I was asked to perform in two online concert series in 2021. The first one was Executive Summary curated and organized by Jeff Carey. My episode was aired on February 22, 2021 on Twitch. The second performance was for Digitizmir, curated and organized by Mehmet Can Özer. This was aired on February 28, 2021. Both performances were filmed by Tuçe Erel on the same day, hence the same outfit and camera angle, for these broadcasts. They are structured improvisations.
Between May and August 2020, I had a relatively productive period, finally shaking the pandemic-related frozenness and depression off. As I was, just like many others, mostly at home, I composed, experimented, improvised and recorded. Most of these pieces I published on my Soundcloud profile almost immediately after recording them. I’ve recently returned to these sounds, listened to them again and have decided to compile some of them into an album of sorts, which I’ve named “Musics For No Particular Occasion”. Initially, these pieces, sounds, experiments, mistakes were not meant to be released as an album, but now I see that they are a rather interesting documentation of how I was and how my mind worked during that period. They are created with various electronic instruments that are/were in my studio in 2020. Some of those instruments are not with me anymore, as their purchase decisions were based on impulse, boredom or unfollowed musical ideas.
A video of me improvising on a modular synthesizer will be streamed at the Executive Summary online concert series on Monday, February 22nd. The series is organized and curated by Jeff Carey. Time information can be found on the visual of this post. (Please ignore the Feb 16 info – that’s a typo)
COVID-19 UPDATE: Due to current restrictions, all non-profit art spaces will be closed to public visits throughout November.
The videos of the installation as well as the performances by Ute Wassermann and Alessandra Eramo can be viewed on YouTube at this link.
Please proceed to reading the original text below for more information on Scarecrow and its related events.
Scarecrow is a solo exhibition by Korhan Erel. The project takes place at TOP Transdisciplinary Project Space in Berlin, between November 5th through 15th in 2020.
A scarecrow is a humanoid object that is placed in open fields to scare off birds or other animals to protect seeds and crops. It is a mute object, which stands alone in the middle of a field, to protect the land and crops. The project appropriates and reverses the mute scarecrow object into a sound sculpture, which speculates their presence in the borders of countries or private lands to question two main themes: neglecting of nature and non-human beings as well as centralizing human presence over nature; and migration politics and their unwelcoming strategies.
Erel’s sound installation explores ‘the fear from the other’, both human and non-human, using sound emanating from an amorphic, absurd sound-sculpture built using ready-made objects that one can easily procure. This speculative approach is a critique of both conventional methods of scaring animals, positioning humankind over nature and hate speech toward migrants and the other. The three-channel sound composition is based on field recordings, designed sounds and an unknown language consisting of made-up words and remixed languages, the latter primarily to amplify the sense of being un/welcome and to put the visitor in a position of unwantedness and otherness.
In addition to the new sound installation, Korhan Erel invites Alessandra Eramo and Ute Wassermann to perform on November 7th, at 7pm. One of the research topics of Eramo is migration, of which she delves into traces through sound and storytelling. In reference to sound poetry, Eramo performs bar bar, a piece about language, translation and misunderstanding. Her performance explores the alienation of herself to languages she cannot understand as a response to the unknown language of Scarecrow. Ute Wassermann explores soundscape of nature through her voice, field recordings, and electronics. Wassermann will perform Body Snatch, that the voice is alienated from the human voice, dissolving into a sound world of birds and machinery voice, using her voice, bird whistles, and different microphones. Both Alessandra Eramo and Ute Wassermann will expand their performance to an improvisation with Korhan Erel during the performance evening.
Scarecrow closes with a round table meeting on November 15th at 3 pm, together with guests, Agata Lisiak, professor of migration studies at Bard College Berlin and Susanna Schoenberg, an artist and lecturer, focusing on the politics of border in her practice, to lead a get together with the active participation of pre-registered participants on the last day of the exhibition. This event aims to provide a platform for sharing experience and observation within a non-institutional and non-academic environment about sonic experiences and politics of border.
