Sonified symposium at Arter, Istanbul

We had an amazing experience at Arter as part of İTÜ MİAM‘s symposium on sonic practice where we were very lucky to collaborate with our extremely talented colleague Fulya Uçanok for our artist talk and performance titled “Exploring Paths of Sonic Bonding in the Process of Collaboration”. Thank you so much to Fulya, Arter and again MİAM staff and our amazing live audio engineer team (who we will miss so much next time we play!!).

Concert at Salt Beyoglu

On 27 December Heya played lived for the first time all together in one room after 4 years of working together, mostly remotely. Thank you to Salt staff for their support and our wonderful and patient live audio engineer team from MIAM (pictured with us after our performance).

Beirut Art Centre exhibition

Heya Collective have been invited to contribute to the ‘Maintain’ exhibition at Beirut Art Centre. We submitted our ‘Blue Spaces’ audio visual piece commissioned by the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival in 2021.

𝗢𝗽𝗲𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗧𝗵𝘂𝗿𝘀𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝗡𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿 𝟭𝟬, 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟮
Group exhibition with 𝗛𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗔𝗿𝘁𝗶𝘀𝘁𝘀, 𝗛𝗲𝘆𝗮 𝗖𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲, 𝗤𝗼𝗿𝗿𝗮𝘀, and 𝗬𝗮𝗹𝗹𝗮 𝗕𝗮𝗹𝗮 𝗠𝗮𝗻𝘆𝗮𝗸𝗲
Gallery 1

The curator is usually seen as a solitary figure that yields substantial power in the art world. But far from the associations the term might conjure in the context of contemporary art today, the curator was originally a custodian, who cared for a collection, cured and preserved its narratives, and restored the voices within it back to health. With this in mind, we wonder if one could curate (in) Beirut, and whether the act of curating might still hold within it the infinitesimal ability to heal.

We know that there can be no healing alone, that it can only be achieved collectively, like justice, like freedom. Yet, the need to survive doesn’t always bring out the most noble version of ourselves, and we are not always ready to come together at the times when doing so is most urgently needed.

4 collectives reflect on their experiences and practices, their legacies and histories. The participating collectives are 𝗛𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗔𝗿𝘁𝗶𝘀𝘁𝘀, 𝗛𝗲𝘆𝗮 𝗖𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲, 𝗤𝗼𝗿𝗿𝗮𝘀 and Yalla Bala Manyake. We think of the resulting exhibition as a reflection on the challenges of collectivity, as well as the terms and conditions along which collectivities might be formed.
𝗛𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗔𝗿𝘁𝗶𝘀𝘁𝘀 is a cultural feminist organization based in Beirut, Lebanon, working at the intersection of art and activism.
𝗛𝗲𝘆𝗮 𝗖𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 is a practice based research project from and about women in the Middle East who make experimental sound and music.
𝗤𝗼𝗿𝗿𝗮𝘀 is a group working on collecting, producing and disseminating queer and trans feminist knowledge on issues of gender and sexuality.
𝗬𝗮𝗹𝗹𝗮 𝗕𝗮𝗹𝗮 𝗠𝗮𝗻𝘆𝗮𝗸𝗲 is a collective of 4 women whose practice consists in putting together independent exhibitions in abandoned locations in Beirut.

Members of Heya Exhibition at Neue Kunstraum Düsseldorf (NKR) 

Nour Sokhon and Jilliene Sellner spent much of the last eighteen months developing Expanded Turn, a soundwalk, sound installation and video, a commissioned collection of works for Neue Kunstraum Düsseldorf (NKR). We had invited contributions from the public in Hastings (UK)and Düsseldorf responding to a set of questions that explore the senses during the pandemic. We are very grateful to those who sent us their words, photos and videos. Making all of the work was fascinating and is the beginning of a larger, ongoing archive. Click here for details of the installation and talk.

Heya does World Listening Day 2021

This year Heya participated in WLD – we spent a simultaneous one hour recording and writing/drawing responses to our sound environment, considering how privilege might be embedded in field recording and listening practices. The results are available here. Yara Mekawei broadcasted an edited version of the day’s recording on Radio Submarine and we are currently producing an episode for Framework Radio based on our recordings and reflections of the day.

A huge thank you to Fulya Uçanok, Dilara Turan and Zeynep Ayşe Hatipoğlu for organising this really stimulating panel session.

