What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
My passion is more about creativity and productivity itself, not just about music. Composing, writing, even thinking in specific ways, it’s such an old impulse for me, I cannot remember the specific moment that triggered it. Ever since I could remember, even when I was a child, I felt intense feelings through the music that I listen to. As someone who has roots from being a progressive rock keyboardist, I was always interested in composing and programming synthesizers. After realizing that electronic music and sound design is a more suitable field for my expressions, I started to self-educate myself through books, experimenting and composing with my computer. These led to the early Akkor tracks that I shared through Soundcloud. I can say that I really got lost in books and videos while realizing how huge the amount of knowledge there is about this subject. Following, I enrolled to Sonic Arts Department of Istanbul Technical University’s Centre for Advanced Studies in Music to get a systematic education and I hold a masters degree. Around 2018, I got concentrated on surround audio and audiovisual live performances through multimedia programming. The last but not the least, I was a participant of the 20th Red Bull Music Academy in Berlin.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
To describe my work, I love the German word “umwelt” – it means “the world as it is experienced subjectively, individually”, in this case by me. My latest release is just the contemporary reflection of that “umwelt”. Through piano, synthesizers, soundscapes and found noises, Durma is an electroacoustic tale that can be personalized by the listener in various different ways. As a world that is experienced subjectively, it is a world that we all share objectively.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
King Crimson, Murcof, Alva Noto, Max Richter, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Michael Haneke, Andrey Zvyagintsev, Cesare Pavese, Marcel Proust, Jean-Paul Sartre, public transportation, food industry, stray animals, …
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
I compose Akkor through a method that I find similar with stream of consciousness writing. I don’t have a premeditation, plan or narrative for my tracks, I just experiment and try to be in the moment until a musical sentence that touches to my thoughts and feelings occurs. In that way I can say that Akkor is quite impulsive and in my belief, what differs is the emotional counterpart of this compositional method. Besides, I keep my sound recorder with me all the time and use a lot of found noises. Durma is a product of 3 years of work and it has several, very specific soundscapes of Istanbul, which are completely lost now. Istanbul is a city that changes very rapidly through urban renewal and gentrification, generally in a bad way. In that aspect, my album has some historic soundmarks.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
Well this is a difficult question. There are a lot, obviously, but to name some, my albums would be Murcof’s “Remembranza”, Max Richter’s “Memoryhouse” and King Crimson’s “THRAK”, as my tutors. For the movies, I could watch Kieslowski’s “La double vie de Véronique”, Donnersmarck’s “Das Leben der Anderen” and Tarantino’s “Inglorious Basterds” over and over. Books would be Virginia Woolf’s “The Waves”, Cesare Pavese’s diaries, “This Business of Living” and Marcel Proust’s lifetime work “In Search of Lost Time”. With a novel made of 7 parts, I am cheating.
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
They are completely different settings to me. Besides my solo performances, I preferably perform live with surround audio and collaborate with artists for site specific stage designs. That takes a lot of preparation in studio environment. Same goes for my compositions, they are made of more precise digital editing then real time performances. I really love the process of perfecting a work so studio times are pure joy to me. On the other hand, my live performances present something different then instrumental mastery and loud volume. I compose and perform with lighting systems alongside my synthesizers on stage and there, I experience the show fully with the audience at the same time, for the first time. If there is a collaboration going on, sharing that energy, both with artists and the audience, is really thrilling. Well I couldn’t answer the question. I can say that I prefer both.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
I have my bachelor’s degree in medicine. I was planning to quit my day job as a medical doctor after this album release. I planned the date 3-4 months ago, set a launch performance date and a series of following live events. And I released the album in the day my country had the very first COVID-19 case during the pandemic. Well everything is cancelled, of course, it’s really chaotic now after 3 weeks and I’m working like I never had on a field that I was about to quit ever since, which is kinda uniquely tragically funny in my opinion.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
I think “An” is the most unique track that I composed. After performing and recording my piano composition, I processed every note separately, resulted with a texture completely different from the initial material. I believe that it is my most detailed, concise and sharp piece.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
I was planning touring with a new live setting after my album release. Now, we have this health crisis and I cannot say when it will happen. My near future plans turned out to be composing more for now.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
Can you clarify the live performances that you mentioned a bit?
I’m very compassionate about creating surround audio and light performances in order to create audiovisual live performances that react to each other. Multi-channel audio surrounds the audience, confuses the perception of the “right” direction of listening and creates different experiences to every listener depending where they are listening in the surround panorama. I try to enrich this with the visual aspect of my live performances, sometimes through collaborations. I also work on artistic productions such as installations and video artworks.
Photo credits: Adnan Onur Acar
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
Connect with Akkor: