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"I am Mehmed the Black Pencil, master of humans and Jinns..."

Mehmed Siyah Kalem (Mehmed the Black Pencil) became known with those words for centuries. Nothing is certain about his life, but his work indicates that he was thoroughly familiar with camp and military life as they depicted nomads, ordinary people, dervishes, Christian monks, Buddhists, shamans etc. The paintings appear in the “Conqueror’s Albums,” so named because two portraits of Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror are present in one of them. The albums are made up of miniatures taken from manuscripts of the 14th, 15th, and early 16th centuries.


The uniqueness in the art of Siyah Kalem (Black Pencil) lies in his depictions of supernatural creatures. The essence and inspiration of the ‘BLACK PENCIL’ performance is derived from the expressive power of those miniatures. A blend between illusion and illustration, sometimes flat, sometimes exuberant, electro-acoustic sounds together with the sound of traditional Turkish instruments. 


The ensemble features Jorge Isaac (blockflutes), Esra Pehlivanli (viola), Matthijs Koene (panflute), Mehmet Polat (ud) and Enric Monfort (percussion). Optional video images are also possible, performed live by Marcel Wierckx. The video projection frames the audience in a dynamic way, comprising visuals that mirror the aesthetics and colours of the original miniatures by Mehmed Siyah Kalem.


The program includes works by Dutch and Turkish composers with different roots and styles, namely Roderik de Man (1941), Selim Dogru (1971), Gökçe Altay (1975), Mehmet Can Ozer (1981), Yigit Kolat (1984), Hakan Toker (1976) and Tolga Ozdemir (1975).


The flow and tension of the performance remains surprising, rich in colour, in a fluid musical trip. 


The total duration of the program is ca.  75 minutes, without pause. 




- Selim Dogru (1971): Six Scenes (2010) *

for blockflute, panflute, viola, ud and percussion


- Interlude 1 (Tolga Ozdemir: Karadeniz)

for viola and vibraphone


- Gökçe Altay (1975): Efendi (2010)

for blockflute, panflute, viola, ud, percussion and electronics


- Interlude 2 (Hakan Toker: Notenbuch)

for viola and vibraphone


- Interlude 3

for panflute solo


- Yigit Kolat (1984): Miniatures (2010)

for blockflute, panflute, viola, ud, percussion and electronics


- Interlude 4 (B.C. Manjunath/Duo)

for contrabass blockflute and cajón


- Interlude 5 (Mehmet Polat/Curious)

for ud solo


- Interlude 6 (Tolga Ozdemir/Pantoral)

for blockflute, panflute, viola, ud and percussion


- Roderik de Man (1941): Black Pencil Music (2010) *

for blockflute, panflute, viola, percussion and electronics

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