street
for 3–5 violins

Work no. 249


    In early summer 2023, I had to move houses in Istanbul, and it proved to be a disastrous experience due to unexpected bureaucratic problems. It took me about two weeks to set up the utilities at my new apartment, and I had no electricity for more than a week; to top things off, I had to travel to the capital to do extra paperwork. Because of this, I had very little time or strength to work on music. Thus I had to use shortcuts. The three pieces I composed that month – Freedom Street, Dağılmanın Beyaz Organı, and A Call to Arms – all use a short snippet of a melody, which is then propagated throughout the voices using pitch and rhythm rotation.

    Freedom Street's title is a loose translation of the street I moved to, while the title A Call to Arms refers to militaristic street names in Cihangir (I think one of the most beautiful areas in Istanbul), where I lived before. In the piece, although individual notes gradually disappear until there is almost nothing for the performers to play except a single pitch, the pattern of crescendos and diminuendos survives intact through each section – I think I needed a make positive statement during a difficult time, and this certainly qualifies: core values and qualities which can't be touched by life's vicissitudes.

    Soon after I recovered from the move, I worked out a different way to do the same progression in music as here – one texture gradually overtaking the other – and used it in the long vibraphone solo 淮上早发, as well as its spiritual successor, an untitled vibraphone solo also composed after an old Chinese poem.

    Freedom Street – PDF score

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