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Release date: 13.01.11
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Umut Çağlar, is a musician from Istanbul, Turkey, interested in improvised music in all the formats. One of his main projects is the band Konstrukt .

Konstrukt was founded to play improvised music in 2008. The lineup is Umut Çağlar (guitar), Korhan Futacı (saxophones), and two drum players, Korhan Argunden, and Ozun Usta also as percussionist. The band has already released several albums, recorded and performed with Peter Brötzmann, Marshall Allen ( Sun Ra Arkestra), Evan Parker, Jürg Solothurnmann, Eugene Chadbourne and the horn players of the dutch big band Bik Bent Braam...

Umut Çağlar is also the project manager and creator of re:konstrukt who has reached until now 45 releases.

Having the chance of collaborate with local and international musicians, Umut Çağlar promotes performances and recordings moving around from total noise to total improv concerts. In re:konstrukt they are open to all the venues while improv still there as the essence and principal axe of the music environment created by the combination of different backgrounds.


Interview with Umut Çağlar
Istanbul, 07.01.2011


About improvised music scene in Istanbul


Improvised music scene in Istanbul is very fresh actually. There were some personal attends or efforts by many musicans like in the beggining of 80's, or in the middle 90's. But the oldest band right now performing can be Islak Köpek (Wet dog) which is from 6 years ago by Korhan Erel, Şevket Akıncı, Volkan Terzioğlu and Volkan Ergen. And before that in the history of the turkish improvised music scene the first record recorded by a turkish musician is not recorded in Turkey, but in the USA by the famous painter Hüseyin Ertunç, who has lived in Los Angeles in that time, and he recorded with Phil Musra and Michael Cosmic a trio album which came out on, I don't remember the label. The album name was "Musiki", which means music in ottoman language, in 1974.

After that nothing happened in free jazz turkish scene, but, with the help of some free jazz artists who came for concerts like Albert Mangelsdorf (late 70's) and in the beginning of 80´s, Sun Ra Arkestra; people get use to this kind of avant-garde sounds and then, as i call, Murat Taner, who is also responsable and started me playing guitar in early 80`s and made connections with the music of Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane at a very earliest ages of mind. He has just came from the USA and tried to collect young musicians, his friends and collegues, and then I remember in 1989 we first performed a live free jazz performance in a big hall, and you know, it was like a disaster of the moment. We were very young. We were not actually very able to perform well our instruments.

After this there were many different kind of collaborations, like in the beginning of 90's with the band Zen who became Baba Zula later, or also like the band which i played Maximal Punch Effect with the saxofonist Bülent Tangay and Osman Özkan who plays trumpet. Also there was this guy, 2/5BZ aka Serhat Köksal; we were doing in that time some improvising sessions of avant-garde music... is hard to call it jazz... it was more kind of industrial, new wave... and we played for 6 to 8 hours most stuff in that sessions. A lot of musicians were there every week. But there are no records, there is no footage, there are not pictures from this events which let me to archive the evolution on this process.

The need to collect and archive let me found my own label. My first aim was to make and archive, then, as i said, this band, Islak Köpek came. There more in the free improv vein in general. Is hard to call free jazz, because we can tell that they play with the sensibility of a modern chamber orchestra. The instrumentation is two saxofonist players,, one guitar player and electronics and many times additional musicians, like cello or violin. After then, two years ago, in 2008 we founded Konstrukt with our collegues. The older drum player Korhan Argüden was on the concert in 1989, my first free jazz concert. In this two years we built a good acknowledgment by the help of internet. And we had the chance to performed in the biggest festival of Turkey. And there we have the chance to meet Evan Parker.


In Akbank Jazz Festival?


Yes, in Akbank Jazz Festival in 2009 and 2010. We performed live with Bik Bent Braam and Evan Parker . We also have the chance to make a recording with Marshall Allen the director of Sun Ra Arkestra . Little by little we try to built a scene. Now we can tell we have a pool of musicians, around 20 to 25 musicians in total. Some of them are very busy playing gigs outside Europe like Korhan Erel, Oguz Büyükberber and Selen Gülün... We try to collaborate in diferents formats to make recordings with people who visit Istanbul. I tried to release all this recordigns through re:konstrukt label. For this two years has been a nice collection of work.


There were three names that captured my atention before coming to Istanbul, we talked already about re:konstrukt label and konstruKt. Tell us now something about Melting Pot.


Melting Pot was the reflection of this collaborations wich led us to invite more people who was not involved in free improvisation or in re:konstrukt Label. Then we formed like several duos and trios with the musicians who were not already recorded with us... and a radio show host... AÇIK Radio of Istanbul, Yaprak Melike Uyar hosted this performances in the studio at the radio, and then we recorded all and we choosed the good ones and compiled a cd. We tried to release as a cd, but the cost were very high... then Yaprak wrote to the Wire Magazine and the Wire Magazine distributed this total format album to the online subscribers in 2010 in december issue.

It has been a good reaction from outside how do people also were interested in Istanbul anyway, because there was this cultural center of Europe in 2010. People were hearing about Istanbul so much around this time. People were not aware of something like this happening here. It helped a lot to recognize new works. And then when I started re:konstrukt label nights at Istanbul we evolved into the first event as Melting Pot. We played like forth quartets in all the night. It was an epic little happening. A kind of mini festival... Melting Pot history is like that... and it has become in a good challenge for all the musicians who are involved or not... together mixing their ideas.


Conversations between Umut Çağlar and Julian Bonequi





[ar016] RE:KONSTRUKT Istanbul




Promotional compilation curated by Umut Çağlar, manager and producer of Re:Konstrukt.
Pictures shared by re:konstruKt. Design by Aniana Heras. If you want to buy any release please contact: |

Special thanks to Umut Çağlar, re:konstruKt label, Korhan Argüden, Özün Usta, Limbo, KonstruKt, Giray Gurkal, Korhan Erel, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Sevket Akinci & Dirk Stromberg, Korhan Arguden, Burcin Elmas & Osman Ozkan, Oguz Buyukberber & Florent Merlet, Kevin Davis & Demirhan Baylan, Dom Minasi String Quartet, Volkan Terzioglu, Nilufer Akbayoglu & Amy Salsgiver, Selen Gülün, Mike Cooper & Chris Abrahams, Dilek Gokcen Acay, Islak Kopek, Erdem Helvacioglu, Sarp Keskiner & Ozun Usta, Mark O'Leary, Olavi Louhivuori & Teppo Hauta-Aho, Randiman Kakara Trio, Yuri Yaremchuk, Ilia Belorukov & Andrij Orel, Meczûp, Volkan Terzioglu, Alvari Lume, Blaise Siwula, Emre Kartari, Howard Curtis & John D'Earth, Jurg Solothurnmann, Dead Country, Eugene Chadbourne, Sarp Keskiner, Have You Seen My Bird?, Gary Hassay & Toshi Makihara, Ellen Christi, Cagri Erdem, Mike Hays & Ekin Cengizkan, Mauro Sambo, Korhan Futaci, Barlas Tan Özemek & Selim Saracoglu.