Projects

Golden Apricot Tree Recording: The Golden Apricot Tree Project aims to unearth the cross-cultural musical tradition embodied in the Ottoman-Armenian musical heritage by performing and recording unique pieces. Thissolo performance emphasizes cultural appreciation and cross-cultural interaction. The first part of the project comprises of solo performance and recording of repertoire of Ottoman-Armenian and contemporary Turkish songs. The repertoire, inspired by her doctoral dissertation at UCLA, comprises of the solo performance of pianist  Dr. Ayşe Taşpınar Gatenyo in which she will record several Western and Ottoman compositions from various ethnic backgrounds. The solo performance will help uncover and reiterate the contributions of Ottoman-Armenian composers in enriching the musical life of all Ottoman culture. The solo performance will be recorded and distributed through online channels, which will enable a wider audience to learn about the shared cultural space between Turks and Armenians.

Holocaust Remembrance and Education

Light of Anatolia Apricot Tree works on multiple projects regarding Holocaust Remembrance and education. One first project on Holocaust remembrance is film screenings and concerts. The Story of Lina Amato, a film by Jonathan Andrews, explores the story of Lina Amato, who was born in the island of Rhodes to a Sephardic Jewish family. With the interventions of Selahattin Ülkümen, the Turkish diplomat to Rhodes, Greece and two Italian teachers Lina’s family was saved from deportation to Auschwitz during July 1944 – World War II. Light of Anatolia Apricot Tree is hosting multiple film screenings in Southern California together with its community partners. These events are in honor of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, survivors and Turkish diplomat Selahattin Ülkümen. 

The Story of LinaAmator

Light of Anatolia Apricot Tree also seeks to build bridges between communities while providing Holocaust education. Our Righteous Amongst The Nations series covers numerous courageous individuals from non-Western states.

Preserving Western Armenian Culture and Heritage

Light of Anatolia Apricot Tree is dedicated to preserve the Western Armenian culture and heritage by bringing forth the Armenian folk traditions rooted in the Asia Minor. Our work in preserving Armenian culture covers musical, artistic and literary avenues. One of our ongoing projects is to sharing the work of Gomidas, a renowned Armenian ethnomusicologist and composer of the Ottoman era.

Preserving Jewish Culture and Heritage

Light of Anatolia Apricot Tree aims to preserve and the share the indigenous Jewish culture distinct to the Near East and the Mediterranean. With that goal in mind, we have developed Avla I Tavla, an annual cultural event to preserve and promote Ladino as an indigenous language, and to promote Jewish heritage. This series of events will be performed within the context of the International Ladino Day (DiaInternasyonel del Ladino) will celebrate folktales, music and linguistic traditions of Ladino as well as Sephardic culinary tradition. Ladino is currently considered a dying language and has been historically spoken across the Mediterranean and North Africa. Annual Avla I Tavla series will introduce coffee conversation hour, music and the traditional game of tavla (backgammon) as a way to form friendships between cultures and share the cornerstones of Ladino. Participants will learn certain phrases and songs of this dying language for the ‘avla’ part while enjoying a game of tavla (backgammon). 

The Solitreo& Calligraphy Workshop aims to preserve and promote Ladino as an indigenous language, and to promote Jewish heritage by building bridges between cultures. Solitreo is a cursive form of the Hebrew alphabet By engaging participants in the historically handwritten format of Ladino this project bridges culture with history and art. Today, little is written in Solitreo. Turkish Calligraphy is an artistic creation of handwriting and is a popular style of artistic tradition. This workshop will combine both solitreo and calligraphy as artistic methods to bring together people of different cultures in fostering understanding.

Apricot Tree Orchestra

The Apricot Tree Orchestra is a multi-media musical project that serves as the beginning of a musical conversation of discovery between Armenian and Turkish people. The Apricot Tree Orchestra is a musical collaboration between Turks and Armenians that will initiate a conversation through the agency of music, and uses music as a cultural platform for communication. It aims to facilitate cross-cultural dialogue and confidence building between musicians. The Apricot Tree Orchestra will bring together Turkish, Armenian, Turkish-American and Armenian-American musicians for a cross-cultural orchestra to perform contemporary work of Armenian and Turkish composers by the orchestra. The orchestra will perform contemporary work of Armenian and Turkish composers. In doing so, participants will attend a four day workshop that includes rehearsals; inter-group dialogue exercises, and cultural activities that will help create a space for interaction. The aim of the Apricot Tree Orchestra is to open up channels of communication between Turkish and Armenian musicians by performing together and creating music together. Within this perspective, The Apricot Tree Project will employ music as a tool to transcend cultural boundaries, and will bring together people whose collective past is often viewed as only tragic.The Apricot Tree Orchestra honors the memory of Hrant Dink, Turkish-Armenian journalist and advocate who committed his life to communication, love and reconciliation between Armenian and Turkish people.

Youth Music Engagement

Apricot Tree Youth Music Engagement projects aim to empower youth in Los Angeles. Our Winter Holiday Music Instrument Drive is a campaign to collect unused musical instruments during the holiday season of 2019 and to donate them to a Los Angeles based music school. This project is designed to provide musical instruments for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.