Turkish Singer Performs Traditional Music of the Black Sea Region

Turkish singer Aysenur Kolivar was recently in Chicago for a fellowship program with the Old Town School of Folk Music. She collects and performs music from the Black Sea region.

Kolivar strives to revive, restore and preserve the music and traditions of that region, especially female vocal traditions. To learn these traditions, she traveled throughout northeastern Turkey to study the culture and interview village elders. She can sing in six languages spoken in that region.  

Listen to Kolivar perform a song called "Norhars Ellim," sung in the Hamshen dialect, which is Armenian and commonly spoken by Muslims living in northeast Turkey. The song tells the dreams of a young girl. She says, “I wish to be the moon light, so I can feel the room of my love.”

About Ayensur Kolivar

Kolivar was born in Rize’s Çayeli province and spent her youth in İzmit. She’s been performing as a soloist in various Black Sea music projects since 1993.

As a Turkish language and literature student at Boğaziçi University, she began studying music and folklore with the university’s folklore club, focusing her academic studies on cultures of the East Black Sea. She edited the book Fadime Kimdir ("Who is Fadime?"), which was published in 2007. Currently, Kolivar is a doctoral student at İstanbul Technical University department of Musicology and Music Theory. She also teaches Turkish.