Acoustic And Electronic Music On The Same Stage

Article: Sezgin Çevik, Uğur Dervish, Melek Cevahiroğlu Ömür Photo: Abdullah Özbudak Date: March 2014

KITARO IS A CELEBRATED MASTER OF NEW AGE MUSIC WHO BELIEVES IN THE MAGICAL POWER OF THE HUMAN VOICE. HE IS KNOWN IN TURKEY FOR THE MUSIC HE COMPOSED FOR THE SILK ROAD DOCUMENTARY. WE ASKED HIM ABOUT HIS MUSIC AND HIS FEELINGS ABOUT PERFORMING.

Acoustic And Electronic Music On The Same Stage
Acoustic And Electronic Music On The Same Stage

Your music has a different sound. What are the sources you draw on?
When I was a young man back in the sixties, I listened to rock’n’roll and a lot of different music. Then I gave it up. More than somebody who listens to music, I wanted to be somebody who produces music. The listener listens to a lot of things, but that’s not for me, because when I start composing after listening to a lot of songs, all the sounds I use are inspired by what I’ve been listening to, so it’s not really “my” music. I want to produce my own music. That’s why I stopped listening to music almost completely after I started making music. I am westernized in terms of instruments and technique. But I’m more focused on the psychological and spiritual aspect of the business. On the really important things…

You’ve composed film and documentary music and in it you stand out as Kitaro, not part of the project. In other words, the music is something that could be listened to on the radio, for example, even without the film.
Film music has a visual aspect. But the two sounds are distinguishable and you can tell the difference between my music and film music. Even if there is a visual element, the audience should be able to say that the music is Kitaro’s. That’s also why I concentrate on the deeper aspects. To give you an example: I composed the music for Oliver Stone’s documentary, “Heaven and Earth”. I didn’t follow the film frame by frame but rather preserved the melodic line. Stone was in Vietnam at the time and he sent me a fax: “Hi Kitaro, Congratulations!”

What has the symphony orchestra added to your music? What do you feel when you are performing on stage?
On the Eastern European tour the Bucharest Symphony Orchestra accompanied us. That was really nice. The orchestra is acoustic but our sound is electronic. As different as oil and water. Even though it’s difficult to balance the two, it enhances the communication. I love to go on stage because there’s an exchange of energy between our performance and the audience.

Are you interested in any other art forms besides music?
I take photographs. I’ve published a few photograph albums. I’m also interested in calligraphy. And I’m interested in Butoh, the traditional Japanese dance.