Western Turkey’s Afyonkarahisar province has been organizing jazz and classical music festivals for 22 years, reviving the cultural life with the attendance of many worldwide and native grasp musicians. The Afyonkarahisar Jazz Competition, which was held on June 7-11 this 12 months, hosted nice performances together with numerous aspect occasions like mesmerizing exhibitions and talks.

One of many standout performances on the pageant was the Panarp Mission, created by world-famous harpist Çağatay Akyol and pan flutist Aydın Yavaş. Akyol and Yavaş took the stage with a spellbinding live performance by combining Anatolian tunes with world music melodies, from tangos to the well-known movie rating of “Kill Invoice.” The duo created such a singular concord because of their virtuosity on their devices that the listeners gave a standing ovation on the finish of the efficiency and couldn’t assist requesting one or two extra songs from them.

Çağatay Akyol (L), Day by day Sabah’s İrem Yaşar (C) and Aydın Yavaş pose on the NG Lodge, Afkonkarahisar, western Turkey, June 8, 2022. (Day by day Sabah Photograph)

It was after this excellent efficiency that I had an opportunity to fulfill and discuss Akyol and Yavaş to be taught extra about these two nice musicians’ journeys on the planet of euphony. Assembly Turkey’s first male harpist Akyol and first and solely pan flutist Yavaş, who can play these pipes on the educational stage, was an thrilling and unforgettable second.

Harp performed by a person

As aforementioned, Akyol is called the primary male harpist in Turkey. On account of its aesthetics, the harp is mostly related to girls. Difficult notions that harps are solely performed by girls, Akyol is a solo harpist of the Turkish Presidential Symphony Orchestra (CSO).

Akyol’s lengthy journey in music began on the age of seven when he started to be taught to play the block flute after following the suggestion of his mom. Noting that though he’s from a musician household, the harpist stated his dad and mom had been good listeners which have a nice ear for music. Rising up in a home filled with high quality music, Akyol remembers that his father used to make him hearken to a radio program so he may hear the tones of the harp.

After consulting certainly one of his associates finding out at Ankara State Conservatory, Akyol’s father inspired him to take the take a look at for the conservatory. Dreaming of enjoying violin, Akyol managed to get into the conservatory; nevertheless, completely different coaching was ready for him because of a accident.

Earlier than his interview with trainers of the conservatory, Akyol heard two individuals speaking concerning the harp, describing its form and the sound it makes. Throughout his interview, he was supplied the opportunity of enjoying a variety of devices from cello to contrabass to piano however not violin. Hoping to obtain an schooling on the conservatory, Akyol stated that he was prepared to just accept any instrument. When one of many interviewers requested him whether or not he needed to play the harp, Akyol, though he had by no means seen a harp earlier than, described the instrument and stated that he would aspire to play it. That is really how his lengthy odyssey that modified the course of his life began.

Akyol grew to become a pupil of Kaysu Doğanay on the conservatory in 1980 and accomplished his schooling in 1988, a 12 months sooner than the traditional interval of research. Stating that the schooling on the conservatory is intense and hellacious, the musician stated {that a} conservatory pupil spends 80% of his time along with his devices. Describing musical devices as a “picket piece” jokingly, Akyol implied {that a} musician feels all feelings from anger to disappointment along with his instrument. He additionally reiterated that being a musician requires nice self-discipline and added: “On this job, one doesn’t want expertise however nice effort. He ought to observe for lengthy hours each day.”

In the identical 12 months when he completed the conservatory on the age of 19, Akyol began to work as a solo harpist within the CSO. The subsequent 12 months, the German Educational Trade Service (DAAD) offered him with a scholarship, which paved the way in which for him to do his grasp’s diploma at Berlin Music Academy between 1991-1993. He additionally efficiently represented our nation in lots of worldwide youth orchestras between 1989 and 1995.

In 1992, he labored as a visitor artist at Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin and Staatskapelle Dresden. Performing as a soloist with many orchestras in Turkey and overseas, Akyol was invited as a jury member to the Felix Godefroid Worldwide Harp Competitors in 2006 and served as a visitor artist within the Mahler Chamber Orchestra between 2008 and 2010.

All through his profession, the good harpist took half in essentially the most prestigious festivals on the planet such because the Salzburg Music Competition, Wien Fashionable, BBC Proms, the Budapest Spring Competition, the Schleswig Holstein Music Competition, the Competition de Radio France en Montpellier and Ferrara Musica in addition to working along with world-renowned conductors resembling Claudio Abbado, Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Chailly, Peter Eotvos, Michael Gielen, Yakov Kreisberg,James Judd, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Tugan Sokhiev, Daniel Gatti and Daniel Harding.

Akyol additionally participated within the analysis on Hittite music and Hattusha in Anatolia inside the scope of a European Union mission in 2011 and was recorded as the primary and solely particular person to play Hittite harps on the planet.


Dubbed “the acrobat of his instrument,” Akyol is a passionate musician who additionally devoted himself to introducing the music of his lands to the world. Subsequently, he based the “Arpanatolia” mission with Turkish musician Ferhat Erdem in 2012 to deliver collectively Anatolian devices and the harp.

