Who is Gulcan Altan?
Gulcan Altan is a multi-talented, famous Abkhaz state artist with a multicultural background. She is a musician who started her musical career in high school and continued it professionally, graduated from Istanbul Technical University State Conservatory in 2005 and completed her Masters Degree at Yeditepe University with her focus on Pedagogy. Her concert repertoire includes many songs in different languages, representing her cultural heritage. She is also a live performer who sings mystical Anatolian ballads, mythological songs, Spanish songs, Arabic songs, and hymns of ancient religions. Her discography includes four albums, each with its unique flavour, from songs in Adyghe and Abkhaz languages to world folk songs. Her last album was a compilation of revolutionary songs that revealed social cohesion among us. Gulcan is preparing a new album that will feature songs from different ethnic cultures living in Anatolia and ethnic languages that are under the risk of disappearing. She continues to perform concerts in many countries such as Germany, Spain, France, Israel, Russia, and Switzerland. We are ready to listen to this mystical music.
Her Early Career and Multicultural Background
She was born in Samatya which is one of the most multicultural and multilingual districts of Istanbul. During her childhood, she also lived in the same cultural richness of the neighbourhood. She has a Circassian origin, and she grew among Turks, Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, and Jews.
She started her musical life during high school years as an amateur but continued as a professional during her business administration education at the Trakya University. In 2001, she was accepted to Istanbul Technical University State Conservatory with the highest grade and she was graduated in 2005 ranking first in class. She improved her knowledge about the Ethnical and World Music during the conservatory years, which contributed in her rich concert repertoire which includes many songs in different languages. In 2007, she completed her master’s degree at Yeditepe University, Faculty of Music Education. In 2009, she has studied in Adygea Republic and Abkhazia on Adyghe and Abkhaz music. She can also play guitar, classical Turkish music instrument kamancheh and diatonic accordion.
In 2011, she made and released her third music album “Gunef” which consists of songs in Adyghe and Abkhaz languages. This album is significant because it is the first Circassian music album which took its place on top of the music sales lists in Anatolia where Circassians have lived for 147 years. She is also the first professional woman with Caucasian origin and singer in this territory.