"Black Falcon" album has been included in the "BEST ALBUMS OF 2011" list on Seattlepi magazine.


Foxy Digitalis Magazine November 2011
This CD presents an eight-part electroacoustic work commissioned by the Association for the Art of the Harp, performed by Sirin Pancaroglu on concert harp, electric harp and ceng (an early Turkish harp), with additional harps, harp sampling and live processing by Erdem Helvacioglu, who also composed the music.  A wide range of sounds, traditional and highly non-traditional, are coaxed from the various harps – creaking, rattling, chiming, buzzing and so on. Music of this sort often gets stuck at the conceptual level, more interesting in the telling than the listening, but the creative use of sampling and processing on these pieces is nothing short of astounding. Various moods are carefully developed and sustained; no two pieces are alike. Messing about with sound has its intrinsic virtues, but there is no messing about here. Even though the music is abstract and largely without a pulse, it is also meticulously crafted. Helvacoglu draws upon an obviously broad musical knowledge, and while he introduces nothing so overt as rock, jazz or classical elements, musical gestures can be identified from piece to piece, ranging from traditional Middle Eastern modes to something approximating New Age (in the best sense), to industrial or noise metal.

Part 1 opens with cavernous reverbed drone from processed harp (sounding very much like a longwire installation), overlaid with scraping, scrabbling and plucking, before a simple dissonant melody is introduced. Throughout, the sound of natural or slightly reverbed harp provides a touchstone against which the more radical sonic treatments are juxtaposed. The music then becomes increasingly agitated before terminating with a series of bent notes almost like birdsong and finally a reprise of the opening drone. Part 2 features a modal scale on treated harp, suggesting an Arabic or perhaps an incipient flamenco motif, but again, the motif is overlaid with haunting drones, rumbles, tapping and other ethereal effects. Part 3 opens with more deep drones and harmonic buzzing but evolves into a harp melody that is almost pastoral, although eerie sonic shadows are always lurking beneath the tranquil surface. Part 4 is a short interlude of sinister hissing, lightning bolt crashes, and deep subterranean rumbling. But even here, Helvacioglu avoids any semblance of a sonic assault, with good use of space and silence. The long (fifteen minute) Part 8 simmers and broods ominously until the ten minute mark, whereupon an insistent two-note pattern ratchets up the intensity, together with clanging, hammering and insectoid buzzing.

The music on Resonating Universes is highly experimental, challenging and often disquieting, but impressive in both its depth and scope. It is also invitational rather than confrontational, requiring only an initial suspension of judgment from the listener. Helvacoglu has created a sound world here that really rivals anything produced in the electroacoustic genre.
Foxy Digitalis Magazine November 2011
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Resonating Universes