At turns romantic and elegant, vivacious and playful, the music of Çeşni Trio is grounded in the flavors (çeşniler) of Turkish makam music while remaining deeply personal and contemporary. The ensemble guides the listener from dove-tailing contemplative melodies to odd-metered tunes that throw caution to the wind. A well placed breath opens the ceiling, an evocative ornament opens the heart.
Stevig and Harrist first met in Istanbul in 2010. Back home in Boston, MA they found themselves playing and studying Ottoman art music together in Orkestra Marhaba. As an idea for a trio began to take hold, the group found a deep kinship with Pirozzolo and Çeşni Trio was born.
A modal music tradition, Türk sanat müziği (Turkish art music) developed in the urban areas of the Ottoman Empire and has a history of over 500 years. The tradition includes a wide range of repertoire, composers, and practitioners. Çeşni Trio draws from this great tradition and the more modern stylings of contemporary musician-composers such as Erkan Oğur, Ross Daly, Murat Aydemir, and Efrén López.
With a musical vision that is at once ethereal and grounded, Dolunay flirts with the soundscape of the ancient Ottomans, tracing its migration through Balkan villages, coaxing it across seas and oceans, and grafting it onto a Brooklyn-based backdrop.
The trio infuses classic and contemporary traditions with an urban grit that can only be found in New York City’s confluence of musical and cultural forces. With an array of original compositions offered alongside renditions of Turkish and Rumeli standards, the music of Dolunay (Turkish for “full moon”) offers listeners an escape from the press of city life. By the light of the moon, bits of the Rumeli soul mingle with the diverse musical and linguistic influences of members Eylem Basaldi, Adam Good, and Jenny Luna to create a sound world that is uniquely New York.
Since 2012, Dolunay has lured audiences with an approach to Turkish and Rumeli musical traditions that pays homage to the diverse musical roots of the Balkan region. Rumeli, a term encompassing the diverse landscapes of Southeastern Europe once under Ottoman influence, evokes a musical mosaic that is enriched by centuries of cultural encounters that traverse the boundary between East and West. Dolunay continues this tradition of musical alchemy as they share their unique interpretations of these works with modern audiences.