Arpanatolia includes of Çağatay Akyol (M) on harp, Ferhat Erdem (R) on sipsi-kaval and Cemal Özkızıltaş on genuine percussion. (Courtesy of Akyol)

The Arpanatolia mission includes of Akyol on harp, Erdem on sipsi-kaval and Cemal Özkızıltaş on genuine percussion. The lyre, harp and wind devices, which had been used extensively in music made in Anatolian lands hundreds of years in the past, have managed to succeed in the current day with their superb tunes and renewed designs. Arpanatolia creates a brand new and completely different synthesis with these devices, which at all times preserved their worth in Anatolia’s music tradition.

Bringing collectively the sipsi and the kaval, a very powerful symbols of mysticism in Anatolia, with the soothing tones of harp and percussion, Arpanatolia has given many concert events in Turkey and overseas, considerably contributing to the promotion of Anatolian music and tradition.

In footsteps of Pan

The Phrygian god of nature, Pan, someday encounters the gorgeous wooden nymph Syrinx whereas wandering round his nation to guard nature. Falling in love together with her, Pan chases after her however Syrinx is a follower of the goddess Artemis. (Artemis and her followers had vowed to stay virgins without end.) Realizing that there isn’t a salvation from Pan, Syrinx flees. When Pan catches her by a spring and needs to hug her, Syrinx is changed into a reed, and Pan’s arms are wrapped round a bunch of reeds. When Pan sighs in disappointment, instantly, a tragic and candy melody takes over the place. Pan realizes the sound got here from the reeds. He yearns to be with Syrinx and cuts seven reeds of various sizes, glues them aspect by aspect with wax, and invents the musical instrument he referred to as “Syrinx.” This musical instrument is known as the pan flute immediately.

One other proficient musician of the Panarp Mission is pan flutist Yavaş, who has labored to advertise this mythological instrument in Turkey. The story of Yavaş with music additionally began at an early age like Akyol as he was additionally raised in a household fond of fine, high quality music. Yavaş, for instance, remembers that his father and brother, who had been working in Germany, would go to lengthy performs that includes the music of Romanian pan flute grasp Gheorghe Zamfir.

Aydın Yavaş works to advertise pan flute in Turkey. (Courtesy of the artist)

Nonetheless, as pan flute was not widespread in these occasions, Yavaş took up the accordion as his very first instrument and continued to be taught piano later. He graduated from Uludağ College’s Music Schooling Division in 1987. In 2000, he accomplished his grasp’s diploma in pedagogy and soloist efficiency within the discipline of piano on the Georgia Medea Paniashvili Academy of Music in Tbilisi below the supervision of professor M. Chumburidze.

Since 1990, he has participated in ethnic festivals in Bulgaria, Italy, France, Switzerland, Romania, Moldova and Georgia with the accordion. In 2001, he based the nine-member “Balkan Accordion Orchestra” consisting of musicians from 5 Balkan international locations, Bulgaria, Albania, Macedonia, Yugoslavia and Turkey.

Yavaş then began to self-train on pan flute, and his ardour for this instrument led him to Romania, the place the most effective pan flutists present schooling. As of 2000, he was among the many grasp class college students of the world’s best pan flutist Zamfir. Following his grasp class schooling, Yavaş attended a number of festivals with Zamfir and began the “Tango” album mission with him in 2004. Though this album mission couldn’t be accomplished as a consequence of a number of causes, Yavaş expressed hope that they may end it sooner or later.

Yavaş additionally launched a common music heart in Turkey’s Eskişehir in 1990. On this heart, the musician supplies youngsters with a particular Japanese musical schooling system, which has been efficiently utilized in 40 international locations for 50 years. Because of this schooling, the innate talents of youngsters are revealed they usually develop up as excellent musicians. In line with Yavaş, for a pupil who obtained particular coaching on the Aydın Yavaş Common Music Middle, studying a second instrument is extraordinarily straightforward. And he tries to encourage college students to take up the pan flute as their secondary instrument to unfold the recognition of its mystic sounds to a lot wider lots in Turkey.

Aydın Yavaş is the primary and solely pan flutist who can play these pipes on the educational stage in Turkey. (Courtesy of the artist)

Not solely pan flute

Though Yavaş is bestknown for sustaining marvelous works to encourage extra musicians to play the pan flute, he additionally supplies schooling in piano and accordion. In his musical heart, he teaches piano enjoying strategies, notice info and rhythm in specialised classes. The middle additionally teaches accordion strategies by coaching that may be organized for people or teams. The establishment helps individuals who wish to play an instrument, whether or not or not they’ve performed one earlier than.

Apart from, Yavaş was the one who managed to introduce the accordion as a department course at Uludağ College’s Music Schooling Division. Between 2000 and 2006, he labored as an accordion teacher on the college as properly. Whereas working as an teacher, he additionally continues to work on concert events, albums, schooling and different musical tasks with Zamfir.

To hearken to the mesmerizing tunes of those two pioneer musicians, keep tuned for his or her concert events in Turkey or overseas!