Lonesome Blues on the Burgaz Island

Apr 23, 2016, 02:19 PM

Part of our Prison Songs project - see www.citiesandmemory.com/prisonsongs for full details.

Reimagined by Mehtap Caglar.

""While reimagining Lonesome Blues, giving the man singing some peace and freedom at least in his mind and dreams was my main intention. Vastness of the sea, seagulls, waves, children playing along the beach, a clear sky and a summer sun. I had all of them on a field record I did last summer on Burgaz Island, Istanbul and started working on the piece. Those were enough to make him feel free while making his music or doing the prison work, despite the bars around him. Or, so I thought.

Reaching a total freedom on a utopian island, or being held captive on one. Relaxing by the sea under generous and warming sun, or rotting due to high humidity. Being isolated, or being secluded. Walls, wars, borders, shores, fantasy islands, prison islands, refugee islands, ghettos, suburbs, gated communities, smart cities. But still...

LETTERS FROM A MAN IN SOLITARY 3. Sunday today. Today they took me out in the sun for the first time. And I just stood there, struck for the first time in my life by how far away the sky is, how blue and how wide. Then I respectfully sat down on the earth. I leaned back against the wall. For a moment no trap to fall into, no struggle, no freedom, no wife. Only earth, sun, and me... I am happy.

Nazim Hikmet - 1938

Trans. by Randy Blasing and Mutlu Konuk (1993)"