Istanbul Portrait: Ruşen Can Acet

Ruşen Can Acet is a kabak kemane player & mechanical engineer living in Istanbul, Turkey. During OneBeat Istanbul, Ruşen led an instrument-building workshop with blind & sighted kids. All participants worked together to build and paint cajonitas, or small cajon drums, for each one of them to play and keep.

“My name is Rusen. I play an eastern violin called kebak kemane. When I started music, I was around 7 years old, with another Turkish instrument, baglama. I studied mechanical engineering, and now I’m doing my Masters in mechanical engineering. But I love music. It’s my passion, actually.

Making music with blind musicians is very precious: You don’t have any eye contact, but you need to feel their movements and their fingers. And we listen to each other carefully. Working with blind kids teaches me many things. I see that blindness is not a bad thing. They have a different world, and they are so happy with this world. And they have different skills that blindness made. They use different feelings. We name them blind, but they are not blind. They see more than we see actually.

When you take your ego out, your heart is kind of activated, and then everything can happen easily, and positive energy will cover you. And you can communicate with people better.

I believe that you can change the world with mechanical engineering, but it’s complicated. Music comes automatically from your soul — it just happens, you think positively and you think beautiful things.”

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