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Ayşedeniz Gökçin

Ayşedeniz GökçinAyşedeniz Gökçin was thought of as a child prodigy in Turkey where she was born. She performed her concerto debut when she was only nine years old, with the Gordion Chamber Orchestra playing J.S. Bach’s Keyboard Concerto No. 5.

At the ripe age of thirteen, she had already performed as a soloist with various orchestras under conductors including Ibrahim Yazici, Fahrettin Kerimov, Antonio Pirolli, Cem Mansur, Engin Sakpinar, Ertug Korkmaz, Rengim Gokmen, Vladimir Sirenko, and Kirill Karabits.

In 2011, she completed her Masters Degree in Piano Performance at the Royal Academy of Music in London, under the tutelage of Christopher Elton. She received the Maud Hornsby Award, graduated with Merit and completed the LRAM Teaching Certification.

In 2009, she completed her Bachelors Degree at Eastman School of Music in Rochester New York in the studio of Douglas Humpherys. This was where she received the Howard Hanson and Clements Scholarships as well as the John Celentano Excellence in Chamber Music Award.

As a young pianist, Ayşedeniz attended prestigious summer festivals including the Verbier Academy, Music Academy of the West, Aspen Music Festival and School, PianoTexas, Goslar Konzertarbeitswochen, Tel Hai, and Beijing International Music Festival.

It was at these events she studied with renowned piano pedagogues such as Menahem Pressler, Jerome Lowenthal, Arie Vardi, Yoheved Kaplinsky, as well as Lang Lang.

Even when she was in middle school, Gokcin moved to Spain for six months to study with the renowned Bach interpreter Rosalyn Tureck, becoming one of her last students.

Ayşedeniz GökçinThroughout her early career, Ayşedeniz has given concerts at venues around the world including the Cathedral of Christ The Savior in Moscow, Russia, L'Eglise Verbier in Switzerland, Duke's Hall, Steinway Hall and Kings Place London in the UK, Bellapais Antique Monastery in northern Cyprus and Central Park of Culture Open Air Hall, Lysenko Hall in Kiev, Ukraine.

Also in the USA's PepsiCo Hall in Texas, Kilbourn Hall in New York, Harris Hall in Colordao, Pacific Amphitheater in California, Teatro Cine in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Teatro Cine Gouveia, Teatro das Figuras Faro, Centro Cultural de Ãlhavo and Centro Cultural da Gafanha da Nazare in Portugal.

At Galleria d'Arte Moderna, San Fedele Milan, Teatro Dario Fo Venice and St. Giorgio Cathedral Palermo in Italy, and in almost all of Turkey's most important art centres, including Sureyya Opera House, Albert Long Hall, AkSanat, Borusan Music House, The Seed, CRR in Istanbul, State Opera House in Eskisehir and MEB Sura in the capital in Ankara.

Upon hearing Ayşedeniz's interpretation of Chopin Sonata No. 3, Nikolai Petrov personally invited her to perform in the Kremlin Palace in Moscow - a concert that was very well-received and marked somewhat of a mile stone for the artist.

Another mile stone was after three of her piano arrangements of Pink Floyd songs in the style of Franz Liszt went viral, Ayşedeniz attracted the attention of progressive rock listeners, and was featured on Pink Floyd’s Official Facebook Page.

Upon the requests of fans, she completed the Pink Floyd Classical Concept album, which she performed in the USA, Argentina, Ecuador, Bulgaria, Italy, Portugal, Turkey and Germany.

Ayşedeniz GökçinShe performed as a soloist in Wavelength in the USA in 2013; Sofia Piano Extravaganza in Bulgaria in 2013; Gouveia Art Rock in Portugal in 2014; Piano City Milan & Palermo in Italy 2014, 2016 and 2017; the 31st International Ankara and 38th & 41st Istanbul International Classical Music in Turkey during 2014-2015 and TanJazz Festivals in Morocco during 2016.

In 2014, her show won the Argentinian Association of Cable Television Music Award; in 2015 her new album Nirvana Project dedicated to Kurt Cobain of Nirvana was released and reached the UK Top 10 Classical Charts on iTunes.

In 2016 she won the Pianist of the Year award in Turkey at Donizetti Classical Music Awards and in 2017 she made her debut at New York City's iconic venue 'Le Poisson Rouge'.

