Görkem Şen

Görkem Şen's first musical memories are the quirky, self invented songs a childhood friend of his used to sing. The complete freedom of expression in these unlocked something deep and fundamental in him; a need to say something that was personal and original.
24 November 2015 | AG 6

Some 30 years later Görkem has developed just that; a musical language that refers to old Turkish folk and minimalist electronic music played on a self invented instrument that looks like an absurd composite of cast away parts of classical instruments; the Yaybahar.

Before this, Görkem used analog synthesizers, computer and electronics to produce his drone like improvisations, but after a while a need to manipulate sound through a physical instrument began to rear it's head. 

Having a background in engineering and carpenting, Görkem started to build his own instruments, looking for certain timbres and ways of expression he couldn't find in electronic music. 

Görkem started out, heavily inspired by a book about sacred music by Indian mystic Inayat Khan. In that a monk builds a string instrument with materials found in nature and starts playing his music and messages filled with spiritual insights on top of a mountain, the sound vibrating all through the country. 

The Yaybahar is a unique invention, capable of producing sounds that eerily echo analog synthesizers; amplitude modulation, delay effects, reverb, drum and stab sounds and string sounds. 

Görkem Şen uses every possible angle of it to produce a music that is meditative and eerie; exploring micro-tonalities and rhythms, channeling the long minimal drones of Pauline Oliveiros and forgotten Turkish folk melodies into a musical language that is unmistakably his very own.