Göksel BAKTAGİR (Kanun), Turkey
Born in Kırklareli in 1966, Baktagir began his musical education at the age of eight and graduated from ITU State School of Art for Turkish Music in 1988. During his graduate studies, he was appointed as the Kanun player to State Turkish Music Group of Istanbul. Baktagir, who began composing while a conservatory student, has a hundred and forty vocal and instrumental compositions, recognized with a number of awards. Baktagir has been perfecting "Left hand" technique which is unique to him. He broadened his perspective towards other world music such as new age and jazz and gave concerts with various western jazz groups. His performance with Lawrence "Butch" Morris was released as an album in 1996. His concert in France resulted in another album: "Orient Secret". Since 1998, he has been giving concerts with "Istanbul Sazendeleri" ensemble.
The Kanun is an oriental zither. In contrast to the related instrument that is played in the Alpine countries this instrument is strung with gut- oder nylon strings. Interestingly the bridge does not stand on the wooden soundboard but on a parchment (drum skin), similar to the banjo. This results in a very characteristic tone.