Modern reinterpretation of an Ottoman Armenian music score

One thing contemporary western classical composers and eighteenth century Ottoman composers have in common is their interest in music notation. In both worlds, musicians adapted and created systems of notation to preserve the melodies, and often to give space to improvisation and the interpretation of the performer.

In this project, I studied an Armenian Ottoman score, written in Istanbul by Grigor Gapasakalian. My aim was to connect my modern western background with the old Armenian world, by using a music score. During my research I had a very special encounter with two Armenian ladies that still live in Istanbul. One of them was able to read the old Armenian lyrics and taught me the pronunciation and meaning of the text (Jesus Christ our Savior saves mankind from death).

In my reinterpretation, I approached the score following the western classical contemporary tradition as if it were a graphic score. However, all the elements are Armenian. I have tried to capture, while staying loyal to the graphic score, the atmosphere of the traditional Armenian music. The rhythm and lyrics are based on the (also modern) interpretation of the ladies and the sounds in their house.

The first part of the recording is the research, the second part the amalgamation, where I have tried to connect my culture with the beautiful Armenian tradition.


The Act of Leaking Information








The act of leaking information.

It’s there, but we cannot see what it means, not without the right eyes.

The relevance of the leak is based on the way the people view the water arriving to them from the source, on how they see the performance of the rest of actors. The actions the people take or not mark the relevance of the information. But the people only infrequently see the water arriving at their tap. But when it does, they have the responsibility for the way they look at the information, and what they do with it. All other actors are playing to influence the final performance of this final actor, the people, who are the ones who have choice of what to do with the information that reaches them.

Manuel Beltrán


alican work vimeo from Alican Durbaş on Vimeo.

Ferryboat trips are made between two points, in a natural loop. I want to obtain a plan sequence by recording the actual time of this loop. By cutting this plan sequence into many plans/video clips, I want to explore the filmic time and space of the sequence in the new arrangement and timing of successive plans/video clips. A question referring to the book of film editor Walter Munch, In The Blink of An Eye: Are we seeing the world we live in as a plan sequence without interruption or as a sequence with full of cuts?

Final Post: Zihninde Tiyatro in Siemens Sanat Gallery

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1 // Açık Radyo 26/02/2013

Welcome to the theatre of your mind
The next minutes you will see and feel things you already have
It’s essential that you concentrate, for it is you who will make the images
Close your eyes and try to imagine

Complete darkness

Total emptiness


A little small dot in the middle of this darkness

Slowly the dot becomes bigger

White slowly takes over the darkness

When everything is white

You start feeling very, very cold

You are now standing in a white space without any reference

You can’t move and you can’t breathe

All of a sudden you feel floating warm water over your head

The heat slowly slides down your body

You feel the heat on your head, your shoulders, your middle and your legs

You have goose bumps

But the heat intensifies

Because you are standing in front of a big fire now

Everywhere you look, there are flames

You listen how the fire sounds

You look at the texture of the flames while you keep getting warmer and warmer and warmer

All of a sudden you see an escape route where there is no fire

Adrenaline builds up and you run as fast as you can through the path in between the flames

You run away from the flames and you leave them behind you

But the room is shut down with walls

You put your hands against the wall and start pushing as hard as you can

While you are pushing, you can feel the cool surface of the wall on the front of your body

But the heat on your back is unbearable

You push even harder and you feel the wall slowly moving

When finally the wall comes down, you’re alone on a beach

You feel the texture of the sand underneath your bare feet

You feel the cool wind on your body

And you deeply breathe in and out

You look at the waves

When you watch the waves intensely, you calm down

All stress is gone and total relaxation takes over

The infinite up and down of the waves hypnotizes you

The water attracts you

You slowly walk towards the water

In the beginning the water feels cold at your toes

But you continue to go in

With your feet

With your calves

With your knees

With your middle

With your chest

And finally with your head

You float in the water for an undefined time

The color of the water changes






The stream intensifies and you see now that you’re floating in between two clusters of earth


