SIP - SoundLAB Interview Project

Onen, Ufuk

Ufuk Onen
Turkish sound artist


1. When did you start making music, what is/was your motivation to do it?

I started making music about 25 years ago. Honestly, I don’t know what my motivation was because from the very first days that I could remember, music always made me feel “different”… Music always made me feel the way that I cannot experience from other things in life. I always had this urge in me to listen to and make music.

2. Tell me something about your living environment and the musical education.

I live in a big city (Ankara, Turkey, 4 million population), which is culturally rich, but I cannot say that it is as culturally diverse as New York, London etc. In art, music and such we have Eastern influences, mostly Middle-Eastern, and then we also have Western influences. I lean mostly on the Western side but, of course, I’m sure Eastern music have some influence on my music as well, even tough I might not notice.

I haven’t got any formal education on music but I have training on music production and audio engineering.

3.Is making music your profession? What is the context in which you practice music nowadays?

Yes. Music and sound are my profession. I write music and design sound for visual and other media, I produce music albums and I also teach music technology and sound design.

4. How do you compose or create music or sound? Have you certain principles, use certain styles etc?

I do not have certain principles, anything goes, but for composing, guitar and samplers are my main tools.

5. Tell me something about the instruments, technical equipment or tools you use?

Pro Tools is my choice of Digital Audio Workstation. I love Logic as well. I love the flexibility Reason offers. I also use a lot plug-ins. For guitars, Gibson and Charvel are my choice. I used to play them through amps and record them with microphones, but these days I also use a lot of amp-modeling software. Sometimes I manipulate the guitar recording I made to an extent that they are not perceived as guitar sounds.

6. What are the chances of New Media for the music production in general
and you personally?

Music production today is very different than it was 15 years or even 10 years ago. The new tools, and what I mean by new tools is the digital or mostly software technology, changed the ways we write and produce music. Not only that, digital technology, Internet mainly, changed the way how music is presented to the people. The way it goes today, it seems like everything, music, videos etc., amalgamate in a big pot to form a single and huge medium.

7. How about producing and financing your musical productions?

There’s a difference between the productions you do commercially and the productions you do “personally”, so to speak. I say personally because you do those for yourself, for your own satisfaction and pleasure. If they go out and reach people and some or a lot of people like them it’s good, but even if not, still you get satisfaction. These types of personal musical productions are usually self-financed. It used to be very difficult back in the days because it used to cost a lot of money to go into a studio and record your songs, make CD or tape copies etc. Now, you can easily finish the production at home and distribute them over the Internet.

8. Do you work individually as a musician/soundartist or in a group or collaborative?
If you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?

Both. Depends on the situation. Collaboration is a great thing, no doubt about that, you share ideas, your partners’ ideas give birth to other ideas, it’s great, but sometimes nothing is better than to work individually because some music or art are meant to be created alone, individually, by one person only.

9. Is there any group, composer, style or movement which has a lasting influence on making music?

The range of my influences is really wide, from metal to film scores, chance music to soundscapes, and such…

10. What are your future plans or dreams as a soundartist or musician?

To write music and create sounds without any constraints, that is without the need to categorize my music and my soundart, and have chance to present them to people coming from different cultures. I achieved this to a certain extent but I wanna go beyond that.