Omnibus – Music by Korhan Erel
Korhan Erel has issues with the term ‘experimental music’. So how do I explain what he does?
I only have so many words at my disposal. Well, so many words that readers will understand . . . But Korhan is not the kind of guy to bother with being understood. He has rather more important things to deal with. Like, the 'Omnibus’ for instance.
"All my past musical experiments coming togther"
Sounds fun, no? A sort of steam-powered organ or a one-man band, perhaps? In fact, a one-man experimental band is pretty much exactly what Erel is with Omnibus. He describes this combination of software and (groovy-looking) hardware as, “All of my past musical experiments coming together.”
Using Abelton Live and Max/MSP software, Erel claims he can play electronic and electro/acoustic music in an improvised manner, he can loop sounds and improvise on top of that, he can play long loops, and shorter samples which don’t loop. He has sample-based virtual “instruments “over which he has full control.
An absolute talent for music
And why does he do all of this? The experimentation, and the improvisation, and the development of new sounds, and devices to eliminate pre-existing musical structures? I will tell you it is because he had an absolute talent for music. He will say it is because he is just an inventive person (or something like that.)
Always intrigued by sound, Erel used to pull his artist mother into the bathroom for the sole purpose of having her to flush the toilet. The swooshing and swirling noise of the water as it traveled its course evoked something in his toddler brain. And at 4, his structured musical training started with piano lessons--which ended when he slapped the teacher in the face. These beginnings actually explain a lot about how Korhan thinks about sound.
At Borusan Müsik Evi (Borusan Music House) on Istiklal Caddesi, Erel introduced enraptured listeners to ABSTRA—his collaboration with cello player Gülşah Erol and Alp Çoksoyluer (also on computer.)
The space was really being used for its intended purpose
Borusan not only hosts concerts, but also modern dance and theater performances, contemporary art exhibitions and art workshops. But this evening, with ABSTRA, it seemed that the space was really being used for its intended purpose. The musicians played in the round to highlight the circular movement of the four speakers which were controlled by iPad. The sound surrounded and engulfed at times, and at others darted and became elusive.
When Korhan rose out of his seat in front of the computer to treat us to some Wiimote-controlled sound design, he took the audience beyond the sublime sounds they were making into the territory of ‘performance’. While for some this may seem frivolous, in this context it only added more delight to the sensory experience. His circular path mimicked that of the speakers. While Erol's rich cello sounds were tweaked by Çoksoyluer’s electronic maneuverings, our eyes and ears were riveted on Korhan Erel, inventor of the Omnibus.
More about Istanbul’s experimental music scene to follow in upcoming posts.
Omnibus diagram courtesy http://korhanerel.com/