May 4-10, 2014, Centrum is pleased to welcome the Caravanserai music residency of Turkish folk songstress Aysenur Kolivar. Backed by an intimate ensemble, Aysenur Kolivar will take audiences on a captivating exploration of the musical soundscapes and traditions of her Black Sea heritage.
Aysenur Kolivar was born in Cayeli, a town in the Black Sea region of northeastern Turkey. After her family moved to Izmit, Aysenur spent summers in her youth visiting her hometown to connect with the musical heritage of the Anatolian Black Sea culture. She later studied Turkish Language and Literature at Bogazici University in Istanbul and deepened her exploration of music and folklore with the Bogazici University Folklore Club.
From 1993–2000, Aysenur’s music career blossomed as a featured vocalist with Kardes Turkuler, a groundbreaking ensemble celebrated for interpreting Turkey’s diverse cultural heritage. During this time she was also a soloist and backup vocalist in collaborations with noted Black Sea musicians Birol Topaloglu, Kazim Koyuncu, and Hikmet Aycicek.
In 2001, Aysenur co-founded the Dalepe Nena (“Sisters’ Voice”) women’s music group. She is also a soloist and researcher with the Helesa Project, which collects and performs folk music from the Black Sea. A current PhD candidate in Musicology and Music Theory at Istanbul Technical University, where she also teaches Turkish language, Aysenur focuses her academic research on the cultures of the East Black Sea with an emphasis on women’s culture.
Aysenur is a highly-regarded recording artist and composer whose work is featured on the soundtracks for prominent Turkish films including Yesim Ustaoglu’s documentary Sırtlarındaki Hayat (2004), Ozcan Alper’s Sonbahar (2008), and Yusuf Kurcenli’s Yuregine Sor (2010). Her critically acclaimed debut album, a double CD of Black Sea songs titled Bahceye Hanimeli (“Honeysuckle for the Garden”), was released in 2012 by the renowned independent Turkish label Kalan Records.