Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Suleyman the Magnificent lies in his eternal retreat at The Suleymaniye Mosque, Istanbul...
His tomb is placed next to the gorgious Mosque complex he ordered to be built...

This complex includes the religous schools that gradually turned out to be
the first University of Turkey, namely Istanbul University,
known for its excellence in its social discipline and political approaches in the present Turkey...

This university's original door, though not as magnificent as the Stanford's,
opens to SuleymaniyeMosque and looks at the tomb of Suleyman theMagnificent.

If you visit Istanbul, make sure you stop by this corner of Istanbul...
The religous texts from Koran are written with splendid caligraphy in his tomb...

I do not know for sure whether these were chosen by himself
but they are chosen in full compliance with his personality I believe...

Bakara 255
They can not comprehend his knowledge anything more than He wishes-ARS.
(Onlarsa, Allahın dilediği kadarından başka,onun ilminden hiç bir şey anlayamazlar-Davudoğlu).

Bakara 256
There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error-Picthall.
(Dinde zorlama yoktur-Davudoglu).

Bakara 257
Allah helps the believers. He guides them through the darkness into the light-ARS.
(Allah iman edenlerin yardımcısıdır. Onları karanlıklardan aydınlığa çıkarır-Davudoglu)

El-En'am 104
You have received insights from your Rab.
Who ever sees with that benefits for himself,who ever not loses.
I am not your watch-keeper-ARS.
Size Rabbinizden, basiretler geldi.Artık kim görürse kendine, kim de körlük ederse kendi aleyhinedir.
Ben sizin üzerinize muhafız değilim-Davudoğlu).

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Je suis responsable de ma rose - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Mais j'en ai fait mon ami,
et il est maintenant unique au monde.

Adieu, dit le renard. Voici mon secret.
Il est tres simple: on ne voit bien qu'avec le coeur.
L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.

Les hommes ont oublie cette verite,dit le renard.
Mais tu ne dois pas l'oublier.
Tu deviens responsable pour toujoursde ce que tu as apprivoise.
Tu es responsable de ta rose...

Je suis responsable de ma rose...repeta le petit prince, afin de souvenir.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

All are invited but few are chosen

Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.

“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

“But when the King came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. Friend, ‘he asked, ‘how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless.

“The the King told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and ganshing of teeth.’

“For many are invited but few are chosen.”

Sunday, March 4, 2007


MENTAL RISKS IN THE MUSIC COMPOSITION PROCESS - presented at BİLKENT's Music conference at Istanbul in 2005

by Ali R+ SARAL

Abstract---This article will discuss the mental risks in the music composition process from the points of responsibility and psychology of creativity.

Today, many professions do not have a standard for training and educating its fellow workers about the risks of health they will face during their career. Currently, the student or the young professional is driven to the edge of its ability by incentives. If he/she can survive the fierce competition both he and the society wins. If he can not, he fails in health and goes down, and society tries to compensate with the insurance policies if available. At the end, society drives itself forward but at what expense?

An early warning system embedded in the professional education would not only give the individual the right to choose but also it would bring a flexibility to the system. If individuals had the possibility to choose to play a long term game rather than serve short term needs, they would have a better chance to be more successful personally and be more beneficial to the society.

What could be a profession's early warning system of health risks? Giving information, educating the individual before things get bad could give his instinctions an immense chance to make healthy-appropriate choices. Being informed could also reduce the pain at the most critical moment of the health problem, the first acute crisis. Can you imagine a person experiencing for the first time, hearing voices speaking to him from the radio, or on the street? If he new what hallucination is and if he were prepared, he would not get terrified...

Music composition is prone to psychological risks like any other creative profession [Jamison]. The composer has to hear sounds, melodies or even orchestral music in his/her mind. How will he describe his experience? From a spectrum of sensation to hallucination: here-and-now, re-centering, projection or stereotype, hallucination, inner image [McKim, p. 50].

In the preface of his book, The Paranoid Process, Meissner indicates that "the psychotic processes of much more primitive and disturbed patients was also identifiable in relatively healthy and far less maladapted human beings". He goes further to add " I saw that my patients and I were dealing with similar problems, utilizing our common human resources in attempts to define and resolve basic problems of human experience and existence from which none of us could escape" [Meissner, preface].

In my pristine article, you will be able to find some of the mental risks of the composer caused by the composition process such as ‘imagining moods’, working with different sensory modalities, extreme abstraction, designing large systems, issues of creativity, interaction with the environment and society.

