by Hande Sağlam
The regional, ethnic and religious heterogeneity of Turkey is also reflected in its musical life. There are also great differences in musical expression between urban and rural areas in Turkey. The main focuses of the IVE on Turkey are Istanbul and Central Anatolia, in particular the province of Sivas.
Since 2003, Hande Sağlam has been conducting various research activities on the Âşık tradition in the province of Sivas. Her research focus was on the musical and textual differences between the Alevi and Sunni Âşıks in this area. Since 2019, her main focus has moved on to music and cultural memory as well as the opportunities/strategies of oral tradition among Âşıks in Sivas. Furthermore, immigration in the larger provinces inside and outside Turkey and its influence on the Âşık tradition as well as the music of Alevism are further topics of research that have been documented by numerous fieldwork projects in Istanbul.
A further research focus was provided by Manami Suziki, an exchange scholarship holder. Between 2017 and 2019 she carried out a large amount of field research on Cem ceremonies (the religious ceremonies of Alevism) in Istanbul, Austria and Germany as part of her dissertation project.
All of the above-mentioned field research documentation on Turkey is contained in the IVE archives and is available for further research. The audio and video material will be available on the IVE website after summer 2020 under the IVE archive signature "TR".
Cooperations with Turkish musicians and music institutions are another important pillar for research on Turkey at the IVE. The field research project Confusing Inspiration 2, which was carried out in Istanbul in 2016 in cooperation with the Institute for Composition, Electroacoustics and Sound Engineering at the mdw and the Conservatory of Turkish Music at the ITÜ (Istanbul Technical University, http://www.itu.edu.tr/en/academics/schools/turkish-music-conservatory), provided us not only with an overview of the educational system of this conservatory, which specializes in traditional Turkish musics, but also of various music scenes in Istanbul.
This field research project, carried out together with composition students, combined artistic and ethnomusicological research approaches. Artistic projects (compositions, sound installations, improvisations and alternative forms of performance) were developed on the basis of this field research and were then presented in a concert at the mdw. This arts-based research project will be continued in 2020 and 2021 in Istanbul.
Since January 2020 Hande Sağlam has been cooperating with the Conservatory of the University of Hacettepe together with the Phonogrammarchiv of the Austrian Academy of Sciences/Vienna. Within the framework of this cooperation, the field research recordings of the one of the most significant and important folk music collectors from the 1930s, 40s and 50s, Muzaffer Sarisözen, will be digitized and archived for the first time.