On the evening of April 25, some extraordinary music was heard drifting from St James’s Church in London’s Piccadilly. The throng inside Sir Christopher Wren’s handsome red-brick building was enjoying the sounds of Bach, Dvorak, Rachmaninov... and Pink Floyd. This was a concert by the Talent Unlimited Ensemble, representing the charity (sponsored by Cornucopia) that helps gifted music students realise their dreams. On piano was the Ankara-born prodigy AyşeDeniz Gökçin – hence the Pink Floyd.
AyşeDeniz has been making headlines lately with her Liszt-style adaptation of some of the British band’s well-known tunes. The audience sat, absorbed, as this elegant 25-year-old brunette caressed and attacked the ivories in honour of the songs ‘Hey You’, ‘Wish You Were Here’ and ‘Another Brick in the Wall’. There were frequent murmurs of recognition as those well-loved rock tunes emerged from cascades of luscious Lisztiness.
The concert’s location was perfect not only for its heavenly acoustics: just yards up Piccadilly, at No 201, in a building that stood beside Waterstones book store until it was recently demolished, Pink Floyd themselves recorded a session for the BBC in 1968. AyşeDeniz is promising a whole album of classicised Floyd very soon. On June 28 she will be performing in the Albert Long Hall at Boğaziçi University, as part of the Istanbul Music Festival. Read our interview with this new music sensation in the next issue of Cornucopia.
AyşeDeniz Gökçin was photographed for Cornucopia by Charles Hopkinson, April 2013.
Tony Barrell is writing a book about rock drummers for HarperCollins and is a Cornucopia associate editor.