eliot bates: Anatolian music, oud, audio engineering, digital music cultures


academic work

I'm an ethnomusicologist specializing in digital audio recording cultures and the production of contemporary music in Istanbul, Turkey. My newest book, Digital Tradition: Arrangement and Labor in Istanbul's Recording Studio Culture, was just published by Oxford University Press. I am also the author of Music in Turkey: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture. I teach ethnomusicology, popular music studies and sound studies at the University of Birmingham (UK); before that I was an ACLS New Faculty Fellow at Cornell University's Society for the Humanities, and taught at the University of Maryland, College Park. In August, 2017 I will be joining the faculty of the City University of New York Graduate Center, where I'll be part of the core ethnomusicology faculty.

I've done ethnographic research on recording studios in Turkey, musical instruments, studio architecture, glitch aesthetics in darkwave music, and on distributed recording production. Along with Graham St. John, I co-founded the dancecult.net collaborative bibliography project and the open source, peer-reviewed journal entitled Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture. You can find some of my publications here...

performances and musical activity

I'm a performer and recording artist of the 11-stringed oud (al-ud, 'ûd), and also do a lot of recording studio-based audio engineering and arrangement work.

I relish bringing the oud into unfamiliar circumstances ---
      ... on stage with the unpredictable (but always delightful) Hammond organ of Baby Dee as The Big Bumble Bees
      and to the gnostic hallucinatory worlds of David Tibet and the family of Current 93
      ... as an interface to space-age electroacoustic soundscapes in my solo work as Kaderci
      and in the flamenco-hindustani-dub reggae fusion universe of Basquerole (with Dan Fries).

I also continue to perform Anatolian folk music, rebetika, and other musics from the Middle East.

upcoming events

Oct 30, 2014: Oxford University: "Village - Environment - Studio: Doğa İçin Çal and the Cartographies of Modern Turkey"
Feb 3, 2015: Cardiff University (title TBA)
... and always the unpredictable, last-minute Big Bumble Bees show.

recent events

Sep 28, 2014: The Big Bumble Bees @ the Fargo Festival (Coventry)
Sep 19, 2014: Yale University: "Village - Environment - Studio: Doğa İçin Çal and the Cartographies of Modern Turkey"
Sep 13, 2014: IASPM UK/Ireland: "Craft Guilds and Digital Audio Production"
July 18, 2014: The Big Bumble Bees @ the Togethernest Festival (Coventry)
July 16, 2014: The Big Bumble Bees @ Dingwalls (Camden)
July 1, 2014: Crossroads Conference (Tampere, FI): "Theorizing Film Music: Landscapes, Leitmotifs and Melancholy in Turkish Dönem Films."

recent multimedia work

Current 93 at Katowice's OFF Festival - complete audio recording, and concert footage on youtube
With the Cornell Avant Garde Ensemble at the State of the Art Festival (audio recording)
Solo performance at the George Mason University Noise-a-Thon, organized by Thomas Stanley
Niemandswasser and Invocation live @ the HMV Forum (with Current 93)

Updated July 15, 2016

©2002-2014  eliot bates