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İstanbul, Istanbul, Turkey | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | MAJOR

İstanbul, Istanbul, Turkey | MAJOR
Established on Jan, 2013
Solo Folk Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos




Mircan Kaia (Mircan Kaya) is a Turkish-Georgian-Mingrelian musician of multi-cultural identity who has produced several widely acclaimed albums. The first album she put out was Bizim Ninniler (Our Lullabies), a first of its kind, which was followed by Kül (Ashes). Mircan Kaya, who lives now for the most part in Istanbul, but has her roots in Mingrelia (in what is now the independent Georgia), has become increasingly well known in recent years for her distinctive music; but she brings to the Turkish cultural scene much more than her music. Her family comes from the Megrel-Laz ethnic group who migrated to Turkey from Batumi, Georgia. After completing middle school and graduating from Nisantasi Girl’s High School in Istanbul, she studied civil engineering at Yildiz Technical University and completed a master's degree on earthquake engineering at Bogaziçi University in Istanbul. Her engineering career has had much success dealing with advanced, innovative engineering technologies. Operating her own engineering company, she acts as the representative of FIP INDUSTRIALE S.p.A based in Italy and has directed several important, international engineering projects. She was trained on advanced engineering and seismic technologies in France, Italy, and Jordan as well as in Turkey. She started singing very early, in infancy, preferring to sing adult songs, rather than those for babies and children. Singing with orchestras in wedding ceremonies gradually became an ordinary activity for her. - INFO RAPID KNOWLEDGE

"Mircan Kaya Introduced by Professor David Seddon"

Mircan Kaya, who lives now for the most part in Istanbul, but has her roots in Mingrelia (in what is now the independent Georgia), has become increasingly well known in recent years for her distinctive music; but she brings to the Turkish cultural scenemuch more than her music- as we shall see in the interview. Further more, as she herself notes in the interview, she has been able to combine her private life with not only a musical career but also with a career as astructural engineer. She prefers to earn her living through her professional engineering skills and to allow her musical and wider cultural productions to be less constrained. Nevertheless, there are many ways in which her various talents and interests are connected. For example, she is currently studying ethno-musicology and is also taking an advanced MSc in the analysis of historic buildings, which will involve her in studies in Italy (at the University of Padua), Portugal and Spain.
Her work, which has involved close collaboration with other musicians, including both Turkish and British artists, is strongly marked by her social origins and background, and by her own life experiences. Her early childhood memories in particular and her continuing links to the mountain village where she was brought up, and where her mother still partly lives, feed into many aspects of her adult life.
She has now produced five solo albums: Bizim Ninniler (Our Lullabies) with Çan Müzik in 2005; Kül with Kalan in the same year; Sala with UCM in 2006; and Kül & Ashes – a reprint of Kül-with UCM in 2007. She also produced Numinosum, together with Limbo (a group based in Bristol) in 2008, and OUTIM (Once upon a Time in Mingrelia), also with Limbo which was released in September 2008, not long after this interview. She has appeared (together with Kalincacik) in the compilation Made in Turkey 3/ The World of Turkish Grooves, with Yeni Dünya Müzik.
Her works published by Turkish labels can be found at www. Kalan.com and www.tulumba .com. For further details, see her websites: www.mircan.net, www.ucmproduction.com, www.myspace.com/Mircan and www.myspace.com/Mircananatolian.
David Seddon
“They say I started shopping when I was only three. I remember those days when I woke up early in the morning and went to the bakery to buy hot bread for the family, without beaing asked. And I remember very well that all the shop pwners were smiling at me, telling me something to make me angry, because I was so young. I was the subject of very special enjoyment in the mornings for them. I tell you all this to explain how hungry I was to discover new things. At the age of five, I was able to wander all around the city, knowing all the short cuts, all the secret streets. At that age, seeing how hungry I was for learning, my family placed me in an Arabic programme at the mosque. The environment of the mosque, and the language, added another perspective to my way of looking at and seeing the things.........”

