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Online Interpretation Event: Sound Design in Turkey from Experimentation to Institutionalisation

Por ARTER, em 17/11/2020.
Online Interpretation Event: Sound Design in Turkey from Experimentation to Institutionalisation

Cevdet Erek, Bergama Stereotip, exhibition view, 2020. Photo: flufoto


Alper Maral
26 November Thursday, 7 pm
* Free Event


Organised on the occasion of Cevdet Erek’s solo exhibition Bergama Stereotip, Prof. H. Alper Maral’s talk will elaborate on the formation of sound design as a field in Turkey and the “artistic stance” in the context of an overall struggle by drawing on testimonies.

“The field of sound design in Turkey has been a lively and productive realm for a considerable period, although it has not always operated under this title. The concept itself, however, is relatively new; its wide usage is due to the significant initiative of an academic formation and a visionary figure behind it, composer and ethnomusicologist Prof. Ahmet Yürür. As it was previously limited to a few lone attempts – with considerably humble outputs in terms of number and visibility/exposure that both depart and feed from the experimentality of collaborative works by leading artists, considerable attempts in relatively new genres within the framework of sound design have been emerging in the last 20 years, with the development of an awareness of contemporary art and its platforms, the eager adoption of interdisciplinary attitudes from social sciences to art, along with the paradigm shifts in music, the main pathway that feeds the aural field.

Terms such as “sound sculpture”, “sound installation” and “soundscape” which are well-meaning yet still sound borrowed, along with the widely used sound art, audio/audial art/arts have been in circulation for a while; what is more, education in the fields mentioned is in effect on undergraduate and graduate levels, and both the production itself and the academic output that thematises, explores and discusses this production have begun to gain prominence. As a result of these deeply positive developments, it did not take long for a market, albeit small, to be established; however, this field of production which could be expected to contradict general artistic conventions with relatively new propositions was slowly propelled to the power fields of the contemporary art market bolstered by institutionalised neo-liberal politics, led by its “major figures”, “stars”, and “acceptable other”s. It is apparent that this robust market does not shy away from looking out for the confirmists that fall in line with its conventions, and rewarding them. Resorting to the storied “Faustian bargain” metaphor, perhaps it will ultimately remain a proposition to even suggest an assessment of the gains – and naturally, losses – at hand that came about as a result of this transformation; however, a summary of experiences – recent developments, central focal points, institutions which generate motivation and funding, prominent names, iconic works, etc.– will each guide, assist or accompany every audience member in forming their personal opinions.” (Alper Maral)

The event will be held in Turkish.

Online communication platform: Zoom

Meeting ID: 941 5678 1858

Approximate duration: 75 minutes

Click here to join.

* The event will be recorded. Event durations may vary according to participants’ contributions.


Prof. Dr. Hakkı Alper Maral, composer, musicologist. H. Alper Maral, who is predominantly known for his dramatically constructed chamber music, theatre and film music work which departs from the relationship of “music within culture - culture within music”, has taught musicology, composition and communication at YTU Faculty of Art and Design, Department of Music and Dramatic Arts where he worked for 20 years, along with Ankara University of Music and Fine Arts where he served as a founding faculty member, as well as Istanbul Bilgi University Faculty of Communication, Department of Dramatic Arts Management, and Bahçeşehir University Graduate Program in Jazz. He has also served in administrative positions including Head of Department, Institute Director and Assistant to the President. Maral has also been working towards forming an informed and lively community of musicians through his written academic work, seminars, and New Music Festivals which he helped initiate.

Maral began his professional career as a jazz pianist and continues to play bass trombone, contrabass tuba, and baroque recorders in various ensembles and orchestras. He began teaching technical and communication focused lectures in various universities following his graduation from Deutsche Schule Istanbul and Istanbul University Faculty of Economics, Department of International Relations and completed his postgraduate and doctorate studies in composition and musicology at Ege University Institute of Social Sciences, Department of Sound Design with his thesis titled “Music and Society in the 21st Century Political-Economic Framework – Music within a Society Shaken by the Misfortunes of the New World Order”, with Prof. Ahmet Yürür as his supervisor.

Maral maintains that the initiatives of both the listener and the performer, and especially the design should not be disconnected from the performance and also serves as a performer at the New Music formation “Ant Tribe, along with Alper Maral Multiphonics Ensemble, Bornova Trio, Control Voltage Project, A – 415, İstanbul Baroque Ensemble, ModeArt Trombone Ensemble. He authored and co-authored numerous texts published in books, magazines, and produced various works in the format of CDs, LPs, DVDs (Pan Publishing, A.K. Müzik, Müzik Hayvanı, WERGO, etc.). Maral also served as a Board Member at International Society of Contemporary Music, a founding member of the New Music Cooperative and Assistant to the President, founding member of the Istanbul Baroque Foundation, founding member at the MSG Society of Musical Composers, and General Secretary of the Foundation of Cultural Research.

Maral, who produced the “Sound Grid” and “Sound Trace” programs for TRT Istanbul Radio, has collaborated with various radio stations in Germany, and was honored with annual commission work by the hr2 (Hessischer Rundfunk, Frankfurt) since 2011. The electronic and new music festivals he realised within Yıldız Technical University Department of Music and Dramatic Arts have garnered great interest; he has championed numerous young composers and enabled the creation of many works.