Preview: sound and digital art highlights from Sónar Festival Istanbul

Music and digital arts festival Sónar comes to Istanbul for the first time in 2017.

Sónar festival of music, art and technology, which started in Barcelona in 1994, comes to Turkey for the first time this year. Set across four stages and based at the Zorlu Performing Arts Center in Istanbul, the festival opens between 24 and 25 March 2017.

Sónar Istanbul, still from video.

Sónar Istanbul 2017, still from video.

With its fusion of exhibition spaces, advanced technology fairs and focus on sound and sonic arts practices, Sónar is a pioneering festival that tracks the latest trends in electronic music and digital art. Sónar has previously taken place in Reykjavik, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Buenos Aires, New York, London, Cape Town, Frankfurt, Seoul, Lisboa, Lyon, Hamburg, Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, Boston, Denver, Oakland, Los Ángeles, Tokyo and Osaka.

Click here to watch an introduction video of Sónar on Vimeo

Now Sónar is set to activate the local Istanbul music and digital arts scene. Art Radar previews eight sessions not to miss from among the artists participating in the festival, with a particular focus on the local artists.

Villette. Portrait. Image courtesy Sónar Istanbul.

Villette portrait. Image courtesy Sónar Istanbul.

1. DJ set by Villette

Villette, a.k.a. Sine Büyüka, is an Istanbul-born London-based music producer, journalist and DJ. Büyüka started her career as a journalist and later went on to become a music producer and DJ. She performed in prestigious clubs and festivals around Istanbul and London with her techno and electronica project Villette. Having shared the stage with people such as John Talabot, The xx, Christian Löffler, Jan Blomqvist and Digitalism, Villette released her 4-track EP Crossed Wires last year. Her set can be heard at Sónar Box on Friday 24 from between 04:15 – 05:30am.

Ipek Gorgun. Portrait. Image courtesy Sónar Istanbul.

Ipek Gorgun portrait. Image courtesy Sónar Istanbul.

2. DJ set by İpek Görgün

Born and raised in Ankara, the musician/artist İpek Görgün received her MA degree in Philosophy in Galatasaray University with her dissertation on Heidegger after completing her undergraduate studies in the Political Science Department of Bilkent University. She is currently carrying on her PhD studies in ITU MIAM – Center For Advanced Music Studies, Sonic Arts program. Having participated in the Red Bull Music Academy in 2014, Görgün accompanied Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda in his experimental project Pattern no:6. Having composed the music of Mrs. His Name (2012), Hande Çayır’s documentary which explores the struggle of women who do not wish to claim the names of their husband when they get married, İpek Görgün self-released her debut solo album Aphelion in 2016. İpek Görgün also works as a performance, street artist and abstract photographer. She is playing on Saturday 25 at Sónar Lab between 18:00 – 18:30.

Nonotak portrait. Image courtesy Sónar Istanbul.

Nonotak portrait. Image courtesy Sónar Istanbul.

3. Performance by Nonotak

NONOTAK Studio is the collaboration between the illustrator Noemi Schipfer and architect & musician Takami Nakamoto. Commissioned by the Architect Bigoni-Mortemard to create a mural in the lobby of a building in Paris, NONOTAK was created in early 2013. Schipfer and Nakamoto work on light and sound installations, creating ethereal, immersive and dreamlike environments. Their performances capitalize on Nakamoto’s sonic-spatial approach and Shipfer’s experience regarding kinetic visuals. Their presentation/performance can be seen Friday 24 March at 20:30 – 21:15 in Sónar Hall.

Tamer Nakisci portrait. Image courtesy Sónar Istanbul.

Tamer Nakisci portrait. Image courtesy Sónar Istanbul.

