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AES143 Student Design Competition Interview: Emre Kanatli

1) Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from and what do you study?

I grew up in Istanbul and came to the USA four years ago to pursue my studies. I am a last-year undergraduate student in New York University, double majoring in Music Technology and Computer Science. I am very interested in technology and its applications, especially artificial intelligence. Although music on the other hand is the spirit and soul. Therefor I'm trying to find a healthy balance between the two.

2) What initiated your passion for audio? When did it start?

My passion for audio came from my passion towards music. At the age of 10 I started to develop my musical taste, until then I would listen to whatever was given. Initially I was very interested in rap, rock and punk, didn't really listened to the electronic music of the time. Not much later I wanted get more involved in music and picked up my first instrument, which was my father's classical guitar. I met most of my closest friends through my interest to make and listen to music. We would spend hours just listening and talking about records. My interest in electronic music began when I discovered the legendary Ghent based group Soulwax. What they did blew my mind because I had no idea how such songs were possible to perform. This curiosity led me to discover other great artists, and sparked my interest in the technology behind all of this.

3) Tell us about production of your submission? What is the story behind it? What inspired it? How long did you work on it? Was it your first entry?

About two years ago I took a graduate course titled Music for the Web, which introduced the basic concepts behind how audio works on the web. We were supposed to do a final project for this class and I chose to do a very simple application where a user can play and manipulate loops. This was a very primal version of my submission to the AES competition. After spending some thought on the project I realized that with additional features, this can actually turn into a product that others would want to use. The main inspiration behind this project is concerned with how we consume music today. I feel like everything is planned or recorded beforehand, let it be shows or music we listen to. I've been making music for many years now and I rarely record what I play, it's mostly about jamming in the moment. I realized that these jams not always get recorded and not a lot of people get to hear them. What I try to accomplish with this project is to encourage people to take a step away from composing and simply play what they feel at the moment with all its impurity and spontaneity. The project took about a year and a half to get to its current state, with a lot of mistakes made along the way. Even though I work day and night to evolve this project to what I had dreamt of, if it wasn't for other responsibilities I have such as school I'm sure it would not have taken more than a few months to get to this stage. This was my first ever AES convention and my first entry to the competition, I'm glad it became a memorable first experience.

4) What/who made you join AES? 

The associate director of the music technology program, who is also an AES fellow, our lovely Agnieszka Roginska emailed me about the competition encouraging me to apply with my project which I have previously demonstrated in school. I felt like I had to join since it was in New York and I had a well made product under my hands, it was a good opportunity at the right time.

5) Tell us about your favourite experiences at the 143st AES convention in NY! 

My favorite experience was having the chance of showcasing my project to a variety of professionals in the industry from all around the world and hearing their opinions on it. Most of the feedback I received was positive and it certainly motivated me to go further with this project. 

Posted: Thursday, January 11, 2018

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