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Kubilay Üner makes adventurous, eclectic, colorful music for media ranging from film/TV to concerts and records. He blends acoustic, synthetic and found sounds, builds his own instruments, bends tempos, layers noise, mixes metaphors, and is generally convinced that good music only happens when you shake things up. Credits include collaborations with filmmakers Michael and Mark Polish, record productions for soul legend Bobby Womack, and music for video art installations at LACMA and the Pasadena Museum of California Art. Kubi studied composition with Johannes Fritsch and Clarence Barlow in Cologne, Germany; with Luigi Nono at Centre Acanthes in France; and with Mort Subotnick and Fredric Rzewski at CalArts. He currently lives, works and teaches in Chicago.
Kubilay on INN PARADISO:
"I do a lot of sketching. Always have. Every idea I have gets fixed in the medium it came to me. Some sketches are conceptual (what would happen if I did xyz?) and go in my notebook. Some sketches come to me at the piano and get notated on scoring paper. And some sketches result directly from getting my hands dirty with sound-sculpting while working at the computer with software, or with electronic gear like stomp boxes. Those get recorded in the computer.
"Over the past year or so a new theme emerged in my sketches - my ideas were getting thicker, denser, more complex, more layered, more distorted, perhaps even more angry. But also extremely vivid, strong, alive, vibrant. They were all about "more is more", so I decided to start fleshing out some of those sketches. This album is the result.
"Most pieces started out the same way - by creating a layer start-to-finish. Which is quite the opposite of the more common approach to writing music (or songs), where you would start with the structure, the chords, the melodies, and then realize the actual sound layers after that is finished. I realized I probably borrowed a lot from painters like Gerhard Richter, who starts with a layer of actual paint instead of, say, a pencil outline sketch of the shapes, then scrapes, paints again, scrapes again, scrapes some more. Similarly, I kept adding to the original layer, whatever it was, by recording over it, processing it, recording again, processing the whole thing, doing it again, layering again, and so on. All this is done based entirely on the question, What do I want to hear next, and where?
"Since these are neither songs nor film scores, this music is just about creating a "music-scape" for you, the listener, to wander around in. What you see, hear, make out, even if it's a real sound like a wolf or an escalator, is just there to sound the way it does. There's no story, no meaning, just a ballet of sound gestures coming together to create a dance. You make your own story - or just enjoy the movement and colors."
— Kubilay Üner, January 2015