Floating on all the water of the world


Floating without any water




2 // Açık Radyo 28/02/2013

Welcome to the theatre of your mind
The next minutes you will see and feel things you already have
It’s essential that you concentrate, for it is you who will make the images
Close your eyes and try to imagine




You’re in a space where everything is white

You slowly turn around

In a distance you recognize your mother

She’s gently smiling at you

You slowly walk towards her

She is looking younger

You can see now that she’s pregnant

You come even closer

And you look carefully to her face

You see parts of yourself in her

Her eyes

Her nose

The way her hair looks

The way she is standing there

You gently move your hands towards her hands

You feel the texture of her hands

You smell how she smells

How her clothes smell




You’re back in the white space

Somebody new entered the space

You recognize your father now

You look how he is standing, smiling

You walk towards him

You hug him

You carefully sense the grip and the texture of that hug

Then again you see how he can look when he looks serious

You smell his typical everyday smell

You slowly walk backwards and see your parents stand next to each other

Slowly the image fades out

All of a sudden

You’re way younger

You’re in the very first memory you have

Try to recreate the environment

Try to feel how you felt

Try to smell what you smelled

Try to hear what you heard

Try to be who you were

3 // Açık Radyo 05/03/2013

Welcome to the theatre of your mind
The next minutes you will see and feel things you already have
It’s essential that you concentrate, for it is you who will make the images
Close your eyes and try to imagine

You are sitting in a room

Choose a different one from the room you have now

Make the room






In the room, a light bulb is hanging above your head

The light bulb slowly starts moving

It is slowly turning in circles

If you look down

You see your shadow moving

Slowly the years pass by

As if the sun was a light bulb

You slowly feel time slip by

You feel changes to your body

You feel the disintegration

You feel the enhancements

It’s ten years from now

And you changed

Imagine what happened in these ten years


Things you learned

Things you noticed

Things you enjoyed

Things you found out

Things you achieved

Things you created

Things you left behind

Things you destroyed

Things you lost

Things you gained

You’re back in the room

The light bulb stopped moving and is flickering

You see now that the walls around you are ruptured

The paint came of and you see a lot of cracks on the walls

It’s 30 years from now

How old are you now?

You think about who you are now

Who you will be

Who you used to be

4 // Açık Radyo 07/03/2013

Welcome to the theatre of your mind
The next minutes you will see and feel things you already have
It’s essential that you concentrate, for it is you who will make the images
Close your eyes and try to imagine


Imagine my voice

How does my voice look in your mind?

Construct my mouth

Imagine how my mouth is moving while I’m speaking








Imagine how my lips move




Imagine my nose




Imagine my eyes




Imagine my face




Imagine the way I’m sitting here




Imagine the distance from my red lips to the microphone

Imagine the room I’m in

Imagine me talking to you

In the ether

Under the ground

On a mountain

At your home


The distance from my red lips to your ears

Imagine the distance from the microphone to your sound system

Imagine the invisibility of the radio waves between us

Imagine this message going from my microphone to random places all over Istanbul

All you have, is my voice

I showed you personal things

Emotional things

Forgotten things

Your image of me is constructed and exists only in your head

Do you trust me?

Already before I went to Istanbul I decided to work with a local radio, a Turkish voice actress and an imaginative language.
In the second week of my stay I met Ilksen Mavituna and Gözde Kazaz from Açık Radyo and we agreed to do 4 compositions for 2 weeks tuesday and thursday on Açık Radyo round 18:45.
A day later I had the privilege to perceive the magnificent, mesmerizing voice of Evin Zorba and she agreed to be my Turkish voice for this project.
Like this I had a structure and the ingredients to work with.

Since then I focused my research on how these 4 compositions in Turkish could exist on their own but also how they could relate to each other. In a way the four compositions show inevitable analogies with my stay in Istanbul.

