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Mircan Kaia (Mircan Kaya) is a Mingrelian - Georgian musician and engineer from Turkey musician of multi-cultural identity who has produced several widely acclaimed albums and directed - coordinated several international engineering projects.
The first album she put out was Bizim Ninniler (Our Lullabies), a first of its kind, which was followed by Kül (Ashes). Mircan Kaya, who lives now for the most part in Istanbul, but has her roots in Mingrelia (in what is now the independent Georgia), has become increasingly well known in recent years for her distinctive music; but she brings to the Turkish cultural scene much more than her music.
Her family comes from the Megrel-Laz ethnic group who migrated to Turkey from Batumi, Georgia. After completing middle school and graduating from Nisantasi Girl’s High School in Istanbul, she studied civil engineering at Yıldız Technical University and completed a master's degree on earthquake engineering at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul. Her engineering career has had much success dealing with advanced, innovative engineering technologies. Operating her own engineering company, she acts as the representative of FIP INDUSTRIALE S.p.A based in Italy and has directed several important, international engineering projects. She was trained on advanced engineering and seismic technologies in France, Italy, and Jordan as well as in Turkey.
She started singing very early, in infancy, preferring to sing adult songs, rather than those for babies and children. Singing with orchestras in wedding ceremonies gradually became an ordinary activity for her. At an early age, her singing of classical Turkish music would produce smiles of surprise in her listeners. She has studied music with private music teachers and started performing in front of audiences as a child. She performed with the Classical Turkish Music Choir of the University for four years. She also performed and wrote songs with her band for six years during her university years.
She carved out a niche for herself on the music scene with the albums Bizim Ninniler and Kül, which she put out in 2005, as a result of which thousands of babies are sleeping with her healing voice singing lullabies now. This album was the first in its genre covering traditional Anatolian lullabies. It was followed by another successful album - Kul & Ashes- with contemporary arrangements of traditional songs from Anatolia, Georgia and Bosnia. She was also invited to contribute an improvisational dirge and lullaby for Bir Beyaz Ölüm, an album produced by the Ministry of Culture in commemoration of the soldiers who died at Sarikamis. Mircan's third album "Sala" received very good reviews from music authorities. The album was reviewed by FROOTS magazine and described as a Pre-Raphaelite tapestry, a genius work full of juxtapositions. The album actually represents the multi-cultural blend of Mircan's inner personality and her music which fits very well with the environment, combining many different elements such as geography, language, religions, traditions, etc.
In 2006, she expanded the operational scope of her engineering company in advanced engineering and earthquake technologies and founded UCM (UnCatalogued Music Production), which implements an idealistic philosophy of working with independent culture and art projects. She released three more albums in these two years. NUMINOSUM - an imaginary and dreamy musical journey based on the concept of "numinous conscious" used by Carl Gustav Jung. She combined her own lyrics with the poetry of Rumi. This album was recorded in Bristol, UK with the post jazz group Limbo. Roger Mills and Osman Kent worked on the final edition, mixing, mastering and sound engineering of the album.
Before she set off for her advanced master study at the University of Padua and the Technical University of Catalonia, Mircan Kaia released her most avant-garde music project OUTIM - Once Upon a Time in Mingrelia, a multi disciplinary work combining journeys to Georgia and Eastern Black Sea of Turkey, writing a book, constructing a house with local materials and carpenters, recording a music album using her own lyrics as well as the words of the Mingrelian poet Xhelimishi Xasani. OUTIM is aimed at contributing to a new alternative cultural conscious to the metropolitan values by turning out prototypes day-by-day. Music such as OUTIM will help overcome the rigid way of looking at and expressing folkloric values by bringing new colors to the folkloric scene. Such a way of looking could only be achieved from the metropolitan artists directed towards the local values.
In October, 2008, Mircan began working on an advanced master’s degree on historical artifacts with rotations in universities in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Czechoslovakia through a European Commission grant. She also studied music theory in England.
Currently, apart from coordinating engineering projects, she is working on a new album which brings together master musicians from different parts of the world based on the work of the Turkish female poet Gülten Akın.
Mircan Kaya was awarded the best film music award at 47th Antalya International Golden Orange Film Festival in October 2010 with the music she has produced for the film "Kar Beyaz / White as Snow" directed by Selim Gunes. The scenario, which was written by the director Selim Gunes, is based on one of the writer Sabahattin Ali's story " Ayran". Mircan Kaya produced the film music in collaboration with musicians in Turkey, Australia and England. The music contains songs from her albums "Sala", "Outim","Numinosum", "Kul& Ashes" as well as two new songs she composed with the work of great living women poet of Turkey, Gulten Akin. 11</ref>
Mircan Kaya's most recent album "Elixir" was released in October 2010. The album was in the "Best of 2010" by the world music program "Crossing Continents" of California KDVS Radio, a program produced by Gil Medovoy.
In January 2012 Mircan Kaia was awarded the Best Film Music Award at the 44th SIYAD Cinema Awards.
In March 2012, Mircan Kaia recorded the first first contemporary lullaby album in Laz - Mingrelian language in London with British musicians. The album NANNI contains ten original lullabies in Laz - Mingrelian language and one lullaby in Abhaz language.
Bizim Ninniler 2005
Kül & Ashes 2006
OUTIM (Once Upon a Time in Mingrelia) 2008