[ Pokhara ]
On my first trip to Istanbul in October of 2012, I was wandering down Beyoğlu district’s most famous avenue, İstiklal, when I happened upon a trio of street musicians. They were not your usual variety of busker and they were killing it. One Turk, one Israeli of Iranian descent, and a Frenchman had an ever-growing crowd’s rapt attention. Including mine.
This little trio was Light in Babylon, purveying their musical wares in one of the world’s most complex and fascinating cities. As much as I enjoyed their roadside performance, I quickly forgot about them—one signal lost in the noise of a life just beginning.
Fast forward to today. I sit in my local “office” doing daily pre-Africa preparations, trying at any cost to drown out the heinous, evil, vile, canned elevator music they love to play in this particular establishment. (It’s so bad it’d make Pat Metheny beg to hear Kenny G.) As usual, I deploy my headphones in self-defense and at some point end up exchanging YouTube links with a friend online. As often happens, something in the “Up Next” feed catches my attention—three familiar musicians perched atop a dune in what I imagine must be the Sahara desert. Indeed it is, and indeed they are (familiar, that is): those three Buskers from Beyoğlu, aka Light in Babylon.
I click Play, and find myself…well, click the damn button and see for yourself, eh?
I hope you’ll enjoy this succinct musical bridge between the city I once loved beyond compare, and the continent whose mysteries I can’t yet fathom.
Peace, Love, and Balik Ekmek,