When people think about the musical instrument they want to learn, they usually gravitate toward the usual answers like the guitar and the piano. However, a few individuals are drawn to less popular instruments like flutes and clarinets. Alp Akmaz is a musician whose journey brought him to learn many instruments, but he finds comfort most in a special type of woodwind flute called the balaban.
Alp Akmaz was born in Istanbul, Turkey, and started his musical journey at five years old when he played on a mini keyboard. At the time, he was attempting to impersonate and play the music he heard on television, radio, and other creative platforms. Alp’s father noticed his passion and supported him, bringing different instruments home every couple of months. By then, the instruments were like toys for Alp Akmaz, who would spend his time navigating and creating music with each of them.
Despite the many instruments he encountered, Alp was drawn most to the balaban, an instrument he established a deep connection with. Every time he played the balaban, Alp felt like a different person who traveled through many emotional and artistic levels of creative expression. “I cannot explain such intense emotion,” he said, “I am sure you will feel it when you listen.”
Alp studied in Halic University Conservatory when he grew older, graduating in 2015 with a major in balaban performance. During that time, he met and collaborated with several musicians. In his junior year, Alp successfully obtained a scholarship program in Italy. He studied at the Antonio Buzzolla Conservatoria, getting more in-depth knowledge of the clarinet with Guido Arbonelli. A year before graduating, Alp introduced the balaban as an instrument in a Clarinet Festival in Italy.
Alp Akmaz would later move to the United States a year after graduating and work and create as an artist and business owner. Since settling in Boston, Alp and his team have been immersed in producing the first woodwind condenser microphone for the Balaban. They have been designing the product so it can be discerned from other microphones. Alp personally checks every step for getting the amazing quality of sound for woodwind instruments.
While the Balaban is just one of many woodwind instruments with little to no recognition in the West, Alp had dedicated his career to helping fellow musicians when he realized a comprehensible need for microphones that would amplify woodwind instruments without compromising the quality of their distinct sound. The Balaban expert has devoted his time and knowledge to explore and build amplifiers for balaban, ney, duduk, kaval, and many other woodwinds and world music instruments. Alp has also been preoccupied with organizing an educational platform that can include individual and group Balaban lessons.
Alp Akmaz is optimistic about his endeavors as he believes that many things can happen. He believes it is important to keep a good mindset with clear and noble goals in mind. He foresees several records released under his belt with several compositions, performance masterclasses, and different music production field accomplishments. Ultimately, Alp’s endgame is to connect the public with different cultures and artists through music.