4. Installation by Futureisblank (Tamer Nakisci)

Istanbul-based interior designer Tamer Nakisci’s experience spans technology, automotive design, multi-sensorial installations and products. He is inspired by the future and fascinated by a timeless aesthetic, and his work focuses on the interactions between people, spaces and objects. Space – a site specific installation at Sónar – is an interactive audio-visual & physical experience combined with a unique artistic approach originating from his experiments on consciousness and questioning the perceptions of past and the future through his Futureisblank project. “Space” module stands as a physical reflection of Nakisci’s minimal and evolving series of work and invites visitors to take a step into another dimension. Alternating between reality and illusion, the 3m diameter hexagon module structure constructed with giant mirrors plays with the perception of space and scale as one enters inside, while creating an out-of-this-world experience of visuals floating in the air.

Artists participating in Sónar+D conference panel. Image courtesy Sónar Istanbul.

Artists participating in Sónar+D conference panel. Image courtesy Sónar Istanbul.

5. Panel discussion on the theme of Turkish Experimental Music

Last April Brussels-based label Sub Rosa has released an extensive Anthology of Turkish Experimental Music; a genre widely neglected by the Turkish music industry. As gems of Turkish music, through the support of international enthusiasts and digital technologies of the modern age find their way in global light, we will be discussing newly-found territories of Turkish sounds and producers. The talk aims to touch on history of Turkish Experimental Music, the creative and archival process behind the assembling of this extensive study. our have been invited to perform as well as sit down and discuss the roots and future of the experimental music scene in Turkey. They are participating as part of Sónar+D, the international conference that brings together a combination of activities with a common theme: the relationship between creativity and technology, and the digital transformation of the cultural industries involved.

Tuna Pase portrait. Image courtesy Sónar Istanbul.

Tuna Pase portrait. Image courtesy Sónar Istanbul.

6. Performance by Tuna Pase

Ankara-born Tuna Pase’s areas of interest are electro-acoustic composition, improvisation, sound design, sound art, song writing and ethnomusicology. She plays electronics, flute, percussive objects and sings. Her music is inspired from sleeping, dreams, nature, poetry, photography, street art and bicycles. She performs her music and collaborates with others in an improvised manner, where she re-composes live, using the elements that build her music from scratch. She teaches world music, popular music, music history, electronic music, audio culture and improvisation in various universities in Istanbul such as Bilgi, Marmara and Yeditepe.

Atay Ilgun, 'Aesthetic Animism', 2017. Still from video used in 'Aesthetic Animism' visual performance. Image courtesy the artist and Sónar Istanbul.

Atay Ilgun, ‘Aesthetic Animism’, 2017. Still from video used in ‘Aesthetic Animism’ visual performance. Image courtesy the artist and Sónar Istanbul.

7. Performance by Atay İlgü: “Aesthetic Animism”

The conference entitled Sónar+D has invited multimedia artist Atay İlgün, born in 1989 in Ankara, to contribute a visual performance to the program. Atay İlgün’s narrative and audio works are distributed under pseudonyms such as Ashberry being published from Wounded Wolf Press publisher/record label. Besides Wounded Wolf Press, his works have been released by many record labels such as Invisible Birds (U.S.) and Reverb Worship (U.K.) and he started focusing on solo projects after he was asked to compose the music for the Vertigo (Murat Akagündüz, Arter) exhibition in 2015. Aesthetic Animism (2017) is a work exploring digital reality and the dimension of the self and our understanding through thought systems and software such as Anima mundi. The performance promises to meditate on how spontaneity and the productive process makes every performance different.

Biblo portrait. Image courtesy Sonar Istanbul.

Biblo portrait. Image courtesy Sonar Istanbul.

8. DJ session – Biblo

Biblo, an alumna of RBMA and an Istanbul-based electronic music producer, creates works using collages made by blustering the sounds she encounters and samples from daily noises in a dubby ambient fashion. She has released many successful works so far, including EPs such as Rebound EP, Reminders E and albums Ad Nauseam, Moved, On Ugliness, Projection and Absence from various local and international labels. Her session can be hear on Saturday 25 March at 19:00 – 19:45 at SónarLab.

Rebecca Close


Related Topics: events in Istanbulemerging artists, sound, multimedia, promoting art, Turkish artists

Related Posts:

Subscribe to Art Radar for more on contemporary art exhibitions in Istanbul





Comments are closed.