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

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

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“... 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”


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“... 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]

“My practice of composition, vocal performance, and improvisation is rooted in:


embodiment;
becoming nature / life / the fascinating other that is unapologetically itself*

*and realizing that, in fact, I don’t get to ‘become’ anything. Instead, discovering that I ‘am’. That we all are.


spirituality;
(marveling at) multiplicity in unity and unity in multiplicity within cosmos


meditation;
becoming vibrations -going back to an inherent vibrational state-, to experience the ever-present and ever-changing texture / timbre / weaving of life”
Esin Gunduz

︎

‘Sophia, rhythmic dance of the soul of the world, rainbow of colors and forms, you are the world as a work of art, and you demand from us to understand the world artistically rather than intellectually.  But at the same time, art need not be separated from intellect, imagination need not be removed from thought.  The formation of consciousness that can hold these capacities together seems to me to be the task of this age, and a further part of that task involved the development of the capacity to center such imaginal thought within the events of the world as we now face them.  Active imaginal thought promotes the gradual transforming of the taken-for-granted notion that it is we who are doing the thinking to the stance that it is the world that thinks through us.’

Robert Sardello
Facing the World with Soul:
The Reimagination of Modern Life
2004 Lindisfarne Books, 2nd edition, p.31
 



~


Originally from Istanbul, Turkiye, for composer, vocal performer, and improviser Esin Gunduz, sound originates in the body. She explores life’s energies as vibrations, timbre as visceral sensory experience, building landscapes from recorded-voices to surround acoustical instrumental textures, creating breathtaking acoustic vistas that have an unveiling quality. Her works stemming from her interest in timbre, traditional music, and ancient texts span mediums: acoustic, electroacoustic, sound installation, and exist within diverse contexts: live / chamber music, and sound: for theatre, with image / moving image, around exhibitions. These shine a light on the multiplicity and unity, the psychological and spiritual overtones of our lives and life itself.


Dr. Gunduz had her works performed at Music in the Round, Nonclassical, and Birmingham Opera Company’s Opera Lab (across United Kingdom), Dark Music Days (Harpa Concert Hall, Iceland), National Sawdust’s Digital Discovery Festival (NyCity, Usa), and Banff Center (Alberta, Canada). Her work in close collaboration with Rosie Middleton, En-he-du-an-na-me-en, got several reviews. Often inspired by traditional music, Gunduz had private workshops with two ensembles of cantu a tenòre in Sardinia in 2023.

Gunduz was announced to be one of the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning awardees of 2021, as a composer and the vocalist of her transformative oboe and voice duo with Megan Kyle:︎Senso di Voce. The duo got their debut album of improvisations with Henry Birdsey: ︎Tierceron released from the Other Minds (OM) records of San Francisco, (Jul 2023).

Being originally from Istanbul, Turkey, and having lived in the Usa (New York state), Gunduz has currently moved to Austin, Texas and travels regularly for her projects around the world.
~

Gunduz’s prominent projects include electroacoustic works based on Sumerian tablets and a piece that turns an alchemical process into sound, ︎coniunctio (2020), for the NyCity-based duo Ultrafizz. Her first work around Sumerian culture, ︎Lights on Inanna (2017) had its stage premiere along with the premiere of Alvin Lucier’s new work Monteverdi Shapero (2019) at Banff Centre for the Arts. The second one, En-he-du-an-na-me-en (2020), is based on the text: Exaltation of Inanna by Enheduanna  (the world’s first author known by name, a Sumerian high-priestess, ca. 2300 BC). This work, that is for voice and electronics, was created in close collaboration with mezzosoprano Rosie Middleton and was commissioned by her 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 during Waterloo Festival (Jun 2021), had its second performance at the Iklectic Artlab (Jan 2022), its third performance as part of Music in the Round, Sheffield (Sept 2022) where the composer was hosted in a Q&A —all venues in England, Uk. As a scholar at the Foundazione Isabelle Scelsi, Rosie Middleton gave the work its fourth performance inside the late prolific composer Giacinto Scelsi’s living room in Rome, Italy (Oct 2022). The fifth performance of the work took place as part of Dark Music Days / Myrkir músíkdagar at the Harpa Concert Hall of Iceland (Jan 2023) where it got a review: ︎“A mesmerizing performance of a stunningly powerful work.” by 5:4. Sixth, seventh, and eighth performances of it were staged for Birmingham Opera Company - Opera Lab; open to public, these took place inside the New Street Station of Birmingham! Ninth and tenth performances happened as part of Music in the Round, this time in Portsmouth (Guildhall) and London (Woolwich Works), where the composer was hosted in a Q&A in the latter (Oct 2023).
︎Watch excerpts from En-he-du-an-na-me-en.


