Troubadour is aptly named - Ã–zgen's own journey has carried his music from his native Turkey, through Spain, Connecticut and Arizona, to his present home in Santa Cruz. "Many troubadours traveled for great distances, aiding in the transmission of news and culture from one region to the other," says Ã–zgen. The opening track, "Variations on an Anatolian Folk Song" by Domeniconi is based on a Turkish folk song written by Asik Veysel, a renowned 20th century representative of the Asik (troubadour) tradition. "The Asiks...singing their own or others' poetry and playing saz, has become the voice of common people..." Anthony Newman's work "Gigue" shows Ã–zgen's fondness for the ecletic and new. Composer Benjamin Verdery describes "Gigue" as "written in Newman's system of substitute harmonies, and features series of short rhythmic cells that when put together give the effect of an Indian raga." The final track is Pratorius' trilogy "Sonata: Ondas do Mar de Vigo," which is based on a Spanish song by the Portugese medieval troubadour Martin Codax. Troubadour was performed on a 1995 Simon Marty guitar, with the exception of the song "Misionera," which used a 2003 Gil Carnal guitar.
In the early 1990s, Ã–zgen was invited by Verdery to study at Yale University's School of Music, where he completed both his Master of Music and Artist Diploma. Later, he studied with Frank Koonce in the doctoral program at Arizona State University. Ã–zgen has taught guitar at the Gazi University School of Medicine and at Hacettepe University in his native Turkey, and is currently on the guitar faculty at the University of California at Santa Cruz. He was a prizewinner at the International Portland Guitar Competition, a featured soloist at both the International Paco PeÃ±a Guitar Festival and the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival, and premiered new music for the guitar at the Yale Guitar Festival and the April in Santa Cruz Contemporary Music Festival. Ã–zgen's ability to make classical guitar palatable to a larger audience and his dedication to new musics has inspired composers as varied as Pablo Ortiz, Benjamin Verdery, Deepak Ram, and YalÃ§in Tura to compose works for him.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Variations on an Anatolian Folk Song (Asik Veysel / Carlo Domeni
2. Gigue (from Suite for Guitar) by Anthony Newman
3. Shenandoah by Robert Beaser
4. Misionera by Fernando Bustamante
5. Fantaisie Hongroise op.65, no.1 by Johann Kaspar Mertz
6. Sonata: Ondas do Mar de Vigo by Christopher Pratorius
7. Sonata: Ondas do Mar de Vigo by Christopher Pratorius
8. Sonata: Ondas do Mar de Vigo by Christopher Pratorius