In the age of cheap conformity, computerized vacuity and gratuitous complication, meeting someone like Çiğdem Borucu symbolizes the proverbial inhalation of fresh air. For starters, she plays the piano with a strong belief in the firmness of her gesture, attention to the smallest resonant nuance and a responsible look at the past, not only in acoustic but also historical terms. Borucu is active in different artistic areas as a collaborator and provider of sounds; in fact, Silver Moon – her debut release – is practically divided into two parts. The first eight tracks, although significant per se, were devised to accompany silent footage from the late Ottoman era (circa 1890), whereas the segments in the second half complement dance and theatre performances.
Do not expect arcane messages and dispassionate sonorities: in Borucu’s music, clearly discernible elements are insightfully positioned in the aural landscape. The piano materials are redolent of suggestions of something long gone, at times unreachable even for the memory. The pleasure of hearing an accomplished performer play straightforward yet effective pieces is merged with the sense of inevitability elicited by the passage of time. The ensuing pensiveness may appeal to audiences acquainted with the enchanting secrets conveyed by Hans Joachim Roedelius’ older albums. But please, don’t take the latter sentence as a direct comparison: Borucu’s creativity is unquestionably more academically rooted.
The remaining compositions utilize various types of technique – from electronics and synthesis to field recordings – and involve other musicians helping Borucu to give shape to her visions. For example, “Earth” intersects male and female performers emitting diverse vocal utterances inside an abstract setting; it is followed by three short episodes characterized by mysterious accents of prepared pianos and poignant melodic snippets played by the clarinet.
It’s difficult to express everything one does and represents in the space of a single statement. The impression left by this opera prima is that of an artist who has much to say but is unwilling to let it all out immediately. The listeners are initially lulled, then seduced by a just-apparent simpleness which, in reality, contains the seeds of sonic plants destined to flourish in abundance of colors and scents. We will definitely be glad to witness the growth of those buds.