The band will visit Turkey and play three shows in İzmir, Ankara and İstanbul. Pink Martini’s songs have always been on heavy rotation on Turkey’s radio stations and its top hit, “Amado Mio,” is one of the most popular songs that couples in Turkey select for their first dance at their wedding.
Pink Martini is set to perform at the 26th International İzmir Festival on July 8 at the Çeşme Open-Air Theater, in Ankara on July 9 at the ODTÜ Vişnelik and in İstanbul on July 19 at the Kuruçeşme Arena.
After lead singer China Forbes took a short break from performing due to health reasons, the band is now touring with new singer Storm Large and her high-energy performances. Pink Martini founder, pianist and songwriter Thomas Lauderdale spoke to Today’s Zaman about their compilation album, tour schedule and surprises for Turkey.
Do you feel that it’s the right time for Pink Martini to release a compilation record? What do you offer in your album “A Retrospective?”
We felt like it was time to compile our most loved songs after all the concerts over the years in so many countries, with so many memories. We’ve added so many emotional feelings to each and every song and we wanted to present all of them together.
Tell us more about the process of selecting songs from all previous albums of Pink Martini.
Actually I selected the songs according to the reactions of the audience over the years. We remixed the arrangements in some songs and we’ve somehow changed the feeling of the songs also.
You also released an album called “1969” in collaboration with legendary Japanese singer Saori Yuki. How did you approach her for such a project?
She was about to perform a special concert for the 40th anniversary of her singing career and, after a member of her staff saw our performance of “Taya Tan” on YouTube, she approached us through the help of her management team and asked if we could introduce that video to our audience at the concert. That’s how our collaboration began.
You are going to perform in İzmir on July 8, in Ankara on July 9 and in İstanbul on July 19. So how do you select the songs for your performances?
It’s all about energy. We often choose our recent songs but we also care about what the audience loves. In each country we visit we also try to learn something special about that country, too.
What will you offer Turkish audience this time, after singing “Üsküdar’a Giderken” (by Katibim) the last time?
You know we have some beautiful memories with “Üsküdar’a Giderken” but we are also going to have a brand new surprise for you. I am obsessed with Belkıs Özener and her old Turkish songs. Our management Pasion Turca introduced her albums to us and we are in love with her. Storm is going to surprise you with Özener’s “Aşkın Bahardır” (Your Love Feels like Spring).
What about China Forbes’ operation and her little break?
China is going to be back with us very soon. She is currently resting and spending some time with her son, Cameron. She’s taking a little break but is definitely going to join us soon.
Your previous studio album “Splendor in the Grass” was very different from the others. How do you explain its significance to Pink Martini’s sound?
“Splendor in the Grass” was mainly inspired by great classical composers like Tchaikovsky and [Franz Peter] Schubert. The song “And Then You’re Gone,” which China sang, is especially inspired by Schubert and you can feel it on the piano section. That was a classical approach to our sound and now with Storm we are doing a little more rock and punk on stage.
What’s next for Pink Martini?
After our performances in İzmir and Ankara, we are going to fly to Athens and then Monte Carlo. We have three shows in Italy before our İstanbul concert on July 19. It’s going to be a very busy schedule this summer for us but we never complain because it’s a blessing to meet new people.