I composed the Chamber Symphony in 2015 and it is entirely inspired by Turkish music. This 20 minute-long composition dwells on the complexities of modern day Turkey as well as a certain introspection, where I attempt to convey the story with rhythm and time signatures. The time signature of the first movement is the 7/8 “devr-i hindi” which is widely used in Turkish music of old. The middle section of the first movement is much slower, inspired by classical palace music in the hecaz makam and hints at a certain nostalgia for “old Istanbul”. However, the movement reverts back to and ends with the 7/8 archaic rhythm.
The second movement is calm and quiet and it is here that I particularly wanted to underline the need for romanticism in our age.
The final movement is a very fast-paced dance. It no longer exists, but Istanbul’s old gypsy neighbourhood of Sulukule housed places of dance and entertainment; and this final movement incorporates all the energetic and effervescent elements of Turkish-Romani music and is to be played in the Balkan style.