top of page
quba 1.JPG


Büşra Kayıkçı


Büşra Kayıkçı grew up with music in her native Istanbul, started piano lessons at the age of nine, studied ballet, and also attended a weekend art school. However, she decided to pursue interior design as a profession after high school, and studied interior architecture and environmental design at university, then worked in the profession for three years. “Studying architecture gave me a new perspective on art,” she says – but ultimately she found the creative freedom she had been seeking all along in composition.


Inspired by modern classical composers like John Cage and Michael Nyman, Kayıkçı wrote her first works in 2019, just before the covid pandemic began. In November of that year, she self-released the single “Doğum” (Turkish for “birth”), followed by the album “Eskizler” (Turkish for “Sketches”), a collection of nine minimalist solo piano pieces.


Among her subsequent digital singles were: ’Tuna’ (released in 2020), which was recorded on the Una Corda instrument built by piano maker David Klavins in Hungary; ‘Kuledibi No. 1’, created in collaboration with an Istanbul-based fashion brand and mainly inspired by the brand’s showroom, located in Istanbul’s emblematic Galata district, which for centuries has been home to people of numerous different identities, cultures and religions, and ‘Qarib’, which was included in the first Piano Day compilation, released in 2022 by Nils Frahm’s Leiter Verlag.



In early 2023 Kayıkçı returned to her early works and created new versions of five of her earliest works - the digital EP “Eskizler/Sketches revisited” marked her recording debut with Warner Classics. Among her most significant interdisciplinary projects to date is her collaboration with the New York Theatre Ballet in 2020, where choreographer Melissa Toogood created a contemporary dance piece based on Kayıkçı’s music.


“In a way, as a composer, I design a place, and the audience walks around in it and moves within its architecture. I believe that, when listening to a song, we travel from space to space, and from time to time. When a melody touches you deeply, you can experience a place with your mind and your soul.”

Büşra Kayıkçı

Büşra Kayıkçı’s new album “Places” (Warner Classics) is a continuation and consolidation of her first compositional sketches and studies from 2019. Kayıkçı’s approach at that time as well as on the present album is in some respects synesthetic – in other words, her idea of combining music and architecture goes far beyond purely interdisciplinary thinking.

In “Eskizler” Büşra Kayıkçı conceptualized her piano pieces like sketches – on the new album “Places” she goes one step further: “During our studies we were taught to write a story before drawing the first line,” she recalls. “What kind of place will it be? Who will reside there? How long will people reside there? We wrote detailed texts that guided us.” Now, four years after her debut, the composer is turning the method around and capturing places in music that inspire her. “The pieces were written during the covid lockdowns,” she says. “I was locked up – imagining myself in places I longed to be.”



For Kayıkçı, however, places are not just physical entities: a song like Radiohead’s “Pyramid Song,” which she references in “Tribute To Egyptian Song,” and human emotions and behaviors are just as palpable for her as spiritual buildings, the coast, and olive trees. “I love olive trees,” she says. “When I see even a single olive tree anywhere, I feel right at home.” She often tried to draw the trees, “but I was never satisfied with the result. With this piece, in other words with music, it was very easy. Its sound reminds me of the appearance of an olive tree and the feelings I associate with these trees.”


For Büşra Kayıkçı, spaces acquire meaning only when they are visited and animated, when people are in them. In this regard, for Kayıkçı, musical and architectural spaces have one particular aspect in common: they were designed and constructed by someone. While one exists physically, the other is bound in time – it develops its shape horizontally, as it were, while being played, while being heard.

The pieces on “Places” follow principles that Büşra Kayıkçı transferred from architecture to her compositional work: in order to design a space harmoniously, she learned to first select the colors, shapes and materials, and then to combine them with each other. Similarly, in her music she defines harmonies, melodies, themes and motifs, form and tonal material, industrial sound designs and electronic inflections as modular set pieces in order to combine them, weigh them against each other, and bring them into balance. “I always compose at the piano,” Kayıkçı states. “And I only write down a piece when it is finished.” She did not even jot down individual ideas for the pieces on “Places” immediately, but waited to see what she would remember the next morning: “What is still left in my head then determines the way I can continue with the piece.”

bottom of page