Ozan Tekin: Embracing the uncertainty
As some of the kaput readers already know, I am part of the lecturer team at the Institut für Popmusik of the Folkwang University of the Arts Essen/Bochum. Since already six years I teach there artist management (coming from a sociological perspective) and also practice artistic seasons with the students, working on albums, videos, live performances or whatever comes up in the endless stream of creativity. A process as much a learning experience for me as for them – and a very rewarding process.
It is there that I first came in contact with Ozan Tekin and his enigmatic sound world. His music is somehow shy and withdrawn, but that’s kind of a tricky illusion as it only takes a few moments and he shapes the sound architecture of the room he performs in.
Ozan recently started “Anarya”, a new project, initiated by an old piano, opening up a new chapter in his artistic journey. I am super happy to present you today the first video for the composition “Flutter (Ballad of July)“.
Ozan, what is the storyline behind your album „Anarya I“?
Although I had an early introduction to piano, my focus was not on piano as a producer in my past works. I’ve been mostly producing with synthesizers, effects, guitars, digital tools and so on. However, an old give away piano that I found last summer in Cologne has changed this practice completely. It was a worn out piano which I believed that it can be repaired. I’ve spent months learning its mechanics and also, I’ve focused quite much on practicing piano in the meanwhile. “Anarya” is the result of this whole process with this old piano and “Anarya I” is the first part of it.
Is piano an instrument you already had a longer lasting relationship with? Are there some musicians working primarly with the piano that shaped you in general or specifically for this release?
Yes, indeed. I’ve started playing the piano at the age of 5, but I also had some forced breaks in this relationship in the past.
I’d like to say a name who is not primarily working with piano but influenced me very much about how I think on piano because of his one mesmerizing improvised solo piano record. Charles Mingus and his record “Mingus Plays Piano” is still one of my all-time favorite. And it’s always a pure joy to listen Bill Evans and Brad Mehldau.
Ozan, you are originally from Turkey but living in Germany now for 4 years. How did you experience the 14 months of pandemic so far? How different are from your perspective the situations in your home country and your chosen home?
In the beginning it was hard not being able to know what will happen next and how long the situation will last. But also, it didn’t take long for me to accept and embrace the uncertainty. I should also admit that being from Turkey makes you naturally armed about how to deal with some uncertainties. In addition, coming across with this piano has also changed and shaped very much the direction of my personal pandemic experience.
Today we premier the clip to “Flutter (Ballad of July)“. Why did you chose this song for the clip? Who did the clip?
“Flutter (Ballad of July)” is one of the first compositions that I wrote for piano and I always feel like it has a distinctive texture and feeling which is very present and vibrant. Moreover, playing it is so much fun and I enjoy it very much. That’s why I wanted to have the first video for this song.
The video is directed by Gizem Güvendağ, D.O.P by Damir Duka and production by Merih Özyıldız and Dilege Gülmez. They are the best team ever, actually they filmed not only one but two videos in the same day.
What is the biggest musical challenge for you in working with the piano as your instrument of choice in opposite to your normal set up?
I can play and control several instruments at the same time in my normal setup which can be challenging as well. Focusing on a single instrument like piano is very different. Finding the right dynamics and the right expression is the biggest challenge I’ve had with the piano so far.