Due to Coronavirus restrictions, the performance evening and the roundtable event will accept visitors based on pre-registration via email. During the visiting hours, visitors are asked to bring their own masks and cover their mouth and nose. Additionally, the visitors’ information will be registered for tracking purposes and after four weeks the information will be destroyed. TOP Transdisciplinary Project Space abides hygiene regulations and provides disinfection materials for visitors. Visitors will not be allowed to use toilets at TOP. Visitors will be not allowed to drink or eat inside the exhibition space.
Dates and visiting hours: Opening on November 5th, 2020 at 3 pm to 10 pm Exhibition dates: 6.11.2020 – 15.11.2020; except November 8 (Sunday), Performance Evening: 07.11.2020, 19:00 to 22:00 (pre-registration is needed via email) Visiting Hours 15:00 – 20:00 and by appointment. Roundtable meeting and Closing on November 15th, 15:00 (pre-registration is needed via email) Further details for registration is available on http://top-ev.de Address: >top Transdisciplinary Project Space, Schillerpromenade 4, 12049, Berlin.
The project is funded by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe.
Korhan Erel is an electronic musician, improviser, sound artist based in Berlin. They treat the computer and electronics as instruments that can co-exist along with conventional instruments in free improvisation and other musical genres. They make frequent use of field recordings or found sounds in their instrument designs and sound art projects. Their music covers free improvisation, conceptual sound performances as well as structured and composed pieces, the latter mainly performed at art events and museums. They present their sound art projects in group and solo exhibitions and collaborate with visual artists for performance as well.
They perform solo, duo, and group performances with improvisers, jazz musicians, dancers, and in orchestras. Korhan also does sound installations, and sound design and music for theater, video, and dance. Korhan’s collaboration with Sydney-based video artist Fabian Astore “The Threshold” has won the Blake Prize in Australia in 2012.
Korhan has done three residencies at STEIM in Amsterdam on sensors and instrument design. They were a guest composer at the Electronic Music Studios in Stockholm in 2011. They have ten CD releases in Turkey, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, and Greece as well as several digital releases. They have played in festivals, venues, museums, and art spaces across Europe, Middle East, Southeast Asia, and North America.
Korhan Erel has been participating in group exhibitions since 2013. They presented Evimin Erkeği / Man of the House (2013) in “Hacked Me in Intimacy” exhibition at Ark Kültür (Istanbul) curated by Ceren Turan; Findings (2014) in “Waves” at Istanbul’s Blok Art Space gallery curated by Ebru Yetişkin in January-February 2015; We are all Alike (2019) in “Hactivate Yourself” at 1a Space Gallery in Hong Kong, curated by Tuçe Erel.
Alessandra Eramo (*1982 Taranto, IT/DE) is a Berlin-based artist and vocalist who works with sound performance and installation, text-sound composition, video and drawing, exploring latent acoustic territories of the human voice and noise as socio-political matter. Through symbolic narratives and visceral expressions, central to her practice is extending the voice in all its forms and implications in sonic and visual contexts.
She was trained in classical singing, piano, and music theory from an early age, she studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Milan and Stuttgart and completed her Master’s Degree in Performance Studies at the Faculty of Philosophy at the Ca’ Foscari University in Venice.
She has exhibited and performed widely at festivals, radio, museums, galleries and institutions such as: SAVVY Contemporary Berlin, Liminaria/Manifesta12 Palermo, Deutschlandfunk Kultur Klangkunst, BBC Radio 3, Tempo Reale Festival Florence, 6th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, Heroines of Sound Festival Berlin, Museum FLUXUS+ Potsdam, Lyd+Litteratur Festival Aarhus, PACT Zollverein Essen, Liverpool Biennial 2013, Roulette New York, Padiglione Italia nel Mondo/54th Venice Biennale.
