Bilkent New Music Days V

British Council and Hezarfen Ensemble are taking part at the Bilkent New Music Days V on 18 and 19 May. Based in Istanbul, Hezarfen is an ensemble of internationally recognized musicians dedicated to the highest standards of contemporary performance and the proliferation of contemporary music originating both from Turkey and abroad. In the concert at Bilkent Concert Hall Hezarfen Ensemble will perform works inspired by significant names in literature such as Shakespeare, Can Yücel and Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar with brand new compositions from emerging Turkish and British composers. 
The programme will also include a panel on the relation of text and music in a historical perspective and an educational programme for students of the Bilkent Music and Ballet Elementary School.

Educational Outreach

Date: 18 May
Time: 9:30
Location: Bliss Elementary School

Time: 11.00
Location: Bilkent University Music and Ballet Elementary School
Trainers: Michael Ellison, Amy Salsgiver, Cem Önertürk

Framework: Hezarfen Ensemble will work with composers in Ankara schools to introduce them to contemporary music, exploring the multitudinous ways that words and music combine and feed off of one another. A series of games where students create a new piece from scratch, and sing and play alongside Hezarfen Musicians.
Young Musicians: Hezarfen Ensemble members Cem Önertürk, Müge Hendekli and Nusret Ispir will give masterclasses at Bilkent University, open to both school age and conservatory musicians, on the interpretation of 21st-century music. 

Influence of Literature on 21st Century Composition

Date: 19 May
Time: 19:00
Location: Bilkent University Faculty of Music and Performing Arts Studio 252
Participants: Onur Türkmen, Michael Ellison, Neal Farwell, Benedict Todd, Mert Kocadayı

Framework: The panel will work around text music relation in a historical perspective, a survey of text setting in Western Music history, emphasizing the difference between poetry and drama, and working as a composer especially in the context of Onur Türkmen work in progress - "Sailing to Byzantium" on the poetry of Yeats and Haşim.

Concert: From Word to Sound

Date: 19 May
Time: 20:00
Location:  Bilkent Concert Hall
Performers: Müge Hendekli (piano), Amy Salsgiver (percussion), Cem Önertürk (flute)

Literature has inspired some of composers’ most poignant creations, whether by providing programmatic shape, imagery, rhythmic and sonic material or pure inspiration. This collaborative project celebrates literature as the muse for music, recalling pre-classical Ancient Greece’s concept of Mousike (Art of the Muses) which contained both word and sound.  Central to our programme is the evocative Oneiroi by young UK composer Charlotte Bray, inspired by descriptions of these figures thought to have populated dreams in Ancient Greece.  Neal Farwell’s ‘Shroud’ deconstructs texts of George Mackay Brown, and rearranges them into pure sound.  Onur Türkmen’s Hat explores commonality between music and literature in the shape of calligraphy and the notion of line and abstraction common to both music and that ancient art form,while Michael Ellison’s Ariadne’s Thread weaves a labyrinth of subtle paths through the piano and percussion’s registral terrain. Two new commissions, one to Mert Kocadayı, and one to UK composer Benedict Todd, reveal young Turkish and UK composers’ responses to each’s poetic literature—on Shakespeare, Can Yücel and Ahmet Hamdi Tanpıinar, respectively. 

Benedict Todd  – Yeşil Gece Müziği (after C. Yücel/Ahmet H. Tanpınar)*
Charlotte Bray – Oneiroi **
Frederic Rzewski — To the Earth (on a Homeric hymn)
Mert Kocadayı  –   The Cubical Domes (after David Gascoyne)*

George Crumb – Madrigals, Book II (on a text of Lorca)
Onur Türkmen – Hat for piano and percussion**
Neal Farwell – Shroud (with electronics)**
Michael Ellison – Ariadne’s Thread  

*World Premiere , commissioned by Hezarfen Ensemble
**Turkey premiere


Hezarfen Ensemble

Based in Istanbul, Hezarfen is an ensemble of internationally recognized musicians dedicated to the highest standards of contemporary performance and the proliferation of contemporary music originating both from Turkey and abroad. Through its performances, lectures and workshops, the ensemble aims to energize the contemporary music scene in Istanbul, providing an international platform on which Turkish composers can have their music performed at the highest level, and one on which the most important contemporary international composers have their works introduced to Turkey. Hezarfen works with projects that facilitate intercultural exchange and encourage diverse artistic and musical encounters. Together with its long-term commitment to raising levels of awareness and accessibility of contemporary musical art for audiences in Turkey, it provides advanced training for the best of the new generation of musicians through workshops and collaborations with internationally known conductors and members of Ensemble Modern, MusikFabrik Cologne and other partner international elite musicians and ensembles.