Submitted by Nick Balkin
Dream Theater, the Grammy-nominated progressive metal band, which formed in 1985 at Berklee College of Music, is collaborating with 21-year-old Berklee student Eren Basbug on their new, self-titled album – the group’s 12th release – out September 24. Basbug, a gifted young pianist, composer, and conductor from Ankara, Turkey, wrote and recorded arrangements for the band’s new studio album as well as their upcoming live album/video Live at Luna Park, out November 5.
The collaboration came about after Basbug founded his own orchestra with friends from various conservatories in Turkey to perform his arrangement of Dream Theater’s 42-minute opus “Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence.” The YouTube video of the concert received more than 100,000 views. “I was trying to pay tribute to music that I love, but hoping, in some way, it might get the band’s attention,” says Basbug.
It did. In 2011, Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess saw the video and was so impressed that he invited Basbug to work with him on his new composition, Explorations for Keyboard and Orchestra. Basbug wrote parts for over 70 musicians, and conducted the Chacao Youth Symphony Orchestra at the song’s world premiere in Caracas, Venezuela. Later that year, Basbug debuted a new orchestral arrangement for Dream Theater’s 24-minute song “Octavarium.” The YouTube video of the performance is closing in on 500,000 views.
Basbug received a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music in 2011, where he is pursuing a dual major in Electronic Production and Design and Film Scoring. Last year, he received the Arif Mardin Scholarship, awarded to Berklee students with outstanding composition and arranging skills.
For Basbug, the experience of coming to the U.S. and working and performing side-by-side with his idols “is almost too much to take in.”
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