Gökova Bay to Cape Gelidonya Artist Residency

Volkan Hursever

During his residency, jazz double bassist and composer, Volkan Hursever, explored Gokova Bay and surrounding area through walking, swimming and scuba diving with the Akdeniz Koruma Derneği conservation team. To immerse himself into the landscape he stayed in Kemikler village, and witnessed the everyday realities of climate change through the eyes of the villagers. Through many conversations he learnt about the relationship people in the region have towards nature and the difficulties the communities face as well as the recovery that restoration can bring to these important seascapes.

‘It was a wonderful feeling to live in a village for a year. I was deeply affected by the countless nature walks, silence and witnessing the natural life. It allowed me to reflect on our mission in the world and my life, and make new plans for the future.’

This residency provided an opportunity for Hursever to experience how the climatic conditions changed in the village, how the olive trees of agricultural products were damaged, and how the seas were polluted over the year.

During this time he composed a new piece of music, “Song for Terra Mater” (Song for Mother Earth) inspired by the Aegean sea and its wildlife. It is the product of his effort to do his best to pay off his debt to Mother Earth. The piece incorporates natural sounds of the Eastern Mediterranean as well as instrumental representations. Whale song, symbolized by the double bass and almost ghostly sounds voices are an expression of life, death and hope for recovery of the earth.

Song for Terra Mater,  Volkan Hursever 2022

This project has been established through the Endangered Landscapes Artist Residencies and Arts Prize – a collaboration between the Endangered Landscapes & Seascapes Programme and the CCI Arts, Science and Conservation Programme.

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About the artists

Volkan Hursever

Volkan Hursever

As one of the most celebrated double bassists in Turkey, Volkan Hursever is known for his exceptional performances at concerts and jazz festivals nationally and internationally. A graduate of Istanbul State Conservatory at Mimar Sinan University, with a Master’s degree from the Turkish Music Conservatory at Halic University, Hursever teaches contrabass, jazz ensemble and groove writing. He is also a member of the distinguished “Incesaz” ensemble. He has played in concerts with Roy Haynes, Kenny Garrett, David Kikoski and Nicholas Payton, some of the world’s leading jazz musicians. Hursever fell in love with Gökova Bay, its sea and wildlife, many years ago. He has witnessed the devastation overfishing creates and the recovery that restoration can drive in these important seascapes. He is passionate about the role that music can play in raising awareness about the importance of restoration and his ambition is to create the first piece of ‘musical art of marine ecosystem restoration’ to be shared widely via online platforms.

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