July 6 2016 marks the release of CloudScapes, Elif Yalvaç’s Debut EP!
Stream and download available on bandcamp
Six pieces, six sonic evocations of rare cloud types. The mesmeric, almost contradictory essence of clouds resides in their combination of gaseousness and shapeliness; the puffy dispersal of vapour, curbed by edges that cut sharply into the sky. Spillages frozen in time and space. Elif Yalvaç manages to generate this elusive quality by using both frequency spectrum and volume as paintbrushes, sweeping upward through ephemeral hazes to convey abrupt curvature, or cutting sound dead to create sheer vertical surfaces, with thick waves of harmony plummeting into silence from on high. Meanwhile, the texture of these clouds is forever shifting. As I wade through each piece, I encounter little glitches that hang within the echo like trapped rain droplets, or visceral bursts of bass frequency that drag at the underside like a lining of heavy grey. They thicken with debris (crushed field recording, distortion, colliding electronics) and then dissipate into delicate wisps of drone, as Yalvaç riddles her sculptures with vaporous clots and pockets of empty space.
Another fascinating quality of clouds is their status as meteorological prophets and diaries, using shape and texture as means to communicate imminent weather shifts or recent weather events. For instance, “Castellanus” (the first piece on CloudScapes) is named after a cloud characterised by vertical turrets that sprout from the base, often signifying an oncoming storm. The track ends with a sudden burst of noise, presumably resembling the chaos forecast in the piece’s erratic swerves and smoky quivers of warning. “Mammatus” clouds take the form of gigantic blankets of bubbles, the appearance of which is often linked with severe thunderstorms. And thus, the final track on CloudScapes is a paradoxically beautiful ode to violent weather: tiny sparks erupt within thick and dissonant drones, as the vapour hangs in the mid frequencies like levitating syrup. The cloud is too heavy to defy gravity forever, and while Elif Yalvaç doesn’t opt to depict the storm itself, the album’s beautiful fade-out is haunted by the suspicion that there is silence where tempestuous rupture should be.
Elif Yalvaç on SoundCloud – https://soundcloud.com/hazalelif
This is the 196th edition of the Epileptic Gibbon podcast music show and the playlist to accompany it. You may be able to CLICK HERE TO LISTEN but note the shows are large files & this may not be the best way to listen. If you prefer, you can subscribe to the show via iTunes by sticking feeds2.feedburner.com/TheEpilepticGibbonPodcastMusicShow into the ‘Subscribe to podcast’ area & then you’ll get the new shows as they become available. The show is also available to stream via Mixcloud and the Progzilla Radio Network (the show is now appearing on Progzilla in alternate weeks). The last show was a festive special, but with this eppysode I present an interview I recorded back in September with the Turkish composer and musician Elif Yalvac. We have a feature album, or rather I should say that we have a feature EP, Elif’s debut release ‘Cloudscapes’…
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Elif now features on this site her field recordings and compositions created therefrom.
Please go to the new section titled Field Recordings & Sound Tourism for more info.
Castellanus is featured on Cloud Appreciation Society’s brand new music section that accompanies Clouds in Art, Clouds in Poetry, Clouds in Video, each welcoming Clouds in Music as well.
Getting to learn the grounds of Turkish electronic composer Elif Yalvaç’s first release is essential to understand its intimate nature. The EP’s title offers a hidden clue of sorts, as Yalvaç – frequently trapped in Istanbul’s traffic – is a woman who takes inspiration from the sky to avoid the inevitable stress. So, with a little fantasy, one could even reverse the factors and translate the name into “escaping through clouds”. Then again, cloud formations are also a source of compositional shapes if observed in the right frame of mind. And I know from experience that a deep connection exists between personal sorrow and daily travel.
All these components were meshed by the discerning ears of someone able to overcome a technical limit – namely, an old laptop – to distil six pieces that can stand proud amidst the currents and tides of analogous releases, with few minor uncertainties…
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As the release of ‘Cloudscapes’ gets closer, two of the six-piece EP’s tracks were featured in SurrundScapes, quad mix special event by MIAM Sonic Arts, on May 12, 2016 at Babylon Bomonti, Istanbul. It also marked the premiere of ‘Castellanus’ in surround sound, together with the surround mix version of microsound piece ‘Pyrocumulus’. Attracting a great deal of attention, the event featured Turkey’s first ever quadraphonic DJ setup.