12 April 2011


This week I'm publishing ZOOM IN and İstanbul, two quartets that are, I think, the best music I've composed until now (but hopefully not the best I'll ever compose!).

In İstanbul I explored the Uşşak tetrachord, with which I originally fell in love thanks to Erkan Oğur. It has a wonderful sonority and it makes me feel beautiful, unknown emotions.

In composing this, I had a couple of important breakthroughs. I somehow broke some arbitrary, subconsciously self-imposed walls I had. Walls with which I separated things that aren't really qualitatively different, but are different degrees of the same scale. Rhythm vs. form, melody vs. polyphony, note-collection vs. thematic material.

Before this, my construction of form was always a planned thing. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, I still do it (Mini-drama in a koi pond, for instance), but I wanted to develop the ability to feel form intuitively. So this is why I had to build a bridge from rhythm to form, melodic breaths that get longer and longer until they become sections. There's a little theatrical instruction in the score to make this even more apparent, the players all take a deep breath between the sections, so that they and the audience note how these breathing events grow further apart from each other.

In general this breaking of walls and replacing them with continua is the beginning of something I feel I need to do. I call it holistic music because I can't come up with something better. Music that can't be broken up into different and independent parameters: in which you can't separate the scale from the motifs because they are the same thing, and in which you can't separate the pitch-class set from the orchestration or the register. I think that taking things to the extreme in this direction is not really desirable, variation is basically keeping some parameters the same and changing others, so a system in which this is not possible would basically be development-less. Anyway that's where my personal exploration of music is taking me at the moment, and I'll just go with the flow. Also, if you see the increasing sizes of the paragraphs in this text, that's more or less the idea of the form of İstanbul :)

The score and the parts can be downloaded at Scribd, IMSLP or the Internet Archive.

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