Zeynep Gedizlioglu’s Yol


Soundbites: OpusNovus
Monday, 11 March 2019 @ 12:15pm
Yong Siew Toh Conservatory, Orchestra Hall

Contributed by Yang Ting-Ting (BMUS3, YST)

Yol (Der Weg), which translates to “the pathway” (or “the road”) in English, is a piece which describes two important musical elements where sound can be seen as pathways of an action and a reaction. This action and reaction could also be interpreted as an impulse and its echo, respectively. The piece opens with an ascending piano gesture, marking marks the beginning of an extensive imagery of shadows. However, these shadows are not seen through listeners’ eyes, but experienced through their ears. Any chord in this piece is in constant motion, with every impulse of a chord being overlapped by its echo. Through this persistent movement of harmony, one might discover the beauty of reverberation on both the conscious and subconscious level.

Born in Izmir, Turkey, Zeynep Gedizlioglu (b.1977) is currently living and working in Berlin, Germany. During an interview with Seda Röder (A Turkish pianist) [1], Gedizlioglu described how composing in front of a table, due to the absence of the piano in Berlin, ironically expanded her compositional ideas. This made her think beyond the limitations of her piano abilities and to better imagine the unique characteristics of a particular instrument she was writing for. By thinking in this manner, she felt more comfortable in integrating her own palette of sounds within her music to transmit as much of her imagination to her audiences.

Gedizlioglu was also greatly influenced by what she experienced as a child living in Istanbul. The musical color of Yol is ever-changing. In Gedizlioglu’s own words, “the first thing that I thought about Istanbul and how the city affected me is … melancholy. I think the city is not totally dark, it didn’t make me unhappy, and actually, I am thankful for this feeling that I received from Istanbul, and the city is one of the reason that I became as a composer.”[2]

In many of her pieces, the play of ‘impulse’ and ‘echo’ is the main principle; this is very evident in Yol. A possible reason for having this compositional principle could be attributed to a murder which happened to Journalist Hrant Dink in 2007. She dedicated a string quartet to the memory of Hrant, and the piece was measuring the relationship between the trigger and that which was triggered [3]. In other words, explosive gestures and static sound are both foci of the piece.

Yol is written for mixed ensemble comprising a clarinet, a violin, a cello, a vibraphone and a piano. It was completed in 2005 and premiered in 2006. To fully experience the pathway of the piece, do listen out for the ongoing movements, interlocked shadows, and the beauty of the reverberation of sound.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJhoRvosoxI
[2] Ibid.

Categories Compositions

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