Notes on some of the songs:
From the first album "Black Cat Orchestra":
"Hasret Atesi" was originally recorded by the late Zeki Müren, a popular Turkish singer known for his fantastic voice, his flamboyant cross-dressing and for his spectacular demise on national television.
"Yaleli" was written by Yannis Papadoupolos and recorded around 1955 by Elena Bartseri. It is a classic of rebetiko, a gritty style that was popular in the slums of Greece and Turkey in the first half of the 20th century. This song paints a lurid picture of harem girls and exotic oriental nights.
"The Infernal Cakewalk" was written to accompany the Georges Meliés film of the same name.
"Seum Ma" is from a beautiful old Korean record that was purchased at the downtown Seattle Salvation Army store. This song is about a homesick young woman.
"Hard Orb" was named after a concrete lawn ornament. It was originally composed for Dayna Hanson and Karn Junkins' dance theater work The Red Sweater.
"Fahrnde Nacht", ("Errant Night"), was written by Kyle Hanson.
From the second album "Mysteries Explained":
Many of the songs on Mysteries Explained were composed as part of live scores for early silent films. "Later, She Distorts", "With Light Through Window", "The Jetty" and "On the Ship", were written to accompany the surrealist film The Seashell and the Clergyman. "Folk Song", "The Tie and Collar Song" and "Firehose, Uncoiling" were composed for Hans Richter's Ghosts Before Breakfast. "The Chase" was written for Fritz Lang's Spies.
"Learn How to Cry" was written by Kyle Hanson, and featured in 33 Fainting Spells' dance theater work September September.
"Yürü Dilber" is a popular Turkish song, heard regularly in the night clubs of Istanbul.
"Ikh Hob Dikn Tsufil Lib" ("I Love You Much Too Much") is a unsettlingly masochistic Yiddish song. Originally recorded 1940 by Seymour Rechtzeit (vocals) with the Abe Ellstein Orchestra. It was written by Alexander Olshanetsky, with lyrics by Chaim Tauber. Many thanks to Jack Falk for finding the song, singing it with us, and providing us with this information.
"Geçti Dost Kervani" is a traditional Turkish song. This arrangement is taken from a recording by Mogollar, a fabulous psychedelic band that was very popular in Turkey in the 1970's.
"Denn Wie Man Sich Bettet," ("As You Make Your Bed So Must You Lie In It"), is from Kurt Weill and Bertold Brecht's opera Mahagonny.
"Desde el Alma" was originally recorded by Argentine tango singer Nelly Omar, probably in the 1930's or '40's. It portrays a love affair that has gone wrong because of a stupid misunderstanding.
We found the written music for "Radomirska Kopaniça" on the web site of Balkanarama, a Seattle-based Eastern European folk dance band.
"Introit: Requiem aeternam" was composed by Orlando Lassus (1532-1594), an excerpt from his Missa Pro Defunctus.
"Sanfonando" was first recorded by the great Brazilian accordionist Luiz Gonzaga.