An ongoing multi-disciplinary collaborative project of hers is with Simon Wachsmuth, Emre Koyuncuoğlu, and Yasemin Nur. ‘Medea Traveling’ has been staged / showcased in its several versions: As a multidisciplinary event of performances, video art, installation, experimental sound installation, performance, and interactive theater (︎Medea 'on -a thin- line', 2022) which also had Esin as an improviser, as a theatre play (︎Medea Fine-Tuning / Medea'ya İnce Ayar, 2023), along with a feature art-film to be released in coming years (2025) --This project is being supported by Kulturakademie Tarabya / Tarabya Cultural Academy and Allianz Kulturstiftung. Her multi-disciplinary collaborative project with Roosmarijn Pallandt, where Gunduz envisions / creates sounds around field recordings / images / moving images by artist Pallandt, is in-progress.

Her works for museum/art-spaces with Senso di Voce are multi-faceted. Their six-channel sound installation︎Sounding Spaces (2021) was commisioned by and showcased at Play/Ground Festival. The second iteration of this sound installation Sounding Spaces: Passage (2022), was exhibited at the Frontispace Gallery of University of Rochester. An audio-visual output of Senso di Voce’s own curation, Sonic Impressions (2022) was developed in close relation to the Renaissance Impressions exhibition at the Memorial Art Gallery and was streamed in a webinar format of concert and talk by the institution. ︎Watch the audio-visual concert by Senso di Voce: Sonic Impressions.

This program includes Gunduz’s short work: Bogalele which was inspired by the throat-playing tradition of the Teke nomads in Turkey and cantu a tenòre tradition of Sardinia — a tradition that is listed under the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity category of Unesco. Often inspired by traditional music, Dr. Gunduz had the chance of having private workshops with two separate ensembles of cantu a tenòre in 2023: ︎Coro Gabriel (of Tempio Pausania) and ︎Tenore Santa Maria Otzana (of Ottana) in Sardinia.


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 (Nov. 2021). A researcher of vocal performance, Esin Gunduz has offered workshops for the Indeterminacy Consulting Group & Festival (Ca/Usa), CS1 Curatorial Projects (Usa), and 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.


Being originally from Istanbul, Turkey, and having lived in New York State, Gunduz has currently moved in to Austin, Texas (Usa) and travels regularly for her projects around the world.


*Having been trained in jazz and improvisation, Gunduz has been on stage as a vocalist & improviser since early 2000’s. Links to some recordings featuring her vocal performance and improvisations are listed below her original works, as well as a link to the list of her vocal performances prior to 2017. If you’d like to know more about her performance practice and how that ties to her compositional work, please feel free to contact her. Thank you.

esingunduz.com





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

On how we experience sound viscerally, kinesthetically. I explore visceral sensory experience and sound, building landscapes of my own recorded-voice samples to surround acoustical instrumental textures—to create breathtaking vistas.

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…

I am particularly fascinated by culture-specific vocal practices and traditional vocal-techniques,
not only because of their complex acoustical spectra,
but also because of 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 recreate the directness of those human-voices, for performers and ensembles.


© 2018 Esin Gunduz
Composer | Vocal performer











︎Contact ︎ via the online form here
or please email:  esingund at gmail dot com




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Copyright © 2020 Esin Gunduz.
Composer | Vocal performer
Mark