“... a stunningly powerful work”
about En-he-du-an-na-me-en
Iceland Dark Music Days 2023 - Harpa Hall, Reykjavik IS
performance by Rosie Middleton
5:4 review by Simon Cummings

︎ “Dark Music Days (Iceland) 2023 (Part 1)”


“... music that is at once trembling, harmonious, drawn in and inspired, whistling, buzzing, and moaning... yes, yes, all of this at the same time ...”
about Tierceron (2023) an album of improvisations
released from Other Minds Records - Sf, Ca, Usa
review by Djolo Cultures

︎“Tierceron incertain et divagations de Senso di Voce et Henry Birdsey”


“... a sound wizard! ...”
Rosie Middleton, mezzosoprano
Commissioner: ︎Voice(less) Series - London Uk


“... Esin’s music arises miraculously from the body’s own forgotten rhythms. Reading her score for the first time, I felt as if I had been startled by a secret and unexpected mirror.”
Nathaniel LaNasa, pianist
Commissioner: ︎Ultrafizz voice+ piano+ duo - NyCity Usa

“... sounds as if it is dentelle or some beautiful tapestry.”
about Lights on Inanna
︎Dr. Andrea Young, composer, performer
Collaborator - Montreal Ca

Esin Gunduz, PhD (she / her)

For composer, vocal performer, and improvisor Esin Gunduz, sound originates in the body. 
She explores life’s energies as visceral sensory experience and sound, building landscapes of recorded-voice samples to surround acoustical instrumental textures, creating breathtaking acoustic vistas. Her works stemming from her research of traditional music and ancient texts are prominent. These span mediums: acoustic, electroacoustic, or sound installation and exist within diverse contexts: live / concert music, music with choreography, music for theatre / sound design, or museum projects.

Dr Gunduz had her works performed as part of the Nonclassical and Music in the Round concert series (United Kingdom), Dark Music Days (Harpa Concert Hall, Iceland), National Sawdust Digital Discovery Festival (NyCity Usa), and Banff Center (Canada). She was announced to be one of the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning awardees in 2021 as a composer and the vocalist of the transformative oboe and voice duo:
︎Senso di Voce.
︎who got their debut album of improvisations with Henry Birdsey released from the Other Minds (OM) records of San Francisco, California (Jul 2023).

Gunduz’s prominent projects include electroacoustic works based on Sumerian tablets and a piece that turns alchemical processes into sound for the NyCity-based duo, Ultrafizz. Her En-he-du-an-na-me-en (2020), is based on a text by Enheduanna 𒂗𒃶𒌌𒀭𒈾, (ca. 2300 BC, a Sumerian high-priestess, the world’s first author known by name). This work, that is for voice and electronics, was created in close collaboration with mezzosoprano Rosie Middleton for her Voice(less) Commissioning Series. En-he-du-an-na-me-en was programmed for Iceland Dark Music Days before the pandemic, later been premiered for Nonclassical (Jun 2021) during Waterloo Festival, had its second performance at the Iklectic Artlab (Jan 2022), its third performance as part of the Music in the Round Series, Sheffield in (Sept 2022) —all venues in England, Uk. As a scholar at the Foundazione Isabelle Scelsi, Rosie Middleton gave this work its fourth performance inside the late prolific composer Giacinto Scelsi’s living room in Rome, Italy (Oct 2022). A fifth performance of the work took place as part of Dark Music Days at the Harpa Concert Hall of Iceland (Jan 2023) and got a 5:4 review: “A mesmerizing performance of a stunningly powerful work.” Sixth and seventh performances will take place as part of Music in the Round series again, this time in London and in Porthsmuth (Oct 2023).
︎Read a 5:4 review about Middleton’s Iceland Dark Music Days performance.
︎Watch excerpts from En-he-du-an-na-me-en.

Gunduz’s works for museum/art-spaces with Senso di Voce are multi-faceted. The second iteration of their sound installation Sounding Spaces: Passage was showcased at the Frontispace Gallery of University of Rochester. The duo’s unique performance in Sonic Impressions, an audio-visual output of their own program-curation, was developed in close relation to the Renaissance Impressions exhibition at the Memorial Art Gallery and streamed in a webinar format of concert and talk by the institution. This program includes Gunduz’s short work: Bogalele that was inspired by the throat-playing tradition of the Teke nomads in Turkey and cantu a tenòre tradition of Sardinia.
︎Watch the audio-visual concert: Sonic Impressions

Dr. Gunduz has presented Lights on Inanna (2016-17), her initial work that was based on Sumerian tablets, under the Music in the Cult section of the Society of Biblical Literature’s (Sbl) Annual Meeting in San Antonio (Tx) in November of 2021. A researcher of vocal performance, Esin Gunduz has offered workshops for the Indeterminacy Consulting Group & Festival (Ca/Usa), CS1 Curatorial Projects (Usa), and an Orchard of Pomegranates in Montréal (Ca). Dr. Gunduz has been an adjunct voice professor at Villa Maria College and holds a PhD in music composition from Suny University at Buffalo.
︎Watch a part of Dr Gunduz’s presentation of her phd dissertation “Lights on Inanna” under the Music and Cult section for Society of Biblical Literature.

Originally from Istanbul, Turkey, she currently lives in New York State, Usa and travels for her projects.


an Artist’s Statement

“As a composer,
I concentrate on the nature of sound and its embodiment.

As humans, we respond to human-voice with a primal empathy.
An immediate kind of mirroring takes place.

We “know” the tension that is required to produce that sound.

We feel it in our own bodies.

We reflectively react to it at times:

such as raising our eyebrows when we hear voices in upper-spectra (like a boy-choir),

or clearing our throats after hearing a “scratchy” throat-sound.


Owing my predisposition to both my roots from Thrace (Trakya)
and to have spent my youth in Istanbul,

I am particularly fascinated by culture-specific
vocal practices and traditional vocal-techniques,
not only for their complex acoustical spectra,
but also for how they communicate and convey
a wide range of
such direct and human experience.

Life vibrates within those sounds.

Such vocal timbres carry information into
a singer’s attitude | psychology | type-of-being | (…)

— phrases of singing are
time-capsules of
human-life in acoustics.

I learn from these and translate them into instrumental writing;

I aim to create the directness
( immediacy and presence )
of human-voices,

© 2019

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or email:  esingund at gmail dot com

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Copyright © 2020 Esin Gunduz.
Composer | Vocal performer