"SanatLog – Interview with Mircan Kaya"

SanatLog – Interview with Mircan Kaya

Mircan Kaya expresses her assessment of the media industry in today’s modern society and the people squeezed in the vise of modern realities by saying, “I believe that all of the media channels we are besieged with are trying to ram a system down our throats through broadcasts, advertising, etc., and I am very frustrated. I am against collective insanity. They are taking away the right of the individual to be himself. How can anyone develop an authentic personality under these conditions.” Mircan embellishes her music with philosophy, literature and, most importantly the practices of her own life. We interviewed the musician, Mircan Kaya, for SanatLog readers. Enjoy the story…

SanatLog: First of all, we want to thank you for accepting our request for an interview.

Mircan Kaya: I appreciate your interest.

SanatLog: Can you briefly tell SanatLog readers about yourself?

Mircan Kaya: My nickname during childhood was Çinka. It is a name in the Laz language. Actually, when this name, which means forest fairy or elf, is used for a human, or, at least, I can say that when it was used for me, it meant someone who was very quiet, calm and seldom spoke but was very determined and stubborn, someone who was actually quiet because they were always thinking about something, someone who was unpredictable and whose tongue dripped poison whenever crossed, was devilishly clever, etc.
I was born in a city surrounded by extraordinary natural beauty and grew up in a mountain village near this city. Anyone familiar with the city of Artvin knows what kind of natural beauty I speak of. I grew up with the fragrances of grass, trees, soil, flowers, animals and even rain, with the sounds of nature, the sound of silence and the sound of darkness that echoes in one’s ears. My suspense-filled journeys of discovery in the backyard of Armenian houses, and the narrow, mysterious streets of Artvin, which looked down from a hill on the Çoruh river and was crisscrossed with steep, narrow streets go back to the time when I could barely walk. We would pour into the streets during the April rains to get wet. Until I finished university in Istanbul, no one could deprive me of the pleasure I felt getting soaking wet walking in the rain. I would go down to the city center just to get wet.

SanatLog: We are curious about what defines you and your areas of interest.

Mircan Kaya: I have lived a colorful life filled with the adventures of exploring every road that leads to art because of my passion for extraordinary stories, journeys, books and art.
The thing that unjustly changed my life's direction and the way I perceived life at an early age was the premature departure of people I loved. The only way I was able to overcome the pain and weight of the realization that no one else would ever love me the same way was through music, literature, painting, cinema, reading and working. I was in love with the sweet, irresistible light of knowledge which illuminated my spirit. Great writers, philosophers and artists were my soul mates. They were my gurus and they still are.
I have loved creating ever since I was a child. I am passionate about it. I mean about “doing” because I must do it myself. I began cooking when I was very young. I began shopping when I was very small too. I have sung songs for as long as I can remember. On my own, I learned the complex software that facilitates engineering calculations and I have used it for years. I wanted to take journeys and roads that no one else had the courage to travel. I have an incessant enthusiasm for life. This enthusiasm is the source of my inner strength or maybe my inner strength gives birth to this enthusiasm.

In general, I would say that I am about life itself. Of course, life includes death. I have been interested in philosophy, literature, psychology and psychoanalysis for many years. The room I had as a teenager was filled with books and flowers that I grew. My handwriting covered the walls and then there was my guitar. I loved to curl up on the fleece that was spread on the floor and take naps between my reading, music studies or lessons. One of my greatest needs was walking. Because of my passion for nature and my deeply committed personality, I always create an atmosphere that allows me to become one with nature wherever I live. Of the five elements, earth, wood and metal dominate my living space. Of course, I include the air with windows that look up at the sky. And flowers and plants…
Travelling is one of the things that feeds my spirit the most. Occasionally, we must get away from the place where we live. Otherwise, it does not take long for us to become prisoners of the lives we have created. Getting away for awhile and giving myself and my loved ones some space really recharges me. One should miss others and be missed. Then, I am filled with fresh, new ideas.