She has also played at the gala of TatliDil Forum (a conference aiming at strengthening and institutionalising the civil dialogue between Turkey & the UK) in November 2014 to which Prince Andrew, Duke of York, the former president of Turkey as well as royalties, business leaders, distinguished professors and lawmakers attended.

She has appeared on BBC News, Classic FM, Prog Rock Magazine, International Piano Magazine, Andante Magazine, MusicOff, Vogue, and continues to attract the attention of fans with her fresh, genre bending projects.

Newspapers including Le Figaro in FranceLe Figaro, The Herald in Scotland and Taz in Austria and Germany have all given her positive reviews.

She worked as a composer and pianist for the Editta Braun Dance Company Close Up show that toured Salzburg, Vienna, Linz and Edinburgh in 2015.

Ayşedeniz GökçinIn January of 2019 her original album named Earth Prelude entered the Top 10 iTunes classical charts in the UK, USA, Turkey and Italy. In February her Beethoven Senses Album with the composer's five iconic sonatas as a preparation for Beethoven's 250th anniversary is now on digital platforms including iTunes and Spotify.

Her limited edition signed albums are available from her online store, her digital tracks are available on iTunes, and her original piano scores & arrangements are on Music Notes. You can follow Ayşedeniz on Facebook and watch her performances on YouTube.

AyseDeniz is currently working on two new albums: one of classical hits, and her own compositions; and one surprise cover project of a rock/pop group.

Ayşedeniz holds admiration for feminist writer George Sand, Hollywood actors like Meryl Streep and pianist Martha Argerich. She also recognizes the short attention span of the new generation which she feels has changed the way people experience music.

Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin is best known by her nom de plume, George Sand. She was a French novelist, memoirist, and socialist whom conducted affairs of varying duration with Jules Sandeau in 1831, Prosper Mérimée and Alfred de Musset in the summer of 1833 to March 1835, Louis-Chrysostome Michel, Pierre-François Bocage, Charles Didier, Félicien Mallefille, Louis Blanc, and Frédéric Chopin from 1837–1847.

In Majorca one can still visit, the formerly abandoned Carthusian monastery of Valldemossa, where she spent the winter of 1838–1839 with Chopin and her children.

"A Chopin Affair is very personal to me because I have played the two sonatas; the first in my undergrad final recital and the second sonata during my masters at the graduation recital."

Ayşedeniz Gökçin"I worked with many teachers on these works and I think they are my favourite piano pieces, even though they are very different. I thought it would be a nice range to portray in the album, that is the more general reason."

Ayşedeniz is inspired by current feminist movements, and feels that the relationship between Chopin and George Sand was quite special.

"It was very progressive, especially for that era. George Sand was a feminist writer, so I wanted to make the Chopin Affair videos in her style. George Sand would dress up like a man and talk about a lot of topics like philosophy, politics and sex."

"She was very open, very courageous and very creative. She led her own life - not listening to what society said. That was the inspiration behind the videos, image-wise."

"The project came about when I decided to look at the pieces I studied and looked at them again as a more mature person. That is how I recorded them and it was a good excuse, and a good reason, to go back to my roots because I have done a lot of crossover projects since I've graduated."

"But, I am still a classical pianist at heart. I wanted to bring that to the front line of this album. I'm going to record another Chopin album and a Beethoven album sometime in April or May."

"I am doing a Michael Jackson album as well - So they are all different and random things! I love the whole genre-bending projects. A lot of young people listen to many different styles. Before, people used to be labelled under one brand and style, but nowadays young people are open to new styles. My aim is to unite a lot of listeners on one platform."

"I am launching a series in London where each concert will be a completely different topics. This is the second one I’ll be doing at the church (St James's Sussex Gardens). Before that, I did a Pink Floyd concert."

Ayşedeniz Gökçin"This concert will be with two painters who will paint live during the slow movements of the sonatas, and they are two different types of artists visually. There is a street graffiti artist, Zabou and she does a lot of portraits all over the streets of London. Then, there is Tommy Ramsay and he's from the Royal College of Arts."

"He is much more conceptual, so I think it will be a nice visual aid to interpret Chopin, in that regard. And then the next concerts will be very different. One will be with electronic beats and another one will be Beethoven’s Ninth, and possibly the Michael Jackson launch later on."