As a vocalist, she has collaborated with many acclaimed composers, choreographers, poets, and visual artists including: Zorka Wollny, Brandon LaBelle, Maria Iorio & Raphaël Cuomo, Noha Ramadan, Ines Lechleitner, Irena Tomažin, SJ Fowler, Gabriel Dharmoo, Korhan Erel, Tomomi Adachi, Seiji Morimoto, Steff Weismann, Mark W. Sutherland, and Marta Zapparoli. http://www.ezramo.com/
Ute Wassermann, voice artist, composer, improviser is known for her many-voiced and extreme vocal sound-language, which she has brought into experimental/contemporary music in diverse ways.
She studied visual arts (sound installation, performance art) at the Academy of Fine Arts in Hamburg, and subsequently singing and visual arts at the University of California, San Diego. Ute Wassermann is engaged in the areas of composition and improvisation, music, and performance art.
Ute’s unique vocal language takes the voice beyond itself. Her singing seems to be disconnected from the human voice oscillating between electronic, animalistic, inorganic, and human qualities. Her methods to extend the voice include the use of different types of microphones, bird whistles, objects, resonators, field recordings. Ute performs regularly at international venues and festivals. She has received several grants and commissions for compositions. https://vimeo.com/user20410741
Agata Lisiak is Migration Studies professor and Academic Director of the Internship Program at Bard College Berlin. She earned an M.A. in International Relations (University of Economics Poznan, 2002), an M.Phil. in Literary Studies (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 2005), and a Dr. Phil. in Media and Communication Studies (University of Halle-Wittenberg, 2009). She has held visiting fellowships at National Sun Yat-sen University, The Open University, and the University of Birmingham. She was a postdoctoral researcher at Humboldt University’s Institute of Social Sciences (2013-2017) and a Marie Curie Actions/EURIAS fellow at the Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna (2013-2014). She also worked in the cultural sector as a project coordinator and curator.
Agata works at the intersections of migration studies, urban sociology, and cultural studies. She is particularly interested in everyday urban encounters and imaginaries, feminist theory and practice, and developing creative, multi-sensory, and collaborative methods in urban and migration research. She has written about urban girlhood, migrant motherhood, walking in the city, urban sounds, and cultural memory in post-socialist cities, among many other topics. Together with Elena Vacchelli, Agata is co-founder of migART: a platform showcasing activist, research, and teaching projects that creatively and collaboratively engage with migration. https://migart.bard.berlin/
Susanna Schoenberg is a film, media, and performance artist based in Cologne and Milan. To her artistic work count experimental videos and installations, public actions, and camera set-ups. Her media practice is focused on the idea of emergence (of reality and shapes of reality); the contingent waiving of technical and conceptual control is part of her “realistic” (image giving) strategy. In the last years, she has been producing works explicitly dedicated to (apparatus-like) monitoring, in particular of the monitoring of the European borders.
Her works have been shown in several international film and media art festivals and group exhibitions, including the International Triennial of New Media Art Beijing, Taiwan International Video Art Exhibition, Japan Media Arts Festival, International Award for Video Art ZKM Karlsruhe, Festival Internazionale di Cinema Locarno, Torino Film Festival, Rencontres Internationales Paris, European Media Art Festival Osnabrück, Ars Electronica Linz, Padiglione Italia Biennale di Venezia.
Susanna Schoenberg studied film, media art, political sciences; Ph.D. in sociology. She gave lectures, workshops, and classes at international universities, art academies, art associations, a.o. Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Institute for Applied Theater Studies at the Justus-Liebig-University Gießen, Academy of Media Arts Cologne, Universidad Nacional Bogotá, King Mongkut‘s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang Bangkok, Central Academy of Fine Arts Beijing, Boston University, China Academy of Arts Hang Zhou, Taipei National University of the Arts, University of the City of Cologne, European School of Visual Arts Angouleme/Poitiers. http://susanna-schoenberg.net/
The concerts have returned… sort of… and Korhan has been playing concerts since mid-July in and out of Berlin. After playing with The Liz at the nano#drei Festival (Essen), a solo concert at Center for Prosecuted Arts (Solingen) and a synth duo with Eli Ningu at Hosek Contemporary (Berlin), Korhan continues their performances in October in four cities in Germany.
