“Music is a game we play… It is to be respected, but not to be taken too seriously. It belongs to all of us. It is ours to create and recreate, to mess around with, as long as we give credit.” In his own words, Toker expresses the freedom that can be found within the written page of every musical score. A whole world can be discovered, rediscovered, and recreated in a single piece, and TOKER MESSING AROUND seeks to do just that.
Toker’s piano prowess is formed by both a formal education in classical performance and self instruction in jazz and improvisation. He knows the rules, and he knows where to bend them to create something entirely new. Take, for example, Elise has the Blues, an imaginative rendition of the famous Für Elise which pays homage to the Beethoven piece while bringing it into an entirely new genre, without any sense of disrespect. Or, Istanbul not Constantinople, a rendition of the catchy 1950s tune, which Toker combined with jazz sounds and traditional Turkish instrumentation to create a witty yet altogether astoundingly impressive performance.
Nothing is new under the sun — but it can be remade. From Bach to Bob Dylan, practically every musician has taken a former idea or melody and made it into something entirely new and fresh. This is the process of musical evolution, and Toker takes part in this while infusing some of his own wit, musical banter, and cultural voice into the mix.