November 2023, “Twin Rocks” is the biggest album since I released “Mountains are Mountains”. I always thought “Cicadas & Kitharas” is a little pathway between the two. It took a lot of time to finish “Twin Rocks”, I had to ride my bike for many kilometers, listening back to the latest version of how each time I thought it was over but no, it just wasn’t complete, until now. Never ever released singles before, but “Twin Rocks” needed those pit stops. The vinyl version consists of big tracks of 15 minutes on each side but the digital version (Spotify etc.) is chopped in 6 tracks, but these cuts are not like scissors cuts, tracks were carefully edited so that each one stands on its own, then the singles came: “Snake Behind Valley featuring Arve Henriksen” was released on August 30 first, then “Red Pine Bridge and the Crystal Clear Dead-End featuring Jonah Parzen-Johnson” was released on September 27, and then “The Way Back Hill” on October 25. Finally November 10, 2023 marks the date of the vinyl release in full form. I was asked to try to write a few words on each track, here’s what I came up with track by track.
1. Buried Palms Garden
A year of solitude, chopping wood and long bicycle rides passing by the Twin Rocks are the main ingredients of this track. In the very core of it there’s a pulse given by a gong I like to call my “heart gong” which I came by in a flea market in Thailand. The heart gong’s vibration meets Arve’s breath and life and death happens. The song represents the life cycle of a palm tree. Why would anyone want to bury palm trees? Every man looks at his wood-pile with a kind of affection. In my garden I choose to believe there were 7 huge palms trees buried horizontally and it never felt like a grave for them or myself either.
2. Snake Behind Valley
A “snake behind” is not a state of tenseness. When you are a big rock and you have a twin brother or sister you are still a rock. And if you have to make a promise to yourself you can not leave out the other part of you: An injury to one is an injury to all. This song feels like holding hands with your loved one. This way leads to harmony, that’s why the harmonica cries in the end like there’s no tomorrow.
I could never be the same without you
I would never be the snake behind
I should always be around you
I will try to beat the perfect time.
3. The Way Back Hill
In Nature’s manner of operation, seasons change. Change is endless. From walnuts to figs, oranges to corn, pomegranates to mushrooms, scents are swinging. Up and down. It takes a lot of one’s energy when climbing up a hill but the gift of coming down is always there. And the way back home might be a sloppy one.
4. Hidden Village
Something you’ve been searching for was right in front of you. Never too late to start over. This song is totally about the notion of assuming. Trading magic for fact.
Looking through the glass
this mountain lets you through when the time arrives
the dogs know
they’ve been barking
the birds know
I am seeing through the glass
5. Sea of B
Sea of B is a song about the fear of the sea. Not just the sea but it’s also about the fear of losing someone that you love, in this very particular piece: a father. The sea resembles infinity, the seabed being the gardens of subconsciousness. The silence in the very end is you making a decision whether to hear or not see.
6. Red Pine Bridge And The Crystal Clear Dead-End
Once you reach by the side of the river and it’s flooded and impossible to cross, you might think it’s a crystal clear dead-end. Just when you thought it’s all over, a huge red pine falls and makes a perfect bridge. This song is your twin brother or sister singing back at you the words you’ve told them once, the only difference is hearing back some “I told you”s, you haven’t been hearing earlier but only beginning to understand now.
I told you so, that I would never be the same without you, and I could never ever be the sneaky snake behind your back, I told you so, that I should always be around you, and that I would always try to beat the perfect time in line, I told you so, I could never be the sneaky snake behind your back, I told you so, I should always be around you, and that I will always try to beat the perfect time in line, I told you so, I told you, I know this, I see you, I told you, hey!, I told you, I knew this, I see you, I told you, hey!, ahaaa!…
Buried Palms Garden, Snake Behind Valley, And The Way Back Hill
Berke Can Özcan – Drums, percussion, vibraphone, prepared piano, synth bass, harmonica, vocals, samples, field recordings, tape machines, gongs, electronic beats, synths
Arve Henriksen – Trumpet
Ozan Tekin – Piano, organ, synth
Selim Saraçoğlu – Electric guitar
Ozan Kısaparmak – Bass on “Buried Palms Garden”
Mahmut Albulak – Backing vocals & acoustic guitar on “Snake Behind Valley”
Hidden Village, Sea of B, Red Pine Bridge And The Crystal Clear Dead-End
Berke Can Özcan – Drums, percussion, vibraphone, prepared piano, synth bass, harmonica, vocals, samples, field recordings, tape machines, gongs, electronic beats, steel drum, synths
Jonah Parzen-Johnson – Baritone saxophone
Ozan Tekin – Piano, organ, synth
Produced & Composed by Berke Can Özcan
“Buried Palms Garden” & “Snake Behind Valley” composed by Berke Can Özcan & Arve Henriksen
Lyrics on “Snake Behind Valley”, “Hidden Village” & “Red Pine Bridge And The Crystal Clear Dead-End” written by Berke Can Özcan
Mahmut Albulak, Side A Mixing at Blue Kite, Istanbul
Derin Dönmez, Side A Mixing Assistant at Blue Kite, Istanbul
Deniz Cuylan, Side B Mixing in Eagle Rock, LA
Dave Darlington, Mastering at Bass Hit Studios, NYC
Ulaş Eryavuz, Graphic Design
John J. Holden, Photography
Duygu Demir, Rana Uludağ, Ahmet Uluğ, Jean Dupont, Wolo, Selim Saraçoğlu, Öner Erkan, Mihran Tomasyan, Leyla Postalcıoğlu, İnanç Aldış, Alexander Meurer, Kenny Wollesen, Kara-Lis Coverdale, Bora Genel, Rüyam Özcan, İrfan Özcan.
Ⓒ 2023 Omni Sound