Behind the piano: Aysedeniz Gokcin

Behind the piano: Aysedeniz Gokcin

Next in line for this Christmas series is the composer and piano player Aysedeniz Gokcin, which we’ll get to know better in this Behind the piano post!

Where are you from? And where do you live?
I split my time in 3 different places: London Los Angeles and Istanbul. But most of the time (before corona) I live on airplanes! 

How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
Since I was 5.5! I wasn’t allowed to play anything else – as my parents wanted me to not to spread myself too thin. However I really want to learn the violin and guitar!

Tell us about how you started playing music. 
I would improvise on the upright piano that no one played in our apartment, when I was a baby. My mother realised my passion for it and took me to piano lessons. From there I began learning fast and by the time I was 7 I was in the same class as 14 year olds. My career took on very fast as a child prodigy but later on I wanted to play other genres and eventually compose. That has been my dream since I was a child – I wanted to win an Academy Award for best score.

How long have you been making piano music?
I used to compose but never share anything… It was an escape from reality for me – not a way to make a career. however after recording my Beethoven Senses Album last year, I had an extra day to record and that day I found all the short compositions I wrote and an album came out of all those! It became top 10 in classical charts in UK and USA.

Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
My grandmothers would want me to play folk songs or tunes that they were familiar with. I would change them and make them fit my own classical style, and it gave me the energy to create motifs of my own. I knew I was good with melodies so years later these pieces just come out of me naturally. 

What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
Ludovico Einaudi and Olafur Arnalds

Is there one song which you play over and over again as soon as you sit down by a piano? Your own or someone else’s?
As nerdy as this sounds, it is Chopin Ballade No. 4’s finale which is super difficult to play. I must have practiced it so much that now whenever I sit down I play that to warm up and to test my energy level!

What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
I think you really never should compete but only aim at expressing your own story. Copying something until it is perfect never works and it is so boring!

How do you record your music?
It is different each time – sometimes at a church that has great acoustic, sometimes in my computer using sampels, and sometimes in a studio!

What’s your take on sampled instruments?
I feel like some are better than actual instruments! I love them and as technology progresses they get better and better. However playing an acoustic instrument has a completely different feel to it. One is like racing a car and the other is racing a computer game.

The last question is asked by my 6 year old son:
Where do all your songs come from?
That’s a great question! They come from my subconscious! I don’t think about what to write – the music just comes out.

Thank you very much Aysedeniz for this little interview!

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