In this presentation, I would like to focus on two of them related to creativity because of their facility to describe verbally.

Tizian’s picture ‘Bravo’ of 1520 describes a a killer or stealer holding a man from his cloth close to his neck from his back. The stealer holds his knife at his back down at his belt.
The blade of the knife can not be seen because it stays out of the frame of the picture. The name of the picture ‘bravo’ stands for skillfull stealer or killer in Italian. When one hesitates to draw conclusions, it is possible to believe that it may not be a killer because the knife cannot be seen.
The picture actually shows a man taking something from an other one standing in front of him and giving it back or down with his other hand…

What Tizian inspires me is a crucial aspect of human creativity. As a composer you have to take from your predecessors both by their teachings and studying their works. On the other hand you have to pass some to the people coming after you while building a strong castle for your own individuality. The knowledge of humanity, our reservoir is not endless. While knowledge creates more knowledge there is no rule that creation and consumption rates should be the same. Also the ambition to create effects the quality of the work created, sometimes with detrimental effects to the material used… During the composition process, the composer is faced with a conscientiousness dilemma, ‘Shall I steal this or leave it to others who will be at the right time for it?’ or ‘This is gorgious, shall I let it go, shall I pass it over?’

Michelengelo’s Pieta shows ‘the crucified Christ lying in his mother's lap’. I believe, the mother holds his son in such a feeling that, she comes to the grips with the reality of her son’s death. In fact she holds what she has created, her own work with the deep looks of appreciation and acception for the finiteness of it.

Through all his work the composer has to come to similar grips about his work, on how finite it is. Actually, this is a common problem between people that deal with Large Systems. There are articles on ‘When to stop testing’ in aviation or air traffic control systems. Also, even when these experts decide to stop testing, they always have the same look as Maria Magdelena… Regardless of the physical and real safety created, the creator has a special psychological mood at the end, similar to a mother holding her newly born child with an unrelenting question at her subconscious.

Sometimes a psychiatrist needs 2-3 years to understand his patient truly. While there are some broad categories or psychologic ilnesses, there are still many new developments in the identification of subgroups which may have specific curing approaches. Sometimes this may cause the doctors to use the upper limit of medicine doses, specially in acute cases as a remedy for the loss of time.

Anybody who is trying to become a successful composer should have him/herself checked at the beginning and during the education, specially during counterpoint, fugue, styles analysis studies. It is natural to have an athlete live under doctor control when preparing for the olympics. It is exactly the same for a composition student or a composer involved in heavy production.

- Jamison, Touched With Fire, Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament, The Free Press, A Division of McMillan, Inc.
-Robert H. McKim, "Experiences in Visual Thinking", Stanford University, Brooks/Cole Publishing Company, 1980
-Meissner, "The Paranoid Process", Jason Aranson, Newyork, 1978
-Ray E. Ebarts, "User Interface Design", Prentice Hall
-Miller, G. (1956) "The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information", Psychological Review, 63, 81-97
-Michael W. Eysenck, Mark T. Keane, "Cognitive Psychology", Psychology Press, 1995
-Baddeley, "Human Memory", Allyn and Bacon, 1990

Thursday, March 1, 2007

RUMI A Spiritual Treasury Juliet MABEY (Mevlana Celaleddin - i RUMI)

God has placed a ladder before our feet:
we must climb it, step by step.

You have feet: why pretend to be lame?
You have hands: why conceal the fingers that grip?...

If you bear God's burden, He will raise you up.
If you accept His commands, He will shower you with His grace and bounty.

If you seek union with Him, you will become unite for evermore.

MASNAVI I:929-31, 936-7

RUMI A Spiritual Treasury Juliet MABEY (Mevlana Celaleddin - i RUMI)


Day 2
Were God to fill the universe, the universe could not exist.
And were God to not fill the universe, the universe could not exist.

It is then through perfactly balanced self-limitation
that the Infinite One enables the possibility of existence.

Day 33
Every human should tend very compassionately to the flesh of their body
in order to be able to share with it all the dimensions of enlightenment and visions
of which the soul is capable of such perception.

Do not hide your eyes from having mercy upon your flesh, that is the flesh of your body.
You must have much compassion for your body.
See to it that you purify your body
so that it can become conscious of all the enlightenment and visions the soul percieves.

Eighteenth-century RABBI NACHMON of Breslav in Likuttei Ha'MaHaRaN 22:5-7