Alper Tuzcu is a 3rd semester student at Berklee. He is from Istanbul, Turkey. He plays guitar and is a Contemporary Writing and Production major.
Life in Valencia is quite different from Boston in many different ways. For me, the biggest difference is transportation around the town. At Valencia, majority of people bike around the town everyday. The student residence is a little far from the campus, but you can get to the school in almost 20 minutes by biking. There are a lot of cars, but there are specific bike lanes almost everywhere and in our experience the lanes were respected at all times. I
The greatest part about biking in Valencia is that you do not have to own a bike! The city has a system called ‘Valenbisi’, where you can borrow a bike and then put it back when you are done. Here is how it works: You get an annual pass, which gives you a special code that allows you to borrow a bike for 30 minutes. You go to a station, type in the code and get the bike. When you are done, you leave it to a station by your destination. That’s it! You just need to know where the closest station is to your destination. They even have an iPhone app showing the closest Valenbisi stations around you! The temperature has been around 65-70 degrees last week, so it’s been perfect to bike around.
Part of being the Mediterranean comes with relatively good weather, as well as the extensive music culture of this region. One of my classes this semester is “Survey of Mediterranean Music”, taught by Cristobal de la Rosa who is an ethnomusicologist so he knows a lot about the different musical cultures around the Mediterranean. For instance, in the first class he showed us different musical samples from Spain, North Africa, Israel, and the Balkans etc to demonstrate how they all used the same single scale under different names. For this reason, the class involves a lot of music listening and research. We are also going to write some originals. Moreover, this class is going to be like an ensemble, as we will be playing Mediterranean music. I think this class a good chance to find new sounds rhythms as well as to discover new music from cultures that I haven’t been yet exposed to.
Another class that is going to be really interesting is the Recording Skills for Music Production/Mixing for Musicians part of the brand new Music Technology Innovation minor. The minor is specifically available in Valencia, and it is going to be a great chance to take advantage of the amazing recording facilities and studios on the campus. The studios are completely available for us and we get 2 hours of reserve spots per week, which is a very cool chance. I’m really excited to be a part of the first Music Technology Innovation group ever.
The Recording Skills for Music Production/Mixing for Musicians classes are actually two separate two-credit classes, but I see it as a one big 4-credit class because we will be learning the entire pre-production, recording/production and post-production processes in these two classes. Also these classes are back to back in the schedule during the same day, so it is a continuous process.