There are roughly three types of works I create these days: works that are traditionally notated derived from patterns, works that are derived from patterns but notated in an open and graphic manner which could be considered scripts rather than musical scores, and works which failed to follow the patterns I originally found or created or also found failed pieces which I never throw away and that I rework later using new pattern based systems, into new pieces I call scrapbook.
A performance of my works is necessarily an open creative project. And it should generate discussion and collaboration. In general I favor the structure and form of a work and I minimize directions about articulation, pace, rhythm and dynamics. These decisions can be decided by the performers. And optionally with me.
My works may also combine with different artistic fields easily since they have a strong visual element and other disciplines can easily partake in the realization of a work(s)(film, painting, dance, theatre and literature). This collaborative idea comes from the fact that these visual maps can be “read” or interpreted by a performer(s) and artists from these other disciplines or artistic inquiries. Each performance may have its own name that can come out of the collaboration.
I create my works by using patterns that I find, create and modify from a variety of sources. These include numbers or anything that can be abstracted visually into numbers or signs. I freely and imaginatively map these pattern structures into scores, graphs or scripts that can be performed or realized in sound using any kind of sources whether it be musical instruments, electronic sounds and/or field recordings. These scripts can also be used and realized with other media. Each work develops its own pattern based process and although I can many times use similar procedures among works, the process is unique to each of them. This pushes me to remain open minded about different procedures and learn from each work. There is an emerging and dynamic quality to this way of working. And processes tend to yield unexpected, atypical and unusual forms or sometimes somewhat familiar forms that I accept and embrace. My aim has always been and still is to reach a more empty and nonjudgemental, almost primitive and non conceptual realm of imagination and creativity. I always work trying to keep everything to its bare minimum within what is possible. But sometimes I indulge or let chaotic or random procedures infiltrate the process. Sometimes I re-start the process too, if I feel that I have moved away from its original pattern. The focus is always in the playfulness of the process without knowing the exact end result. I draw inspiration from the way nature works. A spirit of open experimentation and exploration is at the heart of this. This spirit of adventure to the unknown is a very exciting state of mind which keeps me present throughout the creative process. I consider my work as an attitude, a way of being in the world. Calm but playful, open but moderate, thorough but compassionate, contemplative but attentive. I like to work steadily and give myself up to the task. I like to call my works soundforms.
Another way of understanding what I do
Sound, silence, noise
Listening, experimenting, inquiring
Experience, perception, performance
Restraint, contemplation, observation
Imagination, intuition, playfulness
Clarity, simplicity, complexity
Nature, chaos, patterns
Abstracting – finding, creating and modifying patterns and processes.
Emptying – abating prejudice, concept, knowledge. being primitive. understanding the whole. nonlinear thinking.
Imagining – favouring intuition, curiosity and playfulness. exploring and welcoming randomness and chaos.
Sounding – accepting and undiscriminating any suitable sounds.
Scripting – visually mapping mental and creative roads.
Simplifying – using barest minimum possible.
Listening – exploring, adventuring and attending to the auditory.
Contemplating – finding clear perception. being restrained, calm but attentive, following nature, tending the body, observing, transience and emergence.
Collaborating – bringing in and sharing with others. dancing, painting, drawing, writing.
What are soundforms?
They are works that I compose exclusively using numerical and visual patterns that I create, find, modify, transform into visual scripts that can be used as musical scores and then interpreted in sounds whether they be instrumental, electronic or pre-recorded ones. These visual scripts, can become a kind of scaffold for artists or people working in other disciplines. These are the only works I create these days. Taken altogether soundforms is one massive work.
Why do you call them soundforms?
The visual scripts have a fluid form. That is, it becomes a fluid object with certain essential features that are difficult to pinpoint in each work. The interpretation of it gives it a more perceptual form. Once I score them and finally realize them in sound then they have a form in the sense that they now exist in sound in a very clear perceptual manner. Although the listener might perceive his or her own form. If realized in light then they could be called visualforms or light forms. If they are realized in text then they could be wordforms. In movement then motionforms.
Why do you compose like that?
I feel that by using an abstract sequence of numbers or visuals, I do not make aesthetic decisions ahead as to how the piece is going to sound. Rather my imagination is let free of musical learned constraints and roams into more unexpected musical ideas. I feel a more visceral connection to the work. I like this element of not knowing and sense of discovery that this process brings. During the process of creation I feel this sort of imagination scaffold that emerges. Sometimes towards the end of the process when I am starting to hear more clearly I sense that I might have abandoned the scaffold at some point. Then I go back and try to pick that moment and re-start the process. Other times during the working process I can see and hear several possibilities and then several soundforms come from one script. It is all in the creative mapping of the abstract patterns into sounds and then letting the work unfold in time following its own rules and exceptions and occasionally adding some randomness.
Why is this so special or interesting?
It kind of sparks my imagination and I feel that the process yields a well of possibilities. In fact many times I refrain from looking or starting with a simple sequence of numbers as it will immediately send my imagination into a deep and fantastical creative mode. There is much excitement and satisfaction. I need to pace it. It also wants to make me share it. I work in sound but most of the times, I not only imagine sounds, but also motion and image. They kind of complement each other during the process. It is interesting to explore this sound-motion-image path because of its direction to the wholesomeness of the senses. A full perceptual road. I also find that the results are always surprising and unique. This way of working yields unexpected pieces. And this feeling brings me a lot of joy, peace and satisfaction.
What is the difference from your previous works?
In my previous works I worked with a predetermined idea of the end result and I thought much about musical elements while composing. This made the process harsh and I felt that it disabled my imagination somehow. As I started exploring the power of abstract thinking through numbers and visuals, I also became aware that I needed to complement my process by inquiring into contemplative practices, the nature of sound and pattern perception and thinking. These areas of independent studies have helped me strengthen my creative process as they each add a different spin to what I do. Contemplative practices points to issues of emptiness, compassion, equanimity and countless other ideas that infiltrate my works. Learning about different perspectives of sound help me appease my desire to posses sounds and accept them in any form. And of course patterns as a way of understanding the world at large, how many other disciplines think of pattern perception as a unique human feature. I believe they guide the creation of soundforms. In the past I didn’t have any of this. I am constantly trying to bridge practically my discoveries from these branches of understanding into my creative work and life.
How does your work impact the community? What is the value of this kind of thinking? Why is this important to other people?
This question is similar to asking me why I am important to society. I do not have an agenda for my art other than sharing it with anyone open to look and listen to my works. All my activities converge creatively into my works and I incorporate all my experiences into them, although not explicitly. This I believe is a genuine way of showing myself to the world. But If I could point to something more concrete is that my process values pattern thinking, free imagination and compassion as a way of harnessing different ideas about the world. I strongly believe that this process, which might be invisible or imperceptible to an audience, is sensed in the uniqueness and sometimes oddness of my works. Thinking differently is crucial in these days and my works transmit this message. We need to think differently in order to find solutions to humanity’s problems. I believe that much suffering in the world is caused by the fact that we always want to use the same thinking and therefore the problems repeat. Not that i think that problems will disappear. Sharing my work is an opportunity to transmit and hopefully impact the community in a very subtle, yet effective and meaningful way. A way of thinking differently.
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