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, and am a lecturer in ethnomusicology, popular music studies and sound studies at the University of Birmingham (UK). My book Music in Turkey: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture was published by Oxford University press. Prior to coming to the music department at the University of Birmingham I was an ACLS New Faculty Fellow at Cornell University's Society for the Humanities, and taught at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Besides my research into Turkish contemporary music making (particularly, the music industry centered in Istanbul, and the production of traditional - folk - art musics in recording studios), I have also published papers on aesthetic issues in contemporary electronic music movements. Along with Graham St. John, I confounded the dancecult.net collaborative bibliography project and the open source, peer-reviewed journal entitled Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture.

performances and musical activity

I've been playing the 'ud (oud, al-'ud) since 1992, during which time I've developed a distinctive contemporary style influenced by Anatolian traditional musics (Anadolu halk müzik) and Ottoman art music (Klasik Türk müzik). Over the years, I've performed and recorded extensively in North America, Europe and Turkey with groups specializing in Turkish, Ottoman, Arab, Persian classical, Armenian, Greek rebetika, Roman oyun havasi -- and more experimental forms.

Since Fall 2009 I've been collaborating with David Tibet and Current 93 for the albums Baalstorm: Sing Omega, Honeysuckle Æeons and the supporting European tours. With Baby Dee (hammond and pipe organs) and Robbie Lee (esoteric instruments too extensive to list here) I founded a new group dedicated to the earnest performance of delightfully silly music - The Big Bumble Bees. Our first album will be coming out on vinyl/CD/digital over the next couple months on Tin Angel Records. I was also a founding member of CAGE (the Cornell Avant Garde Ensemble). Some of the groups I've fronted include Nerelisin (formerly Eliot Bates and the Kaliforniya Saz Arkadaslari) and 3spell, and I've also performed extensively with Kinetik Trance, Kervan, Basquerole, Farabi, and Zambra. My electroacoustic work includes my solo project Kaderci, and duet collaborations under the name Warrior Caste.

upcoming events

Feb. 11, 2014: University of Nottingham - "The Ethnography of Music Industries." information here
Mar. 5, 2014: King's College London- "The Ethnography of Music Industries." info here
Mar. 27, 2014: Edinburgh - "Digital aesthetics and the production of Turkish dönem filmi music"
Apr. 5-6: Tufts University - a lecture/demonstration as part of a 2-day organology symposium
May 20: Middle East and Central Asia Music Forum at City University London. info here
summer 2014: planning a European tour with The Big Bumble Bees

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 January 30, 2014

©2002-2013  eliot bates