Ahmet Kadri Rizeli is a virtuiso of the kemenche, a rather small instrument with a big dynamic range. When I was in Istanbul for the recording of Ugur's ADR, I searched for musicians to record the soundtrack to the film. I had specific music in mind, namely Gnossienne by Erik Satie, and wanted to use middle eastern instruments to record different variations to this piece. I talked to numerous very talented musicians but they never heard of Erik Satie- that is until I met Ahmet. When I mentioned Erik Satie's name as a starting point for the soundtrack, he gave me a smile. He asked me which piece by Satie?, startled, I said Gnossienne, this time his eyes lid up. It turned out that he did a recording of Gnossienne few years back with his kemenche. Then my mouth dropped, I couldn't believe my luck, meeting someone that was obviously a perfect fit. When both of our facial features went back to normal, we set a date to do a trial session with other musicians while watching the film on tape. The opening music to the film is an improvisation on kemenche and was not a part of Erik Satie music. The second long piece of kemenche music that we used in the film is when the student is riding in the jeep on his way to Zama. This is a kemenche version of the famous music by Erik Satie called Gnossienne. It was scored for piano by Satie but due to its minimalist nature, almost any instrument can play it with wonderful results.
A good example of this variation comes at the end of the film during the rolling credits when Ugur Isik used the classic middle eastern instrument called 'oud', to give us the wonderful variation on Gnossienne. I love this instrument because of its melancholy sound and its grandfather to such instruments as saz, bouziki, baglama. Ugur Isik also played the cello for the soundtrack.
Safinaz Rizeli is the sister of Ahmet and she is playing a very complicated instrument called 'kanun'. It has some 80 strings. It sounds and looks like the harp, except that its horizontal. She did a variation of the Gnossienne on kanun which is not used in the film but it is in the film's soundtack CD. The range on this instrument is simply amazing, you have to listen to the Gnossienne piece to appreciate what it can do.
Fahrettin Yanki brought this gadget to the studio when I mentioned that I needed really off-beat sound for a birth scene. He was the groups percussionist and did a wonderful job with his dumbek playing, which starts most of the Gnossienne variations. I forgot what he called this gadget but it was a weird contraption of a metal wire sticking out from a drum. All he did was to pick up this wire (as seen in the picture) and drop it, resulting in an hollowing sound effect that would have required hours of sound designing work to create. Needless to say it was used in more places than the birth scene.