Established in a tranquil forested area in Fethiye, a music village predominantly offers Turkish folk music and traditional instrument instruction.

as well as weekly activities organized by the establishment, including film screenings, workshops, small village concerts, basic sound painting courses, visits to local musicians’ villages and musical instrument lessons. The Anatolian Cultures Research Society (AKAT) opened Turkey’s first music village in the southwestern Mugla province’s Fethiye district. Located along the district’s coastal Yaniklar village, a forestry area split by a number of refreshing rivers, the new establishment grabs the interest of music lovers with a rich variety of musical instruments such as the guitar, ney (reed flute), kaval (shepherd’s pipe), baglama (fretless stringed instrument) and uc telli, (a baglama-like instrument with three strings).

Turkish folk music has been chosen as this year’s main theme for AKAT. Over the course of the next year participants will focus on playing traditional Turkish instruments like the sipsi, a woodwind instrument, and the dort telli, a baglama-like instrument with four strings. The courses are given by local senior musicians as well as younger ones.

Encapsulating the music village’s guiding vision is their slogan “music is universal.” Both participants and instructors at AKAT value a wide range of musical genres and seek to create a supportive environment for all types of musicians. For example, Sonja Siegerd, a trainee from Vienna, plays the ney, while an Israeli Glland Weiss learns Turkish folk music and traditional instruments. Participants can also play Western instruments or use any of the several traditional instruments supplied by the village. Participants can enroll in a music course without prior experience playing an instrument.

Aside from instrument-focused courses, traditional folk dance courses and seminars on music, culture and history are offered. AKAT teachers introduce foreigners to melodies from every corner of Turkey. Merih Askin Kopuz gives fretless guitar courses while Ali Ulutas, Mehmet Ali Kayabas and Yusuf Islam Bodur show students how to play the uc telli. Students learn how to play baglama under the guidance of Adem Tosunoglu and Ismail Cakir. Other instructors include Gulay Diri on the daf (frame drum), and Selami Ciftci who teaches about the kaval, instrument traditions and Yuruk culture. Some students learn how to play kabak kemane, a traditional string instrument with Central Asian roots, while others play baglama or the guitar. You may even hear participants singing Turkish folk songs like “Dere Geliyor Dere.” When students have free time, they take field visits around the district’s forestry areas. There are currently 60 people in the village, yet the number of participants increases each day. Trainees are offered breakfast and organic village meals at dinner.

The village’s general coordinator is Aytac Gokdag; Mehmet Gunay Eser, Emre Dayioglu and Turna Ezgi Toros serve as general artistic directors; workshop coordinators are Sahin Yildiz and Eren Sahin; and the photography director is Levent Sari. Gokdag noted that the music village is a first of its kind in Turkey and explained that, “This project was our dream for more than 10 years. We gathered an experienced team and first established the AKAT.” Gokdag further pointed out that the village draws participants from numerous different countries like the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, the U.K. and Israel. “Our aim is to gather music enthusiasts with local musicians known around the region. These musicians grew up around the highlands. Here, senior musicians gather with junior musicians. We also aim to connect Turkey’s professional musicians with international students,” Gokdag said.

Gokdag described the AKAT’s atmosphere as “a breath of fresh air for people and it allows them to relax while keeping away from Turkey’s current events.” AKAT did not receive any sponsorship or support this year. “We choose traditional folk music as this year’s main theme. The Teke region on the Mediterranean coast is especially rich in traditional musicians,” she said. Mehmet Gunay Eser, the events coordinator, said that different music workshops take place at the village. “We did not want to organize workshops at certain places because we go to different places each day anyway. We really try to reveal what is hidden in the human soul. Seventeen musicians including academicians attend our courses as trainees. Our primary aim is to strengthen the master-apprentice relationship and prioritize local musicians,” he said, adding that Ali Ulutas, Yusuf Islam Bodur and Mehmet Ali Kayabas are important names for Anatolian traditional music. The music village welcomes both foreigners and locals to its activities.














Source Daily Sabah

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