Alan Broadbent went over the first piece. In 10 minutes, the recording light was on and the recording had started. We wrapped up the first day by finishing the recording of six pieces in three hours. Everybody appreciated the talent and professionalism of Kağan and Ferit immensely. In this album, Ferit‘s swing and his mastery of his brushes were way above and beyond by my expectations. Kağan contributed significantly to the album with his confidence, intonation and his incredible solo in the piece I had composed for my late bass player friend Oğuz Durukan called “Storyteller”.
On the second day, Ernie Watts arrived at the studio two hours earlier than everyone. He warmed up his sax and finished his preparations. For the recording setup, he was situated on my right side. We played within each other’s eye sight. Ferit on the left, Kağan in front of Ferit, Ernie Watts on my right, the orchestra right in front of me, and Alan Broadbent facing everybody. In three hours, we finished the recording of the rest of the pieces. All in all, we had spent six hours for the recording of the 10 pieces including rehearsals! Andrew Dudman was a very experienced and incredible recording engineer. Mixing was completed the day after.
Final day, we met Andy Walter for mastering at the studios. We had chosen to work with Andy because of his previous works. With him, all the work proceeded like clockwork and I had the masters for the recording in the afternoon. Four days in London was enough to complete the recording, mixing and mastering.
We celebrated finishing the album that night at dinner. Meanwhile, we had heard about the volcano eruption in Iceland and how it was affecting London airspace during the mastering work at the studio. However, we didn’t worry too much about it. Kağan said “Don’t worry. It will be over by tomorrow and we will go home!” We had planned to return to Istanbul the day after the mastering. All in all, we had to stay in London for 4 extra days. All planes were grounded, no way out of London. We visited museums and enjoyed London sites, restaurants and streets. It came to a point where I was very frustrated with the uncertainty of the airports and flights, so we decided to drive to Paris in a van-like large car and take a flight out of Paris to Istanbul. However, when we landed off the ferry in Europe, we had to revise our plans again since French airports also were completely shut down. We drove down south, spent a night at Chamonix in the French Alps and continued onto Rome the next day. We were finally in Istanbul after two days of driving through Europe and taking a Turkish Airlines flight from Rome instead of London.
This recording taught me a lot of things about life. Despite all the difficulties, I lived some of the happiest days of my life with London Philharmonia Orchestra at the Abbey Road Studios with Alan Broadbent, Ernie Watts, Kağan Yıldız and Ferit Odman. Also, I feel very lucky to share those moments with Pınar and Nisan.
In this album, “Letter to Mimaroğlu” is dedicated to İlhan Mimaroğlu, “Storyteller” was composed for my dear friend Oğuz Durukan, and “Flashback” is in memory of my Dalmatian, Bebop (1995-2010).
Finally, I want to thank Alan Broadbent who conducted the orchestra like a dream and enchanted every one of us with his great musicality, gave me great pleasure to work with and made me feel intensely about music. Also, I want to extend my thanks and appreciation to Ernie Watts who contributed tremendously to the album with his melodies and solos. Finally, my special thanks for every member of the London Philharmonia orchestra for their musicality and interpretations.
All Compositions by Kerem Görsev
All arrangements by Kamil Özler