Music Design: Enhancing Artistic Narratives through Sound
Music is a thread in the fabric of performance
Text: Alina Zhukova 13/07/2023
Music design has emerged as a pivotal element in the artistic realm, shaping the emotional landscape and narrative of plays, exhibitions, and festivals. Just as casting actors is essential to breathe life into a performance, the selection of skilled sound producers and composers is crucial in creating a profound impact. In this article, we delve into the artistry of several music designers who possess the talent and skill to complement storytelling through their unique musical accompaniments.
INOE and Ella Iris at the EV Exhibition (Istanbul, Türkiye)
Turkish DJ Can Köroğlu, popularly known as INOE, has not only made a mark in Istanbul's central bars but has also left an indelible impression on artistic events. Collaborating with Belgian artist Ella Iris, he delivered an original ambient set at the opening of the international EV Exhibition in July 2023, themed around forced emigration. The term "EV" translates to "home" in Turkish, and Türkiye has been a refuge for many immigrants in recent years. The exhibition was curated like a home, with each exhibit being an integral part of this dwelling.
During the opening of the EV Exhibition, the challenge for Can Köroğlu and Ella Iris was to present a non-standard DJ session that aligned seamlessly with the exhibition's concept and evoked a sense of "home" for visitors. The ambient collection they presented succeeded in harmoniously blending with the exhibition, creating an immersive experience for the attendees.
Dmitry Garin at the EV Exhibition (Russia/Türkiye)
Further exploring the impact of the EV Exhibition in Istanbul, it is essential to recognize the significant musical contribution made by the experienced composer and musical "wizard," Dmitry Garin. Renowned for his audacious and experimental approach to musical design, Garin has left his mark on famous theatrical performances at the Gogol Center, under the direction of the celebrated Kirill Serebrennikov.
During the official opening of the EV Exhibition, an excerpt from Ivan Vyrypaev's play "Sugar" was recited, which delves into the concept of home both physically and metaphysically—a universe that releases all living beings into earthly life, with their ultimate purpose being to return to their source. In this context, Garin's musical design was a masterstroke. Rather than distracting from the text's core ideas, it seamlessly integrated with the essence of the play, as if the music itself were narrating the words.
Kosty Surssup at Evrazia and Loop (London, United Kingdom)
Sometimes, the simplest events attain extraordinary heights, as demonstrated in November 2022 at The Fox and Firkin in London. The anniversary celebration of projects Evrazia and Loop metamorphosed into a performative festival featuring exceptional independent artists and musicians, including Kosty Surssup.
Surssup's music reveals his exceptional ability to craft a narrative through melodies. His compositions invoked a sense of longing and introspection, leaving a deep impact on the audience. By infusing the performance with emotion and storytelling, Surssup elevated the event beyond mere entertainment, transcending it into an immersive and introspective experience for all attendees.
ANRAY – "Usadba Jazz" (Moscow, Russia)
ANRAY, the indie pop performer from Moscow, is recognized for his unique style of blending guitar playing with percussion beats, using the deck as a membrane for the bass drum and snare. His performances at the highly popular "Usadba Jazz" festival have earned him a devoted following among Muscovites.
ANRAY's music design is characterized by a remarkable fusion of artistic elements, combining guitar intricacies with percussion-driven rhythms. His performances are more than mere musical acts; they are visual and auditory performances that evoke a sense of drama and passion. By incorporating elements of dramatic development and performance art, ANRAY captivates his audience, leading them on a thrilling and emotionally charged musical journey.
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