Harpist finds peace playing amid Antalya’s nature

Harpist finds peace playing amid Antalya’s nature

Harpist finds peace playing amid Antalya’s nature

In the southern province of Antalya, the harpist Aslıhan Güngör, 33, plays to an unreceptive audience: Nature. She carries her 39-kilogram and 1.80-meter-long harp almost everywhere she goes, plucking the strings of her grandiose instrument wherever she can.

She says playing the instrument in the unusual setting increases her motivation and her love for her instrument, used in classical Western music.

So far, the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts State Conservatory Faculty graduate has performed in many ancient cities with her mythological instrument. Güngör now wants to play in Göbeklitepe, the 12,000-year-old settlement in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa believed to be the world’s oldest temple.

During her time at the prestigious Mimar Sinan Fine Arts State Conservatory Faculty, Güngör received harp education from musician, composer and writer İpek Mine Sonakın. Güngör has been playing at the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra since 2006 and also working with Antalya State Symphony Orchestra.

She has been living in Antalya for two years where she says she finds peace playing to the sun, sea, trees, stones and soil sometimes at sunset and sometimes at sunrise.

Stating that she likes to spend time in nature, Güngör said, “For years I have been giving concerts in halls with big orchestras. I am running around a lot, changing a lot of cities. When I find time, I slow down this tempo and play for the sky, the sun, the sea, the soil and all the natural beauties. Playing for nature feeds me, motivates me.”

For Güngör, carrying the massive instrument is not difficult at all, despite weighing 39 kilograms.

She said that she previously played in steep places like Babadağ Mountain in Muğla’s Fethiye district and Beycik on the slope of Tahtalı Mount, adding, “It is a heavy and a large instrument. It is difficult to carry it, but limits exist to overcome this,” she said, adding that she named her instrument “Kara Kız” (Black Girl).

She emphasized that she played in a certain discipline during the concerts in the halls, adding, “While playing for nature, I get out of that discipline and liberate my own soul.”

Stating that the harp is a very expensive instrument, Güngör said, “I spent my years working hard to get my instrument. Now I take it to the mountains, villages and towns, and I am happy.”

Speaking of her projects and dreams, Güngör said that she had so far played in many ancient cities such as Aspendos, Myndos, Side, Olympos, Miletus and Hierapolis.

“Now my biggest dream is to give a concert in Göbeklitepe, Turkey’s UNESCO World Heritage site. Ancient cities fascinate me. Turkey is a very lucky country in this regard. We have a lot of heritage. That’s why I’m so excited at the idea of playing the harp in ancient cities.”