SanatLog: Your efforts to combine two tendencies in - SANATLOG

"Mircan with Limbo – Numinosum (Uncatalogued Music Productions)"

Turkish vocalist / songwriter Mircan Kaya apparently grew up in a mountain village in the Black Sea Region, singing traditional songs at weddings and ceremonies from an early age, before her later years at university saw her singing and playing guitar in a number of indie-rock bands. While Kaya’s two preceding albums, 2005’s ‘Kul’ and 2006’s ‘Sala’ saw her working primarily with traditional Turkish music, this fourth artist album on UCM sees her collaborating with Bristol-based six-piece Limbo (whose ranks include trumpeter Roger Mills and Portishead alumni Jim Barr) for ten tracks that see her singing completely in English for the first time. Opening track ‘Waif’ almost suggests an ambient / World Music-centred listen ahead, as Kaya’s reverb-heavy vocals soar out from a backdrop of sampled rain and thunder, the beatless and slightly ominous setting providing the perfect counterpoint to her eerie high notes, before the title track injects a sense of Balkan forlorn-ness, complete with weeping violins, piano keys and bass clarinets as Kaya’s folk-tinged lyrics detail the story of a lover passed – indeed, the whole atmosphere generated particularly recalls Dead Can Dance’s re-reading of ‘I Am Stretched On Your Grave.’

From there, ‘Tonight I Long For Rest’ sees proceedings getting smokier and more jazz-centred, as muted trumpets and slow brushed snares trace a path beneath Kaya’s vaguely Grace Slick-esque delivery, shortly before slo-core indie guitar chords reminiscent of Low begin to rise up in the mix, while the aptly-titled ‘Wordless’ sees her layering her vocal textures into an unearthly wall of harmony amidst synthetic ambience, in what’s easily one of the most intriguing moments on offer here. ‘To Take A Step Without Feet’ represents perhaps this album’s one real miss-step, offering up a flirtation with boogie-woogie piano that feels disturbingly like the sort of thing that might end up on Jools Holland’s TV show, though it’s nicely made up for by the considerably more subtle ‘Crickets’ Song – Silence In Cxala’, which curiously enough offers up an extended ambient segue completely constructed around the sampled sounds of crickets and rain falling on leaves. While ‘Numinosum’ sometimes feels a little undecided as to the sort of album it’s trying to be, for this most part its eclecticism results in a consistently interesting listen. - CYCLIC DEFROST

"Mircan Kaya keeps Laz torch alight in latest lullaby CD"