In the first composition called CONSTRUCTION I focus on mental tactile reconstructions and a journey through 4 elements but especially through water.
The second one called RETROSPECTIVE is all about reconstructing memories. After this composition Erhan Özkoç wrote a poem about his mother. The draft version of this poem is exhibited in the exposition as well. PROSPECTIVE investigates mental constructions in time. The neutral voice wants you to look back on the future. In DECONSTRUCTION I use the same immersive technique to deconstruct the immersion. The last one makes you reflect about the (dis)abilities of the disembodied voice.

Radio is not about the sound, it’s about the network.

The work existed during the 4 radio compositions on random places in Istanbul.

It’s not possible to perceive the whole work.

You can only perceive a little part.

The little part that exists in your mind…

Day of the Opening


From floor to kitchen

Building up in Siemens Sanat

Building up – day 1

An empty canvas

Siemens Sanat is empty again. And awaiting the arrival of the fresh art pieces of “Water work”.

Lectures at Siemens Sanat

A lecture by antropologist Alexander Balasescu:

“Water passes through many channels and one of them is the human body. Alexander Balasescu looks at the interaction between the body and the urban space through the intermediary of fluids and proposes a physiological view of the city.”

And a lecture by Doz. Sinan Niyazioglu:

“Portraying the cities: City landmarks or Design Museums”

Future Istanbul

Posters are up!

galata bells

Twin Cameras


The Revolt of Anatolia: We give up our lives but our water, never!

Water means life. The streams running through the landscape form the lifelines of all settled communities. But what will you do if the state and construction companies cut off your lifeline? In order to meet the increasing population of Istanbul today, numerous hydroelectricity power plants (HES’) are being constructed all over Turkey, threatening the natural environment and the future of rural communities who drink from the rivers that are now drying up and eat from the grounds that coherently turn barren. Traditions and practices of extracting medicine from herbs, building with forest materials and cultivating the land will be quelled, as for the social construct and mythology that lays deeply rooted in the local landscape.

Recently a Turkish friend told me that the number of HES-projects increased from 80 in 2005 to 2000 today. According to government rhetoric, ‘water is just flowing’, which they say is a waste, since water can be used for energy. But the advantages of the power stations offer a misleading promise, because forests and valleys are being sacrificed and villagers who lived with the seasons for generations are forced to move away from their homes, to the outskirts of cities, where a shitty job at the McDonalds awaits them. The carelessness of the state provokes my friend. He responds: ”Water has a history the last of 4 billion years, homo sapiens of about 200.000 years and agriculture of only 12.000 years. Water is flowing because it is just flowing, not for the benefit of the state and multinational investors!” Continue reading

Zihninde Tiyatro #1: Live on Açık Radyo in Istanbul on 26/02/2013

The first part of Zihninde Tyatro (Theatre of Your Mind) Live on Açık Radyo in Istanbul on 26/02/2013 with the beautiful voice of Evin Zorba.

Evin Zorba’nin guzel sesiyle zihninde tiyatronun (theatre of your mind) birinci bolumu canli yayinda istanbul acik radyo’da 26/02/2013

Istanbul in the time of Ottoman Empire.

Most of the photographs are dated from 1890 – 1900 year.

Pier in Eminonu. New Mosque – Yeni Cami in the background

Bridge over the Golden Horn

Bayezid II Mosque


Bridge over the Golden Horn and the view of the Galata district

Grand Bazaar



Cemetery in Eyüp

Cemberlitas – Column of Constantine


Süleymaniye Mosque

Mosque of Valide Sultan

Kiosk in front of the Topkapı Palace


Zihninde Tiyatro #2: Live on Açık Radyo in Istanbul on 28/02/2013

‎* kulaklikla dinleyiniz
* listen with headphones

Evin Zorba’nin guzel sesiyle zihninde tiyatronun (theatre of your mind) ikinci bolumu canli yayinda istanbul acik radyo’da 28/02/2013

The second part of Zihninde Tyatro (Theatre of Your Mind) Live on Açık Radyo in Istanbul on 28/02/2013 with the beautiful voice of Evin Zorba.