The first concert is with an improvising quartet that consists of Cymin Samawatie (voice, piano), Biliana Voutchkova (violin), Taiko Saito (mallets) and Korhan on electronics at Haus der Kulturen der Welt on October 8th.
Korhan will travel to Hamburg on October 16th to improvise with Andrew Levine (theremin, synth, Continuum) and Benoit Cancun (double bass) at Centro Social.
Korhan joins Trickster Orchestra in playing two concerts titled “Disturbing” on October 23rd at the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn and on October 25th at Radialsystem in Berlin.
Finally, the multimedia/animation/robotic/sound project Nervous Entanglement with Malte Jehmlich/sputnic travels to the LAB30 Festival in Augsburg. There will be two shows on the same evening on October 29th.
I will play the following concerts in Berlin in July. VERY EXCITED!!!
On July 10th, I will get back together with The Liz for a stream concert at the Heroines of Sound Festival at Radialsystem. The Liz is a power trio of three Lizzes. We tell stories using sound, text, video, stage and light design. We have been actively playing in and outside Germany since the end of 2014. Please visit this page for more info.
On July 11th, Klub Demboh, the ridiculously ridiculous performative improvisation gang I am a part of, will team up with musician Simon Sieger once more to play the music of Sun Ra at the Jazz am Kaisersteg organized by Aufsturz/Jazzkeller69. This open air concert will definitely feel and sound great. Please check this page for more info.
The lineup will be confirmed once the travel restriction decisions are announced by the German government.
On July 22nd, vocalist/improviser/composer Cansu Tanrıkulu and I will play a comprovised concert in the Improvised and Experimental concert series on the Hosek Contemporary, a boat-turned-gallery-soundspace on the Spree. The series is curated by cellist Guilherme Rodrigues.
After a lengthy period of feeling lost and afraid, I calmed down, redesigned my studio (at least three times) and started experimenting with sounds, ways of processing them, and bringing these sounds and processes together into pieces or improvisation instrument. I have also decide to document this process through recordings and videos. Please lend these an ear and/or eye and let me know what you think.
For obvious reasons, Korhan Erel has no concerts in April. They are contemplating life and other things at home. They also take walks without interacting with anyone. They do their best not to remain in their pyjamas after getting out of bed.
Korhan will play three concerts in Berlin and one in Essen in March.
They will play their first concert in the from of a solo electronics improvisation on experimental films with the theme of ‘daughters’ by female filmmakers on March 11th at Kotti-Shop in Berlin in the amazing series Sentimental Punk curated and organized by Dafne Narvaez Berflein. The all-female* line-up also includes Vrouw (Agnė Auželytė – keyboards, voice, Tristen Bakker – bass, noise box, voice, Kata Kovács – contact mic, found objects, voice, Angela Muñoz – percussion, voice, Lisa Simpson – talking hats and oscillations, voice).
Their second concert on March 14th will be with their new trio Ephemeral Fragments with Florian Walter (tubax, contrabass clarinet) and Emily Wittbrodt (cello) at Workshop for Self Defence in Essen. The concert will be at the 1st Mixed Musical Arts Festival. The other bands sharing the bill are Hilde (Julia Brüssel – violin, Marie Daniels – voice, Maria Trautmann – trombone, Emily Wittbrodt – cello) and the Duduk quartet Arevot Blri Duduk Hamuyt. The concerts start at 15:30!!!
THE REMAINING CONCERTS BELOW IN MARCH ARE ALL CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
Korhan’s third concert will be with their beloved absurd performative impro collective Klub Demboh at Petersburg Art Space in Moabit, Berlin. Don’t miss this seriously fun event.
The last concert will be a multidisciplinary one on the tragedy of love at L’ecritoire in Berlin on March 29th. Das Elend der Liebe, organized and curated by Dorothea Mader, will be an open reading platform that is accompanied by improvised music with Dorothea Mader (electronic flute), Anja Oehming (voice) and Korhan Erel (electronics).