"What you see, hear, make out, even if it's a real sound like a wolf or an escalator, is just there to sound the way it does. There's no story, no meaning, just a ballet of sound gestures coming together to create a dance. You make your own story - or just enjoy the movement and colors."
— Kubilay Üner, January 2015
"I do a lot of sketching. Always have. Every idea I have gets fixed in the medium it came to me. Some sketches are conceptual (what would happen if I did xyz?) and go in my notebook. Some sketches come to me at the piano and get notated on scoring paper. And some sketches result directly from getting my hands dirty with sound-sculpting while working at the computer with software, or with electronic gear like stomp boxes. Those get recorded in the computer.
"Over the past year or so a new theme emerged in my sketches - my ideas were getting thicker, denser, more complex, more layered, more distorted, perhaps even more angry. But also extremely vivid, strong, alive, vibrant. They were all about "more is more", so I decided to start fleshing out some of those sketches. This album is the result.
"Most pieces started out the same way - by creating a layer start-to-finish. Which is quite the opposite of the more common approach to writing music (or songs), where you would start with the structure, the chords, the melodies, and then realize the actual sound layers after that is finished. I realized I probably borrowed a lot from painters like Gerhard Richter, who starts with a layer of actual paint instead of, say, a pencil outline sketch of the shapes, then scrapes, paints again, scrapes again, scrapes some more. Similarly, I kept adding to the original layer, whatever it was, by recording over it, processing it, recording again, processing the whole thing, doing it again, layering again, and so on. All this is done based entirely on the question, What do I want to hear next, and where?
"Since these are neither songs nor film scores, this music is just about creating a "music-scape" for you, the listener, to wander around in. What you see, hear, make out, even if it's a real sound like a wolf or an escalator, is just there to sound the way it does. There's no story, no meaning, just a ballet of sound gestures coming together to create a dance. You make your own story - or just enjoy the movement and colors."
— Kubilay Üner, January 2015
Written and performed by Kubilay Üner
Recorded and mixed by Kubilay Üner at Dissonanz, North Hollywood
Mastered by John Rodd at Clearstory Sound, Los Angeles
Photos by april-mo
Layout and Design by Eron Rauch
April Guthrie: cello (6)
Bryan Landers: banjo, tambura (7)
Clinton Patterson: trumpets, mariachi trumpet arrangement (5); cello recording (6)
Daniel Rosenboom: trumpets, flugelhorn (1,3,4,8)
Flaithri Neff: uilleann pipes, low whistle (7)
Jason Staczek: hammond organ (8)
Johanna Wiedemann: opening solo vocal (7)
Kati Carota: vocals (2) viola (5,8)
Random teenager: unsolicited grunts into location recording mic (3)
Seref Dalyanoglu: oud (7)
Thomas McBean: french horns (3,9)
Tim Tonti: drums, screams (3)
Vinny Golia: zournas, baritone sax (7)
Zidi Tonti: vocal chants (3)
The International Manna Chorus (unison melody on track 7):
Johanna Wiedemann: vocals
Jakob Wiedemann: vocals
Victoria Levy: vocals
Lucy Levinsohn: vocals
Ellen Burr: flutes
Vinny Golia: sopranino sax
Sinisa Horn: melodica, vocals
Flaithri Neff: uilleann pipes
Hagai Or: flumpet (yes, that's what it's called)
Xaver Himpsl: trumpet, piccolo trumpet
Erwin Gregg: trombone
Thomas Braun: french horn
Ludwig Himpsl: french horn, tuba
Erika Walczak: violin
Bryan Landers: banjo, tambura
Seref Dalyanoglu: oud
Franztürk Himpsl: saz
Clemens Wiedemann: acoustic guitar
Special Thanks to:
All the musicians who played on the album, from LA and the Bay Area all the way to Munich and Ireland; Allison Baer and Haynes Brooke; the entire CalArts community; Mort Subotnick; the inspiring music makers of Los Angeles; and, most especially, Jen.