Collaboration Through the Lens of Three Perspectives in Musicking Practices

Fulya Uçanok
Istanbul Bilgi University

Dilara Turan
Istanbul Bilgi University

Heya Sound Collective:

Zeynep Ayşe Hatipoğlu
Istanbul Technical University MIAM

Nour Sokhon
Artist, Sound designer & Filmmaker

Yara Mekawei
Electronic music composer & Sound artist

Jilliene Sellner

This panel brings together main issues of collaborative approaches to music making and research discussed through perspectives of new musicology and artistic research. The panel combines three case studies that follow strands of feminist criticism, relationality, co-authorship, new materialist and posthumanism thinking, entangled within assemblages of network practices and scene studies. By doing so, it offers perspectives of looking into how and why collaborative approach matters in our music making and knowledge production today. Critiquing some of the conventional approaches rooted in Eurogenetic Art Music tradition, the panel focuses on issues of authority of singular ‘genius’ musician, musicking based on primacy of notation and the idea of “the music itself”(1) , and the neglect of cultural contexts and social engagement. Following the practices of collaboration and co-creation, the aim is to open up a window into new ways of musicking that might potentially enable inclusion, multivalence, and ecological validity.

Within the panel, these issues would be explored through the lenses of three very specific viewpoints. Turan’s fieldwork on the new music scene in Turkey explores the ways collaborative thinking changes the processes of knowledge production on issues such as the conceptualization of musical categories, and formation of musical discourses and histories. Her study differs from the other two papers in that the collaborations occur between the researcher and the scene members, as well as among all participants of her study via collaborative writing strategies. Uçanok proposes a relational model for electroacoustic composition practice. In the practice model, relationality focuses on practices of cultivating response-ability of the composer with humans and more-than-human agents, within an entangled sympoietic musical space. Here, response-ability is built on aural and embodied practices that are usually overlooked in the bulk of today’s electroacoustic discourses. By privileging such a position, this practice revolves around resonances and potentialities of acts of listening-with-in entangled relations. This study differs from the other two practices that will be presented in the panel mainly by means of collaborating with more-than-human agents and offering a form of collaboration that is situated in the composition practice. Heya’s research project discusses co-creation as active listening, ‘playing’ and composing through ‘the network’. The purpose of this investigation is to explore the shared limitations and opportunities of live telematic collaborative performance across geographies. Differently from the other two studies presented in the panel, Heya’s approach is based on real-time improvisation within network systems where agents do not share a common physical space.

This panel aims to raise questions that are important in musicking practices which may or not have answers. Starting by asking the reasons that direct each research towards a collaborative approach, we aim to explore our common curiosity, heightened sensitivity in the other, and a desire to co-create with others to produce spaces of multivalence. Main discussion will revolve around the importance of the act of listening, in an extended sense that includes both aural and embodied performativities. In doing so, the discussion will touch upon each of the researchers’ reflections on what collaborative practices do to the self, to the practices, and the outcomes.

(1) “The music itself” is a term borrowed from Suzanne G. Cusick used to explain the conceptualization of music as an autonomous entity, referencing only to itself, without considering people, biographies, cultural context and environments.

Heya: Feminist networked co-creation between Europe and the Middle East

Heya Sound Collective

This paper discusses co-creation as active listening, ‘playing’ and composing through ‘the network’. The purpose of this investigation is to explore the shared limitations and opportunities of live telematic collaborative performance across geographies. Heya [heeya] (‘she’ in Arabic and also a friendly greeting in English) is a research project and experimental musiking collective facilitated by PhD researcher sound artist and composer Jilliene Sellner at Goldsmiths University, London. The project aims to bridge women in the collective who make sound and experimental music in the UK, Egypt, Lebanon and Turkey with each other and a global audience. The co-creation consists of live networked performances between Nour Sokhon (LE), Jilliene Sellner (CA/UK), Yara Mekawei (EG) and Zeynep Ayşe Hatipoğlu (TR). Mixing and reacting to each other’s field recordings and sonic experiments, collaboration becomes a horizontal and egalitarian method of decolonizing musicological research, circumventing top down, traditional methods and conclusions.

Also presented for this seminar:

Curb your musicology via collaborative approach: Tracing yeni müzik(2)

Dilara Turan

Towards a Response-able Electroacoustic Composition Practice in Search of Sympoietic Multivalence

Fulya Uçanok