"I reached out to different people. Zabou is big on Instagram, so I wrote to her and she said she played piano for seven years. She is excited about the concert. I just loved her art. I follow many artists on Instagram and that is a source of inspiration for me. For Tommy, I wrote to the Royal College of Art and that's how he contacted me."

"I did not want them to paint for the entire performance because I think that would be distracting. I think there is already so much to absorb with just the pianist performing."

"With the Chopin Sonatas, because they are different stylistically from the other movements, I thought it would be a nice way to get the audience inspired."

"In most classical music concerts I think what is missing is this freshness because once the pianist starts playing, the concert becomes so long, especially if it is the one composer from the same era. It is hard to actively keep listening, considering the attention spans of people nowadays."

Ayşedeniz Gökçin"As an audience you're sitting down, watching and listening for the first and the last bits, and possibly the bit in the middle, but most of it gets lost. I want to freshen the audience up with some visual aid."

"I think it will provoke them to think about how the painter interacts with the music and what will happen with this interaction visually because no one knows. Even the painters will not know what will happen."

Classical music is active listening; that is the primary role of the audience. It is not consumer music – where you are just there and entertained by it. You need to learn from it, experience it, and it can be a deeply philosophical way of enjoying music.

I think it is more of an educational experience and a bit like consciousness – how you perceive sound. It is one of the few times you have to yourself in this busy life.

You sit and listen for over an hour and you're just alone with yourself, and the real sounds coming from the performer. It is quite a special thing nowadays because there is noise everywhere. Everyone is busy, we are distracted by social media. We never listen to each other, even for long conversations. It brings us back to this meditative feeling and to self-realisation.

"We have lost a lot of attention span, for sure. The cellphones are everywhere and we have a very easy reach. Within a couple of seconds we can click a button and see what everyone is doing in the entire world. It was much harder before to open computers, log onto the internet and wait for the signal."

"It was quite a mission, but now it is easier, so I think the accessibility makes it much harder to focus on one task at a time. I mean, this could be good in other ways."

"There are bad sides to it, of course, but information spreads faster now. I can access a ton of music scores, recordings and videos for free. It's amazing, but I think we should use it in a positive and productive way."

Ayşedeniz GökçinWith classical music, I think some musicians are not doing their best to perform in an innovative way like they used to 200 years ago, unfortunately. If you look at history, Liszt was a showman and Chopin was very much behind the scenes."

"He didn't love showing off at all, but he was a great pianist and he did many concerts and improvised. So did Beethoven and Mozart. If you look at all of these great composers, they were very innovative and active."

"We do not have that anymore. Classical music has become academic and very lab-oriented. It is like it's not for the general public to enjoy in most cases. It's very hard."

"If you take someone to a classical music concert and then you play them two recordings it will take them a while to realise the difference. It is whether it touches their heart, or not."

"My philosophy of performance is that the musician has the role to change society, a little bit. Although I do crossover projects, they have a message. There are issues that I care about. I did an album before, Nirvana. The whole concept was on Kurt Cobain’s life. He was struggling with a drug addiction."

"He had a lot of messages for young people. He wrote in his diaries that you should not use drugs, that it was killing him and he couldn't get away from it. I am always trying to incorporate some sort of social message that I care about in these projects."

"I think there are some musicians who do not do that, but once you have a platform I think they should reach out about these issues."

Ayşedeniz GökçinMy reason to get involved in crossover projects was just life! I never simply listened to one genre, I listened to many others. To become a honest musician, you should be playing things that you like listening to. I am not a purist."

"When I was growing up I had tough teachers; I was not allowed to wear nail polish, wear jewellery or to play anything that wasn't classical. When I entered my teenage years, I told myself I'm going to do jazz. I am going to riot against my teachers and do my own thing."

"For me, it was a healthy discovery. It had nothing to do with making money, especially with the Pink Floyd project, it was very deep. I love Pink Floyd. They were icons and filled with many political and social messages. Also, another thing, none of my friends listened to classical music."

I have played at the Kremlin in Moscow - right in front of the Diamond Fund, in the museum section. I think it was the armory. There were these amazing costumes with jewellery on top and bibles."

"I mean that was a great place. The host was wearing a silver suit, it was like The Nutcracker, and felt very operatic. That was quite a while ago."