A lullaby-composing engineer is not a professional profile you are likely to encounter in the course of everyday life, yet Mircan Kaya, a leading engineer at an Italian-based company and the first musician in Turkey to polish up traditional Anatolian lullabies, is just that.
Having enchanted children and adults alike with her soothing vocals for the past seven years, Kaya released her eighth album, “Nanni,” the first contemporary lullaby collection in the Laz and Mingrelian languages, at the end of June. An album steeped in cultural richness and nostalgia, Kaya’s latest collection will equally secure the affections of sleepless toddlers and more mature listeners.
The idea for “Nanni,” Kaya recalls, came to her on a cold December night last year in her home in the Çiragan district of Istanbul. Taking time out from the rigmarole of working life, Kaya, who spends her winters in Turkey, found herself reflecting on memories of her childhood in the mountainous villages of the Black Sea region. “My job was slowly wearing me down,” the 49-year-old told Today’s Zaman, adding, “I have always been a successful engineer, but have found that the more successful I become, the greater the pressure is. Success breeds loneliness and stress. That night, sitting at our dining room table I started to write about happy, simpler days gone by, submerging myself in memories of a time where there was nature, innocence, cows, sheep, horses, baskets of fresh fruit, unconditional love…”
The next morning Kaya, inspired and resolute, contacted old friend and co-producer Jon Wygens, with whom she previously collaborated on her “Niminosum” and “Outim” albums as well as on the track “Mircan’s Lullaby,” which featured on Kaya’s award-winning soundtrack for Selim Günes’s 2010 film “Kar Beyaz” (White as Snow). “I felt this urge to do a new music project, almost in the sense of therapy for the stress I was feeling at work. Music has always been a tonic and a shelter for me,” the mother of two related.
And so the project began -- pianist Alcyona Mick and cellist Ivan Hussey joined the team, and the decision was made to record the album in Wygen’s Camden-based studio in London. As the daughter of a Mingrelian family who migrated to the Karadeniz region of Turkey from Georgia, Kaya told Today’s Zaman that “Nanni,” which has been praised by the UK-based NGO Foundation for Endangered Languages, is all about keeping the torch of her ancestors’ language alight.
“An album like this needed to be made, but in my opinion only a person closely affiliated with Laz traditions, as well as being familiar with the West, could write these lullabies and recite them from the heart,” she explained.
Despite the fact that in retrospect Kaya says she regrets not singing lullabies to her own children in Laz or Mingrelian when they were babies, she is pleased that now, as grownups, they can enjoy and appreciate the old songs. “They both enjoy listening to ‘Nanni’ and not just as a lullaby album, but as a relaxing collection of music,” she said, adding that both contributed to the project, her daughter Setenay with illustrations and her son Oguzhan with translations.
The importance of passing indigenous traditions down through the generations is indeed one Kaya believes cannot be underestimated. “If traditional cultures and old languages and dialects are not protected, can you imagine what a dull place the world would be? I am very much against the practice of globalizing and neutralizing cultures; we need to hold tight to the richness and diversity of our individual heritages and ancestors,” Kaya said.
Currently in the process of preparing for a new release, “Minör,” in autumn, the prolific Kaya told Today’s Zaman that during her research for the album she read Abkhaz author and philosopher Bagrat Shinkuba’s “The Last Departed” and was inspired to dedicate the last track on the album to the memory of the now extinct Ubykh people. “While reading this book I was constantly on the verge of tears. Parents should be proud of teaching their children about the heritage of their ancestors. Why, for example, should those who know both Laz and Turkish not speak and write in both languages? Why should languages that have been spoken for thousands of years simply be allowed to become extinct?” Kaya asked.
Reflecting on the difference between “Nanni” and past musical projects, Kaya said while every album she produces stands as an individual work in its own right, that “Nanni” is technically a bit different from all the rest. “Producing an album is like writing a novel for me. With this album the aim was not only to produce soothing, relaxing sounds but also to try and teach a language,” she said.
Another point the team was keen to focus on with “Nanni,” Kaya explained, was the integration of natural sound effects from everyday life in eastern Black Sea villages. “We have learned from past albums that babies are soothed by sounds similar to those that they make themselves. In the song ‘You Tell Me What to Cook,’ for example, there is a constant background sound of a baby hitting their high-chair with a spoon and making slurping noises,” Kaya related, adding that the studio recording of the track “Lullaby of Lamb Counting,” involving a chorus of “meeee” sounds from the musical team, was particularly enjoyable to record.
Kaya and her team are set to embark on a promotional venture to Istanbul in September where fans of all ages will have the opportunity to get acquainted with the whimsical singer in specially curated promotional events, lullaby-themed parties and autograph signings. “Nanni” is available for purchase from branches of the D&R bookshops and other major music retailers.
Latifa Akay
Todays Zaman - TODAYS ZAMAN

"Mircan Kaya’s new album ‘Outim’ offers experiments with tradition"

