Composing, I believe, is a direct result of my performance interests. It has always been that when I learn a piece of music, I conduct a detailed analysis from the points of view of theory and musicology. I have also always been very fond of transcribing for the harp from an array of musical traditions. I value approaching every single interpretation of music and the whole body of my repertoire as something that I like to craft personally. I believe that a unique footprint is left not only by the interpretation of a work but also by what is played.

With time, in addition to transcribing, my work in Turkish music required that I interpret something similar to “a shorthand” as Turkish music is monodic. One deals with a single line (which embodies layers of ideas, of course). It is also non-idiomatic, a music not intended for a specific instrument. Therefore, in performance practice, each instrument plays a given melody in its own way. I was exposed to this approach of music-making after having spent 30 years dedicated to the performance of Western music where every single note intended by the composer is written down. This new practice involved imagining a supportive line to the melody (to be played by the harpists’s left hand) along with making a non-idiomatic piece work on the harp by further imagining all sorts of embellishments and expressive solutions.

I enjoy playing just about every style of music on the harp and even the most contemporary scores. Starting in my childhood I have been making up melodies which I would sing to myself but leave there. Because I grew up in a context of western music education, composing was a totally different discipline which would require a specialization. Furthermore, I did not have the formal training to master the contemporary syntax of what we call “new music”. After a number of years in which I was exposed to Turkish music I had composed only a few pieces. In 2021, however, I started composing more systematically to contribute pieces to The Turkish Music Collection. While the collection proposes transcriptions of a variety of Turkish styles and genres, I was also interested in creating music that is in contact with this tradition but explores new horizons. My pieces are based on the makam and usul systems of Turkish music which are its building blocks. These elements, in my view make composition very inviting. They are great tools to handle to create melodic music. My “ears” are that of a harpist but I write  music that is not only for harp, they can also be played by Turkish instruments. I write them down first melodically, then I write them for the harp.

In 2022, when The Turkish Harp Music Collection was published it featured nine pieces I had composed. Just about the same time I started to record some of my pieces as singles which would add up, when finished, to an album entitled “Alaim-i Sema”.  I call my work “Alaim-i Sema”, which means rainbow in old Turkish. I record the pieces not as harp solos rather use each of them as an experimental ground where I gather different traditional and western instruments and try out new approaches in each of them. And I play in each piece.

The simple fact of writing down music and to shape performance projects around them, premiering and playing them in concerts yielded a new direction to my career . This is now taking a new turn as harpists around the world are enjoying the pieces and perform them in their concerts. This line of work is highly personal, liberating and energetic. Music became even more alive for me. And more practical too.  It feels like being a tailor sometimes, sewing a dress for herself  for an occasion that just popped.


Composing gives me a possibility to draw influences from all the music that has accumulated in my ears through years, ranging from the mainstream repertoire I perform to complex contemporary scores, from traditional music to my inner voice. Composing is like drinking endlessly from the fountains of traditions with a third eye involved! My role as a musician feels more complete as a result.

List of compositions


-“Şirin Tango”

-“An Old Postcard”

-“From Ashes”


-“Günaydın Longa”


-“Sunset in Phrygia”

-“Nikriz Saz Semaisi”

-“Pençgah Oyun Havası”

-“Mukavemet” / “Resilience”

-“Cendere Yolunda”

-“The Cry of the Flamingos”

-“The Toy Chest”




-Tango: “Beni Sevmemek”

-Hymn: “Hep İkilik Birlik İçin”

-Pençgâh Song: “Yine yaz günleri geldi”

-Hicaz Song: “Benim adım dertli dolap”

-Nişabur Song: “Ey kopuz ile çeşte”

-Hüseyni Song: “Adım adım ilerü”