With profound sadness, I relay that one of our own, Taylan Cihan, passed away–October 8th 2014. Taylan was a founding member of CAGE, whose own personal musical developments mirrored and underpinned those of the group. Without him, CAGE would not be what it is and it is almost unimaginable to continue without him…
Taylan was a student of mine–I had the profound privilege of being a mentor to him. He was a singular artist and person, utterly dedicated to his own work and ideas, a musician at his core who put thousands of hours into making sound and developing unique, DIY electronic instruments for live performance. Over the past several years, he had diligently acquired a real depth of expertise with these tools and loved to share his knowledge skillfully and openly with others, both in public lectures and workshops (most recently at Ithaca’s History Center) as well as online and in the broader community of open source software and open hardware. He was self-driven and forged his own path, providing an example of artistic courage admired by his students, colleagues, collaborators, friends, and teachers.
Taylan was a composer and improvisor–he preferred simply “musician”, a graduate student in Music, and a founding and ongoing member of the Cornell Avant-Garde Ensemble (CAGE) where his sometimes edgy, even jarring, but also beautifully reserved, poignant, and deceptively under-spoken musical sensibilities helped give life to a rich, mutually serendipitous musical language that none of us who shared in it with him, Taylan included, could have expected or set out to create.
Taylan and his work had a profound impact on CAGE and we will miss his presence greatly.
— Kevin Ernste
The Cornell Avant Garde Ensemble (CAGE) was founded in early Spring 2011 as a performing ensemble dedicated to freely improvised music. CAGE is a collective of musicians committed to the realization and enactment of new and experimental works. Its founding was a natural outgrowth of a critical mass of interest and expertise at Cornell, a coincidence of people with shared experiences, backgrounds, and enthusiasm. CAGE is, therefore, an exercise in collective artistic serendipity. “It is the nature of our group to be responsive, to be always listening. We thrive on the unknown…” :: Kevin Ernste in the Cornell Daily Sun