Mircan Kaya’s new album ‘Outim’ offers experiments with tradition Those who follow Mircan Kaya as she grows and develops through each successive album should be happy to hear that her latest work, "Outim," an ode to eastern Black Sea culture and Mingrelia, is one of her most personal albums. Since releasing her debut album, Kaya has touched the hearts of her fans with her intimate voice, which brings together sadness and an impassioned cry that no one can remain indifferent to. This album is the one in which she touches her own Mingrelian roots musically, and that is why I see it as being so very personal.
"Outim," her fifth album, is the result of two years of work, in which she wrote the stories of the songs, and gathered thoughts and inspiration and recorded in a studio in Bristol. One can say "Outim" is really a precious gift given to Mingrelian language and culture, because the Mingrelian language, an unwritten language, and the Mingrelians, one of the most populous ethnic groups in the eastern Black Sea region, find their voice in its songs. All the songs are composed by Mircan and Limbo, the Bristol-based jazz band that accompanied Mircan on her last two albums. The musical harmony that Mircan and Limbo create is clearly audible on "Outim," as on the previous album, "Numinosum." But, in "Outim," Limbo seems to have truly understood the traditional features of eastern Black Sea music. The rhythmic and harmonic blends Limbo makes, as well as the use of bagpipes in the place of the tulum (bagpipe-like instrument used in the Black Sea region), match well with Mircan's idea of "playing with" the traditional and somehow going beyond it.
Furthermore, it must be recalled that Limbo is an experimental jazz band. Hence, when combined with Mircan's inclination toward experimenting with music, words, melodic phrases and cadences, one can only remark, "No wonder they understand each other and fit in so well together."
The most interesting feature about "Outim," though, is that it is at the same time a book of stories written by Mircan. The stories are included in the album notes. Those stories all reflect "how it feels to be there, to live there among the pear trees and mountains and lush green of the Black Sea forests." It is a typical feature of the singer-songwriter tradition to stand halfway between music and literature, as Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen did. So when Mircan blends stories and music together, the literary part feels like an organic ingredient of the whole album, where Arzu Basaran's paintings, Pelin Özer's haikus and Mircan's handwritten songs and stories are found in perfect harmony. Being such a multidimensional artwork, it sets an example as to what one would miss if one were to simply download it from the Internet.
To take a closer look at this multi-talented songwriter, one should explore her discography. On "Bizim Ninniler" (Our Lullabies), her first album, she sang lullabies from all over Anatolia and had a many fans among babies and mothers. Her second was a türkü (Turkish folk song) album titled "Kül," which was remixed and remastered very recently. On Kül, she sings the türküs in their appropriate regional styles and hearing her sing so close to an authentic performance has been a surprise to many türkü lovers. Then came "Sala," where she sang her own songs in Turkish, English and Mingrelian. From "Numinosum" onward, she started to work with Limbo and it seems "Numinosum," and now "Outim," are the albums that reflect her ability to balance freedom and structure. The brass section, especially Roger Mills' trumpet, renders an interesting interpretation of the abundant use of wind instruments in Black Sea music. It is as if the volume of the cry remains, but its character is changed into a more melancholic tone.
All the tracks on Kaya's latest album were recorded in Bristol, and she did her own musical direction. The third song, "Karmatte Gola Gza," is in the form of a Central Anatolian song in terms of its rhythm and melody, and it continues to resonate in your mind long after you listen to it. "Xopurepes" reflects a more Western form, and songs such as "Mu Phat E Skhiri," throughout which a loud, passionate bagpipe is heard, appeal to enthusiasts of both Black Sea music and Gaelic music.
The most striking feature of Kaya's singing is her ability to adopt many different voices. In other words, it feels as if she sings each song with a different character according to what the genre calls for. When asked about this, she answers that each song has a particular story and emotion and that, throughout each song, she feels those stories as her own and tries to reflect them in her singing. If one were to summarize "Outim," it could be said that it is music that reflects the feeling of being Mingrelian or from the eastern Black Sea in a "Mircanesque" way, just as we feel in her lullaby titled "Mircanisi Nani" (Mircan's Lullaby). (Mircan Kaya, "Outim," September 2008, UCM Productions)

04.10.2008 Arts & Culture

"Causing tremors of her own-Earthquake Engineer Mircan Kaya"

It’s not often that you find trained earthquake engineers delivering songs capable of causing tremors all on their own, but Mircan Kaya’s Kül & Ashes has a seismic presence that pulverizes lesser singers.
Turkey has had an infamously problematic relationship with its indigenous musics – which is possibly why Mircan, coming from a Georgian family relocated to the Black Sea area, is barely known to the wider world. This should change. Although Kül & Ashes – the two nouns are Turkish and English translations of each other – has taken two years to get an international release, it is a stunning work, and one that straddles the ancient and the modern with ease. Most of the nine tracks are interpretations of traditional songs, but are orchestrated in such a way as to reach beyond time. Accompanied by a compact band dominated by the heavy resonances of Emin Igüs’ baglama (a small saz or lute) and coloured by some Harold Budd-like trumpet from Roger Mills, Mircan’s voice has a sinuous presence. The brooding quality of a spare ‘Sad Olup Gülmedin’ (I Was Never Happy or Smiled) whistles around mountain eyries, while the droning beauty of ‘Osman’um’ (My Osman) is frankly terrifying – like Diamanda Galas set loose on the Caucasus.

