I would love to update you with my ongoing or recent musical activities and my musical plans for 2019:
As you might know by joining the team of Her Yerde Sanat Derneği, an organization in south east of Turkey which provides vulnerable and refugee children (of Syrian, Iraqi, Turkish and Kurdish origin) with circus arts, I was able to design, coordinate and direct the first Flying Carpet Children Music Festival in the mesopotamia region.
Flying Carpet Festival is a volunteers-based holistic experience for children of war created by numerous world-class artists and musicians from all around the world contributing to where music and beauty is needed the most. I along with 30 other artists, performers, composers and puppeteers who travelled from all across the world to Turkey, were able to hold 150 workshops for 1500 children, 8 major performances, 5 jam nights, 3 puppet shows and 2 art installations through which we were able to reach out to more than7000 local residents and children. The project won a large grant from a grant competition that the US Embassy in Ankara holds annually.
I was also able to form the first children choir in the city of Nusaybin, a Kurdish-populated city located literally on the border of Syria which has suffered a lot through war and violence. Nusaybin Youth Choir performed with many of the invited artists throughout the festival including Luciano Chessa and Aleksandra Vrebalov.
My activities will continue throughout 2019 in Mardin, Turkey under the project Müzikhane(House of Music in Turkish) for which we are looking for funds and support. I will be spending 4-5 months per year in Turkey establishing a small music school for refugee and vulnerable children inside Her Yerde Sanat Derneği with my friend and invited artists from Flying Carpet Festival, Kevin Cortland Bishop. Kevin is an amazing and visionary musician who also helped establishing the first woman orchestra at Afghanistan National Institute of Music, the first music school founded in Afghanistan which won the 2018 Polar Music Prize. Kevin and I will be running the music department collaboratively and intend to promote the idea of music for social change both in the middle east and in the United States.
In 2019, I will be also working on two commissions coming from my friends at One Found Sound and at Amaranath Quartet. My piece for One Found Sound (a San Francisco-based conductorless orchestra) is based on an Anatolian ancient story named Shahmaran which translates to "the Queen of Serpents". The story is an ancient Kurdish tale of Zoroastrian origins and explores the idea of true love. The piece will be premiered at San Francisco Heron Arts by One Found Sound on April 6th, 2019.
My second piece of 2019 is for my friends at Amaranth Quartet and will be premiered at National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C. on May 8th, 2019 as part of Shenson Chamber Music Concert series. More details will be announced soon!
For all upcoming events and performances of my piece you can visit the events page on my website.
Thanks for your attention and time and wish you the most joyful year ahead!