Umut Eldem – Selected Works

Brief Gaze of the Infinite Maze (2021)

Web-based Audiovisual Installation

“Brief Gaze of the Infinite Maze” is an interactive web-based installation in which the viewer can explore an almost-infinite synaesthetic audiovisual space. Fractals are infinitely complex, never ending visual patterns. In this installation, each frame is turned into a soundscape in real time using an algorithm analyzing the perception of colors and shapes on the screen. The infinitely complex patterns turn into an ever-changing world of sound: Exploring the fractals creates complementary sonic events reflecting the viewer’s unique journey in this audiovisual world. This installation has been created with the support of Screen Dive.

Click here to go to the interactive installation.

Shallow Steps (2021)

Audiovisual Video-based Work

‘Shallow Steps’ is an audiovisual performance that explores the synaesthetic space between sound, vision, audience, and infinity. The technique and software for the translation of the visuals to sound is created through the composer’s research on ‘Cognitive Audiovisual Transformation’- an approach to synaesthetic art that prioritizes cognitive elements instead of mathematical correspondences. The self-repeating structure of fractals, especially mathematical fractals such as the Mandelbrot set, is the starting point of the work. Applying certain mathematical formulae on a visual plane creates a specific, self-repeating shape. Zooming into this shape creates more intricate patterns. Theoretically these patterns continue until infinity, ever-changing and yet always unique. In this work it is this pattern that is transformed into sound and given an audiovisual form, as an automata entity.

The Road Endless (2021)

for Harpsichord & Live Electronics

“The Road Endless” is a collection of three audiovisual pieces written for the harpsichord and live electronics. All the pieces use audio visualisation techniques developed by composer Umut Eldem as a part of his doctoral research into synaesthesia. The starting point of the visual design is the synaesthetic experience of the performer, whose associations between colors and notes turn into synaesthetic visions on the screen. The first piece, “As Above”, references the old Visual Music aesthetics of the 1930s. “The Hit” is a dialogue between the computer generated sounds and the harpsichord. The final piece, “B of B”, is composed for the ‘Music for the Bees’ project and puts colourful bees on the screen dancing to the music. All the pieces tell an abstract story between the harpsichord, the visuals, and the audience.

  • Performed by: Liselotte Sels

Bound (2020)

for Violin & Sampo

Commissioned by Musinfo, “Bound” is a work for violin and Sampo exploring the sonic capabilities of the instrument with the aid of the live electronics. Using the many pedals that come with the electronic device, the performer shifts and changes the sound of their instrument while playing, enabling a musical narrative of shimmering sounds, soundscapes being shaped live by the musical gestures, and rhythmical pulses.

  • Performed by: Sara Chenal

Glimmer (2020)

for Tenor Saxophone, Live Electronics, & Live Visuals

“Glimmer” is based on the act of breathing, and the intricacies it reveals as one focuses on the different aspects of this natural reflex. The performance focuses on the intuitive presentation of multi-sensory art. While the work is oriented around music, a live audio visualization system, created as a part of the composer’s research, accentuates musical elements (pitch, direction, timbre, form) and transforms them into a visual component.

  • Performed by: Dries Meerts

Hearing Glass (2019)

Electronic Audiovisual Installation

“Hearing Glass” uses a computer camera to give passers-by a synaesthetic experience. The camera uses a live feed to create a soundscape that comes out of either speakers or headphones, depending on the location and the likelihood of disturbance. A transformed live feed from the camera is shown on the computer screen. The audiovisual transformation from picture to soundscape is based on Eldem’s research on synaesthesia, the experience of multiple senses at once, as the colours and shapes from the pictures are automatically transcribed in accordance with synaesthetic theory.

Prelude (2018)

for Narrator, Live Electronics, & Light

The text of “Prelude” is based on the ancient creation myths from all throughout the world, a story told by many viewpoints across all continents, with the music, the soundscape, and the colour lights depicting the creation in tandem.

  • Performed by: Atilla Filiz

A Light Exists (2017)

for Ensemble & Voice

Based on the poem “A Light Exists in Spring” by Emily Dickinson.

  • Performed by: Ensemble XXI

The World (2016)

for String Orchestra

  • Performed by: Ensemble XXI

To The Light (2015)

for Ensemble

  • Performed by: deCompagnie

The Rising City (2014)

for Orchestra

  • Performed by: deFilharmonie

Prima Luce (2013)

for Four-Hands Piano

  • Performed by: Ekin Cemre Üstünel and Beril Eren