Whispers are as powerful as screams in the blue room

The blue room looks nothing like a stage.

Some casual furniture, an armchair that looks more comfortable than elegant, reading lamps, wide carpets and the piano give an intimate appearance, underlined by the voluptuous shape of the cello slumped on a chair.

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When the blue room is completed with the artists living in it, before the music starts, the public seems to vibrate with an uneasy, voyeuristic feeling: it’s not a stage, but the perfect tableau looks so natural that the sensation of being inside of someone else living room is palpable.

Only when Aylin Aslim greets us the uneasiness is dissolved. We are guests indeed, but we are welcome.

This concert is not a concert. It’s a sober reunion with a friend, maybe a relative, someone we were once close to, who has been away for a long time, perhaps in a voyage to distant places, and now is back.

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The voyage changed her forever, she has many stories to tell us but we could not understand those stories in words. She is willing to share with us, her guests, the spirit of that voyage, her adventures, her new self. The songs are known, the music is familiar, the lines come up to our lips like in a dear old book many times re-read. Still everything sounds different now.

Songs that once made stadiums tremble are now whispered in the blue room, but they are not weakened. Lines once full of love now are tinged with sorrow, what felt like rage is tempered with forgiveness, pain is now a memory. Where there was hope and joy, now there is quiet awareness that tomorrow the sun will rise again, and we will enjoy it again.

Music from the piano and the cello is enough to saturate the room and the minds of the guests to tell a story, and what a story. Unplugged as it is, this concert radiates an almost electrical power. Whispers are more powerful than any scream of pain or joy, in Aylin’s blue room.

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The piano and the cello players look familiar, like strangers met in a new place with whom we feel inexplicably connected at first sight. They are travel companions, met during the same voyage, who walked different roads but who know the same stories, and they know how to tell us.

When the guests are mesmerized by the tales shared by their hosts, there are no more walls in the blue room. The power of Aylin’s vocals is felt more than heard, the cello’s humming becomes a roar, the piano pummels like a whole orchestra.

When Aylin asks “her kes gider mi?” “will everybody leave?” and the public sings back, there is a feeling of inevitability, like repeating the question again and again, asking it to each other, could delay but not change the answer.

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“Çok erken değil mi?” Indeed it is too early when we leave the room where we have been guests, slightly unfulfilled, as it should be. We leave with the unconscious certainty that the musicians in the blue room will go on without us, telling each other more stories from that voyage they just returned from, that they will start again tomorrow.

Now every single guest of the blue room wishes to leave with them.

Photojournalist and writer, previously based in Turkey, Ankara lover, formerly from Sorrento, Italy.

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