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Episode 16: Baris Kaya

Gonna try and keep this quick and brief. Which is always hard for me.

One of my least favorite things is moving. That is because one of my least favorite things is packing. I hate going through everything I own and taking it from the place that it is and putting it in a box. And then taking that box and moving it in a truck. To be truthful, I haven't moved since 2005. That's right, I've had the same apartment for ten years. That's how much I don't like moving.

So when I think about Baris Kaya and how he moved his entire life in his early 20s to America where he knew no one. He even left his guitar behind. I can't part with things that I haven't even touched or remembered that I own in years. I have magazines in a stack going back multiple years that I will never read or even reference again, but I will dutifully put them in a box and move them to my new house. Going back and listening to Baris and my conversation made me put a few things in perspective.

Baris is an incredibly creative musician who weaves into his music his many, many influences. These include the Turkish music of his youth, the American metal and hard rock of his teen years, and a folk styling that seems to be beyond any specific culture or place. His band Barakka is not simply "world music", which I've always found to be an insulting and grossly inaccurate term. Their music has the sounds and tones of the Middle East, sure. But it has a vibrant energy that's present in any culture's music that is made by people for pure enjoyment and merriment. You should see them play if you can. Everybody dances. Everybody.

Maybe it's time to get rid of a bunch of stuff that we don't need. That's not a metaphor for any kind of personal inventory where you get rid of anxieties or things that weigh you down. I'm speaking of actual objects. Sometimes we just drag things around from apartment to apartment, house to house, because we're afraid we'll forget something if we no longer have it. Which is absurd. And I know this. But then, why do I have so many boxes? Maybe it is a metaphor.

Side note: at the end of the episode, I play a track from The Naked Sun. They've got a new EP out called "Pickled Hearts". It's great roots music that tries some new things, never being satisfied with just going the way of "alt-Americana-rock" or whatever. Give it a listen and check them out, they've got a show on May 15th at Bourbon and Branch in Philadelphia.

Be well this week, enjoy my talk with Baris, and briefly consider what it would be like to uproot everything and move thousands of miles away. And think about what it would take to eventually be able to call that place home. Music can be a huge help in that.

Til next time,


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