"Mircan- Sala: Dreamy ana ethrel music from the Black Sea"

Dreamy and ethereal - music from the Black Sea
If Mircan were a boy, she would have been thought autistic. The shy child was thought dumb when instead she was listening to the voices in her head. Voices gave way to music, speech to her highly powerful mode of singing.
The adult Mircan is singer, mother and engineer combined. On this album, a third of the song titles are in English, reflecting her love of the language and perhaps her determination to do things her own way.
The songs are quite filmic in nature, jazz instrumentals sway under long vocal notes held for an eternity as on the title track. Bird call breaks in, dark and foreboding cellos warn you off, waves lap, zithers zither and Mircan casts her spell across these ten tracks. - FLY GLOBAL MUSIC CULTURE

"Singer and composer Mircan has created a Pre-Raphaelite tapestry of a CD"

Singer and composer Mircan has created a Pre-Raphaelite tapestry of a CD. It’s construction includes Turkish materials but the design is highly original and eclectic, owing less to tradition than to the work of innovative singer songwriters like Kate Bush and Tom Waits.
The title is a reference to a Muslim prayer for the dead and is the keynote for the CD. Lyrically, the songs are explorations of melancholy that includes Sala itself, the original Seed Of A Denial (in English), settings of English and Turkish poetry and a Black Sea lament, Bgara.
The melodies make extensive use of Turkish modes and are harmonised intelligently with a good dose of jazz. Mircan has a confident and disciplined voice, daring to go places many singers would avoid and successfully investing the words with requisite gravitas. Mircan’s band includes piano, clarinet, trumpet, guitar and bass. The standout instrumentalist, thoough, is cellist Ugur Isik, who prefaces many of the songs with gloriously original miniatures. His technique, inherited from the kemence, evokes the human voice and in his jazzy context evokes the baritone sax ( it occurs to me that a jazz band fronted by cello played with this technique would be a very fine thing indeed).
Another instrumental highpoint is Muammer Ketencoglu’s accordeon-he has a distinctive style, and contributes a lightness that leavens these songs. Lastly there is the unexpected but highly successful use of the didgeridoo, played by Serdar Ayvaz.
The recordings were made in Istanbul but the CD was mixed and edited to a high creative standard by Roger Mills in the UK: sala is very much a comlete artefact rather than an anthology of disparate songs. This is romantic, original and deeply-felt work full of fascinating juxtapositions. It will not be to everyone’s taste but those who do like it will love it.
Chris Williams


Bizim Ninniler, CAN MUSIC, 2005
Kul, KALAN, 2005
Kul & Ashes (reproduction), UCM PRODUCTION, 2006
Numinosum, UCM PRODUCTION, 2007
Elixir, UCM PRODUCTION, 2010



Mircan Kaia (Mircan Kaya) is a ?Laz / Mingrelian-Georgian musician and an engineer from Turkey with a multicultural identity who has produced several widely acclaimed albums and directed and coordinated several international engineering projects.
?She carved out a niche for herself on the music scene with the albums Bizim Ninniler and Kl, which she put out in 2005, as a result of which thousands of babies are sleeping with her healing voice singing lullabies now. This album was the first in its genre covering traditional Anatolian lullabies. It was followed by another successful album - Kul & Ashes- with contemporary arrangements of traditional songs from Anatolia, Georgia and Bosnia.
Mircan's third album "Sala" received very good reviews from music authorities. The album was reviewed by FROOTS magazine and described as a Pre-Raphaelite tapestry, a genius work full of juxtapositions. The album actually represents the multi-cultural blend of Mircan's inner personality and her music which fits very well with the environment, combining many different elements such as geography, language, religions, traditions, et cetera.
Sala was followed by her albums Numinosum, Outim, Elixir, Nanni and Minor. Uptil now, she produced eight solo albums in collaboration with musicians from Turkey, UK and Australia.
International Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, Best Original Film Music 2010, for White as Snow.
44th SIYAD Awards, Best Music 2011, for White as Snow.
. Founder of UCM UnCatalogued Music Production
President of TASI, Turkish Association for Seismic Isolation, 2012.
Music Director of IMO Music Istanbul Chamber of Civil Engineers, 2012.
Member of Italian Chamber of Commerce since 2002
Advanced MSc Degree in The Structural Analysis of Historic Constructions, European Commission Scholarship University of Padua, Technical University Of Catalonia, University of Minho, University of Prague, 2008-2009.
MSc Degree in Earthquake Engineering, Bogazii University, 2006-2009.
Degree in Civil Engineering, Yildiz Technical University.

Band Members