Depth, eternity, infinity in music…
These are the basic and prominent features that come to mind when you think of Mircan Kaya. In all her work released following her first album Bizim Ninniler, she kept faithful to a music that was a blend of different languages, geographies, cultures and emotions. She has received comments filled with praise from the world’s leading music authorities for every one of her works.
The album INSULA, came to be as the result of a four year period of fermentation after her latest album Minor. Musicians from different countries participated in the creation of the mature, leisurely but decisive structure of the album. Among these musicians are the famous clarinet master Maarten Ornstein and oud player Mehmet Polat from the Netherlands, pianist Alcyona Mick and cellist Ivan Hussey from England, Cenk Erdoğan on the guitar, Merih Aşkın on guitars and vocals, Ceyda Pirali on the keyboard who has mixed the album, SKAIA on the vocals, Gürkan Ozkan on the percussion from Turkey.
The album provides a filmic, jazzy, and an occasionally improvised sound especially for those who like a simple, deep, eternal, and an organic acoustic musical structure. This musical structure that stands out on almost every album of Mircan Kaya has also become an attractive choice for movie directors.
The ten-piece album opens up with a Greek song performed by Maarten Ornstein's clarinet and Mircan's fascinating vocals. Then, Cenk Erdogan's guitar meets with the oud of Mehmet Polat for a sephardic lullaby called Durme, performed by Mircan and featuring her daughter SKAIA. Durme stretches out to an Azeri love song, and we lend our ears to an unusual performance of "Under the Moon Light" from the voice of Mircan in the accompaniment of Merih Aşkın's guitars. After the quiet Armenian lullaby Oror with Maarten Ornstein’s clarinets and Mehmet Polat’s oud, the Armenian folk dance piece Mombar comes in like a wave. What comes next is Intermission, like a conjunction put between songs as a breather for the listener: Mircan reads ancient Japanese sayings on the clarinets in English. After an Anatolian lullaby is performed in a jazzy, improvised and “ambient” demeanor, Mircan, in her own words, says “All our hearts are broken” while performing the song Insula. The Japanese lullaby which SKAIA sings in the beginning of the song Insula takes the listener on a long journey of consciousness accompanied by the uncanny beats of the percussion. In the track named after the Tibetan funeral ritual “Sky Burial”, the song at first rises with Mehmet Polat’s oud, Maarten Ornstein’s clarinets, and Ceyda Pirali’s piano keys along with Mircan's vocals. The eeriness only settles down with Mircan’s breath, representing the last breath leaving the human body. This deep journey comes to an end by the instrumental version of the Azeri love song “Under the Moonlight”, and as a finishing touch, Mircan reflects to us the sadness induced from the impossiblity of love, while at the same time, confirming her belief through her music that love is the essence of life.
Atesh Sonneborn, an executive of one of the world’s most respected foundations, the Smithsonian Institution, has commented on the album.
“Mircan Kaya is freed by her day job as an engineer to pursue her music with a singular vision. Her voice ranges from ethereal to gutsy, through pain and joy, always true to some deep and wise river of sound that flows through her to our ears. INSULA may be the deepest yet” - Atesh Sonneborn, Smithsonian