"I have also played in Italy. Last year in Palermo, there was a piano city festival. Normally they do it in Milan but this time they did it in Sicily and it was in the backyard of a church. It was a fascinating view and there were over a thousand people on the street, just all of them standing around the piano."

There was also another place in Turkey, it was also an antique site owned by the Ancient Romans. It was a stone quarry and there were lights set up against this wall, and there were these tree crickets that were singing when I was playing."

Ayşedeniz Gökçin"At one point, the tempo was the same as the music and people were recording it. It was amazing, the crickets were in sync with the music. Those are three places I have played in, but there are some unusual places also, like in Ecuador, Ambato; I played in a basketball court there. It wasn't the typical type of place for a concert, but the children had never seen a classical music performance before. For me, it was a unique experience."

I also attended the Burning Man Festival in the desert in Nevada in the USA. Love, friendship, kindness, tolerance, hospitality, trust and lots and lots of emotions are the words I have to describe the days I spent at Burning Man."

"It truly increased my belief in humanity. There was also an abundance of the most fascinating art and music everywhere. I’m sharing with you some of those in the footage.

I had some amazing jam sessions at the BRC piano lounge and watched brilliant performances such as Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition by my classmate from university - Brad Hogarth. I would like to thank each person who was a part of my journey there which I hope to continue again next year.

For more information on AyseDeniz, go to her website:


Subscribe to her YouTube Channel at ​ www.youtube.com

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Billy Jean - Michael Jackson by Ayşedeniz Gökçin


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Bonesetters Waiting Room

In the Bonesetter's Waiting Room:
Travels Through Indian Medicine

BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week India defies definition, and the story of medicine in India is similarly rich and complex: shaped by unique challenges and opportunities, uniting cutting-edge technological developments with ancient cultural traditions, fuelled by political changes which transformed the lives of millions and moulded by the energy of forceful individuals. Here, Aarathi Prasad investigates how Indian medicine came to be the way it is. Her travels will take her to bonesetter clinics in Jaipur and Hyderabad and the waiting-rooms of Bollywood's best plastic surgeons, and introduce her to traditional healers as well as the world-beating heart surgeon who is revolutionising treatment of the poor around the globe.

Like a Virgin

Exploring the Frontiers of Conception

Sexual evolution is a slippery business. Like all mammals, we humans seem to have been left no choice in the matter: even though it is costly, inefficient and dangerous, if we want to reproduce we simply have to have sex. Yet most human cultures tell the tale of a maiden who gives birth untouched by a man; and in the wild there are plenty of creatures – such as turkeys, komodo dragons, sharks and the ‘Jesus Christ’ lizard (which walks on water, too) – that take various approaches to reproducing without sex.

In LIKE A VIRGIN, the biology writer Aarathi Prasad discusses how reproduction without sex is achieved in animals and explores why evolution hasn’t made it an option for humans – yet. In doing so, she provides a quirky, entertaining and perceptive overview of the mysteries of evolutionary biology, sex and reproduction – past, present and future.

It’s a remarkable story that ranges across Greek mythology, natural history, agriculture, conservation and medicine; takes in some of the most exciting areas of developmental genetics and molecular biology that other popular science books largely ignore; and is packed full of a cast of amazing characters, be they obscure animals or eccentric scientists such as the respected geneticist Dr Helen Spurway who in the UK in the 1950s unwittingly sparked a nationwide search for a virgin mother.

There is now a plethora of strategies being developed in reproductive medicine that could ultimately keep our species going in a world of embellished sex: the creation of artificial eggs and sperm from bone marrow, labs-on-chips on which eggs are fertilized, silicone wombs and artificial wombs (where fetuses can spend their full nine months), and even research to prepare us for reproduction in space. What’s more, we are finally beginning to understand what genetic modifications are needed to allow for the creation of women who could have babies without having sex. Now that we have the competent hand of science in our lives, will girls still need men?

Publisher: Oneworld (UK/US)
Pub Date: 16 August 2012
Status: Draft manuscript
Length: 288 pages

All rights available excluding:
UK & Commonwealth, US, Arabic (Arab Scientific), Japan (East Press)

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Yabanci is a book by a Dutch woman who moved from Holland to Turkey to start a new life in a Turkish village overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. A great read for those who are considering a move abroad or have lived in a different culture. Available in English as an ebook or in Dutch in both print and popular ebook formats... take a look

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