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Tolgahan Çoğulu & Sinan Ayyıldız Duo


The virtuosic pairing of Tolgahan Çoğulu & Sinan Ayyıldız Duo can certainly lay claim to be the world's first microtonal guitar and doublenecked saz duo. Indeed, it was Tolgahan Çoğulu who invented his instrument, an 8-string classical style guitar with layers of moveable frets that enable microtonal adjustments, allowing him to perform microtonal modes of various music cultures such as Turkish, Arabic, Persian, Balinese whilst maintaining the sonic essence of the classical instrument. Saz virtuoso Sinan Ayyıldız has been playing with his double-necked saz designs in many projects including the US-based Stereognosis Project, Bangladesh-based Wind of Change Project and Turkish bands, Etni-ka and Mesel. Their sound is a unique showcasing of polyphonic Turkish folk music filtered through mellifluous improvisations informed by contemporary and classical sensitivities which they have described as Makam Jazz. The duo was formed in 2013 and scored a YouTube hit that year with their arrangement for Aziza Mustafa Zadeh's song, Boomerang. Since then they have performed at numerous festivals and venues across Europe such as Womex’21 showcase concert in Porto, 71st Granada Music and Dance Festival, Leibnitz Jazz Festival, Sevilla Tres Culturas Fundacion, 26th Istanbul Jazz Festival, Ghent De Centrale, Almeria Castillo de Guardias Viejas, Lyon Jean Moulin University and Lyon Saint Bruno Church. They also received a prestigious “Concert Tour Support” award at the 26th Istanbul Jazz Festival. The Duo's first album "Amorphous" was released in 2021 by Ahenk Music. “Amorphous” means “having no definite shape, features and borders”. The Duo loves this title as their arrangement style and instruments are amorphous. Çoğulu uses makam music frets and performance techniques whereas Ayyıldız uses fretlessness and hybrid techniques imported from many instruments.
The first prize winner at Georgia Tech Margaret Guthman Musical Instrument Competition in 2014, Tolgahan Çoğulu, designed his "Adjustable Microtonal Guitar" in 2008. His first CD with microtonal guitar, Atlas, was published in 2012 by Kalan Music. His microtonal and fretless guitar duo and lecture recital, ‘Microtonal Guitar Music,’has taken him to many festivals and universities in 33 countries.Tolgahan is building a repertoire for microtonal guitar with more than forty composers involved at this point. He became an Associate Professor in 2013 and Professor in 2019 at Istanbul Technical University Turkish Music State Conservatory, where he had founded the classical guitar department in 2010 and the world’s first microtonal guitar department in 2014. His second CD ‘Microtonal Guitar Duo’ was published by Kalan Music in June 2015. His recording of William Allaudin Mathieu’s three-movement ‘Lattice-İşi’ in just intonation was published in the US in 2016. He completed a research project entitled ‘Historical Tunings on Microtonal Guitar’ at the University of Bristol in 2016 for 12 months. Between 2015-2017 he collaborated with the University of Music Würzburg for the project ‘Creating and Presenting a Repertoire for the Microtonal Guitar’ supported by DAAD in which 12 composers wrote pieces for microtonal guitar and ensemble. His book ‘Microtonal Guitar’ was published in 2018 by Mojo Roots Music, co-authored by Fernando Perez. His latest album ‘Microtonal’ was published in 2018 by Ahenk Music. Currently, he is teaching at Istanbul Technical University.
Born to a family of Ordu-Ünye descent, Sinan Ayyıldız was born inAnkara in the year 1980. From 2002 to 2006 he began taking advanced saz techniques lessons from Erol Parlak. After this period he has been involved in countless albums, television series and movies as either a music director, arranger or performer. His band Etni-ka released their debut album Pangea in 2009. He was the music director and arranger of the album. Same year, he was invited to the Stereognosis project recordings in the USA. He recorded two albums with this project : The Stereognosis Hybrid album was released in 2011 and The Stereognosis Departure album was released in 2019. With the start of 2014 he formed the band MESEL and released their first official music video with the ‘Getme’ song. The success of this release led to the band performing at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the London Nour Festival and Krutushka Ethnic Music Festival and many other festivals. After starting 2015 he gave a lot of concerts with his master Erol Parlak as "Erol Parlak & Sinan Ayyıldız Duo" in Turkey and abroad. Beside the projects, he gave solo recitals in festivals like Ronda Guitar Festival, Berlin Guitar and Mandolin Festival, ITU Bağlama Days and Gent Baglama Days. He was chosen ‘Artist of the Year’ in the contemporary folk music area and awarded the Truva (Troy) award by the Truva Folklor Vakfı Awards in 2013. He was also awarded in "Sabah Stars Cultural Awards" by Sabah Newspaper in 2018. His books ‘Modern Şelpe Repertoire’ and "Etudes from Melodic Vocabulary of Anatolia" (co-authored by Salih Gündoğdu) were published in 2021 by Kitapol Press. Sinan Ayyildiz continues his music work in Ankara. He serves as associate professor in Ankara Music and Fine Arts University.
March 2019 - 3. Ghent Baglama Festival/ BELGIUM
June 2019 - 26. International Istanbul Jazz Festival/ TURKEY
September 2019 - Arter – Istanbul/ TURKEY
December 2019 - International Microtonal Guitar Festival – Istanbul/ TURKEY
September 2021 Kefken- Kocaeli /TURKEY
September 2021 International Leibnitz Jazz Festival 2021/ AUSTRIA
October 2021 Tres Culturas – Sevilla / SPAIN
October 2021 WOMEX World Music Expo-Porto/ PORTUGAL 2
January 2022 Gaziosmanpaşa Cultural Centre- Istanbul/ TURKEY
February  2022 International Emitt Exhibition- Istanbul/ TURKEY
April 2022 Periscope - Lyon/ FRANCE
April 2022 Lyon University-3/ FRANCE
April 2022 San Bruno Church-Lyon/ FRANCE
May 2022 Fatih Guitar Days-Istanbul/ TURKEY
June 2022 71. International Granada Music and Dance Festival/ SPAIN
June 2022 Castillo de Guardias Viejas- El Ejido -Almeria/ SPAIN
July 2022 14.Bilkent Gitar Meeting of Turkey-Ankara/TURKEY
Video Playlist
1/5 videos
The Perc U Lator by Eric Roche / Sinan Ayyıldız & Tolgahan Çoğulu
The Perc U Lator by Eric Roche / Sinan Ayyıldız & Tolgahan Çoğulu
Sinan Ayyıldız - Tolgahan Çoğulu | Haydar Haydar
Sinan Ayyıldız - Tolgahan Çoğulu | Haydar Haydar
Sinan Ayyıldız & Tolgahan Çoğulu / Blacksea Rhapsody
Sinan Ayyıldız & Tolgahan Çoğulu / Blacksea Rhapsody
Aman Avcı Sinan Ayyıldız & Tolgahan Çoğulu  (ft.  Burak Çakır)
Aman Avcı Sinan Ayyıldız & Tolgahan Çoğulu (ft. Burak Çakır)
Sinan Ayyıldız & Tolgahan Çoğulu live at WOMEX - Alfândega do Porto 29/10/2021
Sinan Ayyıldız & Tolgahan Çoğulu live at WOMEX - Alfândega do Porto 29/10/2021

Tolgahan Cogulu Social Media Links

Sinan Ayyıldız Social Media Links