Learning more about Kimse Yok Mu
KYM provided a lot of assistance in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami, opening a camp in Banda Aceh, repairing a school, and providing rehabilitation services. They are most famous for their assistance in the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan; KYM was not only the first to respond to that disaster, but they provided the most aid. Twelve hundred KYM tents are still in use in Pakistan. Forty-five tons of aid were distributed, 10 new schools opened (each witha student capacity of 350), and a $4 million check delivered to Pervez Musharraf, among other things.
The staff at KYM seemed excited to partner with American musicians, and we are honored to work with them. They want us to do the soundtrack for a new documentary. They will also arrange numerous outreach concerts.
Most importantly, we will do a big benefit concert for KYM on Tuesday, June 26 in Balikesir, a six-hour drive from Istanbul. That concert will be conducted in conjunction with the musicians we met yesterday. Holding the concert outside Istanbul enables it to attract more attention, since Istanbul is one of the major world capitals.
After the meeting, we gave an outreach concert in a psychiatric ward. One of the doctors called his daughter, Eymen, who plays the kemencheh, a type of fiddle common to the music of this part of the world. She arrived in the nick of time, so Ashley, Robin, Eymen, and I played the Sirtuo prelude, a haunting piece of Turkish music. We alternated selections for the rest of the concert. I closed with a medley of the American "Bile Them Cabbages Down" and the Turkish "Sirtou Soltan Yekeh," and for an encore the four of us did a slow version of Lounga Nahawand.
One woman who knew English exclaimed, "I see two music cultures...different...but really...the same." That beautifully encapsulates what we are about, and I can only hope that the patients also appreciated it. Certainly, the doctors seemed grateful.