What is the beginning of the story of creating idiosyncratic universes by reflecting your experiences and feelings in melodies? How the attention paid to variables and details affect the work? As we talk about all this with Akın Sevgör, we experience how candid and honest he can be while expressing his observations about life.
How did you discover your inclination for music?
I remember distinct and small things. They mostly played classical music in the house. Some of the things I heard were as influential as to make me start wildly running around the house. As if I was trying to run away. There were times when I covered my ears. Though I knew what affected me so much, I was annoyed by the fact that I couldn’t understand how it happened. Naturally, I wanted to understand it and, over time, I started asking my family about music. Luckily, they had the answers. I was quick and smart to understand what they said. When I spent some time with instruments, I quickly figured out how they worked and started playing them. So, the topic of my inclination towards music was discussed when I was a kid and the entire family agreed that I should focus on music.
“To be clearer, everything you hear in “Routine” is fake. That’s what makes it real because this is what I’m living.”
Güneş Gözlükleri / Sunglasses: Calvin Klein #calvinklein205w39nyc
What are the reflections of your training in classical music in your current production?
Understanding classical music benefits everyone who wants to make music today but I think we need to restructure its boundaries. In this day and age when physical abilities have started to lose their meaning and are being replaced by ideas and thoughts, I think children with great musical abilities should spend time to create better ideas and work towards fields they feel closer to instead of spending ours playing instruments.
In your works, we see electronic elements in addition to traditional melodies. What led you to create these fusions?
Although the parameters involved have changed over time, I think it’s about taste in general. I can easily change my mind when I feel that it doesn’t suit the composition. The thing I pay attention to when integrating traditional elements into today’s world is not to push myself to do it.
“The thing I pay attention to when integrating traditional elements into today’s world is not to push myself to do it.”
Is there a TV series of movie you wish you composed a soundtrack?
Naturally, I think of my favorite movies. One of them is directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan and it doesn’t have a soundtrack. The ones that have one are made by notable composers. I don’t think I ever thought that when I watched a movie.
You talk about your debut album “ArsNova” by saying, “it represents a monologue and includes future projects and compositions which you can share with the audience.” How would you evaluate “Routine”? What kind of an atmosphere does your EP have?
With “Routine,” I wanted to tell what I see around me rather than in me. And I wanted to tell it as it is. Since humans arrive in conclusions through thinking, I’ve always had complete faith in humans. But I cannot say the same thing about the world we’ve built. When you look around, you can see people who have already realized that what’s been taught as right or truth is a lie but cannot do anything about it. I didn’t hide anything I experienced during my observations or any information I’ve learned from life; I’ve put them all in “Routine.” Unfortunately, world is a plaza; it’s a place where working people have to believe that this is the best it could be as they are walking with a flood of people in the subway. It’s a place where a paper collector was raised in so unjust circumstances that when s/he takes a moment to sit on a stone and think about that, s/he wouldn’t know what to think. It’s a place where you feel scared to ask for help from people who are dressed in uniforms to protect you. And many others I can’t count… To be clearer, everything you hear in “Routine” is fake. That’s what makes it real because this is what I’m living. From this perspective, I thought the audience could form a more realistic exchange of feelings compared to “ArsNova.” Although now I think I thought wrong.
How did the cover of “Routine EP” come about? What’s its story?
We released “Routine” under Subroomer Records, a record company recently opened by Cihangir, a close friend of mine. Around then, I met Ethem Cem, who was a friend of Cihangir’s. We had some long talks. I told him in detail about what I wanted to do. When he listened to the music, he was able to make a nice connection and agreed to work with me for the cover. I think Ethem Cem is a very talented artist. I accepted his work without any changes and added to the album.
Can we formulize Akın Sevgör’s production?
There’s no mathematical formula of what I’m doing. Because if there were, I may as well put a computer in charge of my creative process. But I can’t because what makes artworks special is that you cannot formulize the state of consciousness. There is a prioritized goal of my state of consciousness and results, solutions and foundations involved in the thinking process to attain that goal. I’d love to talk about it briefly but it’d be very bare. On the other hand, I wish to be able to explain it. Some time ago, I put an effort to organize my thoughts about this in a longer text. But as I wrote, I came across many consistent and contradictory things, many variables and a great deal of details that needs to be taken into consideration. When it’s finished, it’ll probably like a book because I need to explain a lot of things at depth to be able to answer this question.
“Unfortunately, world is a plaza; it’s a place where working people have to believe that this is the best it could be as they are walking with a flood of people in the subway.”
Who are the musicians you could never stop listening to?
I don’t spend too much time to search and find something to listen to. My experience of listening is usually based on what people around me share with me. There are some things that really stick but they’re all from different artists.
How do you evaluate the production of electronic music in Turkey?
We cannot make progress unless electronic music is accepted by the audience as one of the most important and productive instruments of the art of music and used as something more than creating dance music based on technology. To be able to do that, we should stop distinguishing electronic music from the rest of the art of music. I believe that the artists in Turkey are fulfilling their responsibility to make progress as much as the country’s atmosphere allows them. I’m receiving e-mails from enthusiastic and curious people of all ages who wish to learn it or take it up. But there is also one other thing I cannot overlook; the responsibility is shared by the audience and the artists. I think it’s the responsibility of the society as much as the artists to enable progress in a country’s art scene and to find its own character. As long as the audience chooses “what’s easier to listen” when asked how they choose the music they should listen to, we will be handing out Oscars among ourselves. I don’t intend to offend anyone with this. The group of people I say this is not aware of what they’re doing wrong. Even more so, what I’m talking about is not even exclusive to Turkey.
Which aspects of Istanbul inspire you?
Although I have certain habits and exist in only specific areas of the city, I find it impressive that the city is still unpredictable.
How would you define your perspective of life?
It would be too strange for me to try and answer this question.
What is the most exciting and inspiring thing that happened to you recently?
When we say “happen,” we think of something with a process whose reasons we could look into. But I’m inspired by moments which are impossible for me to research in terms of hows and whys.