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

Reviews

Culture Catch Magazine April 2012
Turkish composer Erdem Helvacioglu (b. 1975) started out in a prog-rock band (Too Much), switched to electronic music (though he is currently in another rock band, Rashit), and now has made this album of music for prepared piano (at times he also plays inside the instrument, directly on the strings). While Eleven Short Stories inevitably brings to mind the piano music of Henry Cowell and John Cage, Helvacioglu's electronic-music outlook has influenced its sound and process; whether because of that or actual influence, "Shattered Snow Globe" resembles Brian Eno's Music for...Read more
Avant Music News January 2013
Facing the image overload that has come to define contemporary life, writes Camille Paglia in the introduction to her latest book, “the only road to freedom is self-education in art”. Though hardly self-taught, Istanbul´s Erdem Helvacioğlu has been on a grand tour of the art of composition that has taken him far beyond the confines of “A Walk Through the Bazaar”, the 16-minute sound piece with which he began his now ten-year-old recording career. Performed, broadcast and mounting installatiions throughout the world, executing commissions from everyone from Bang on a Can to...Read more
JAZZ & TZAZ Magazine December 2012
Seattle Pi Newspaper August 26, 2012
Since most of us don't have access to grand pianos and the opportunity to see the instrument's inner workings they provide, it's easy to forget a piano is actually a stringed instrument. It wasn't a coincidence that early keyboards, harpsichords, included the word harp in their name. For what were they if not the means to play chords on a harp? Like any stringed instrument, when you depress or adjust the strings on a piano you change the tonal quality it will produce. While the idea of the prepared piano, a piano whose sound has been deliberately modified by attaching or...Read more
Blogcritics Magazine August 2012
Since most of us don't have access to grand pianos and the opportunity to see the instrument's inner workings they provide, it's easy to forget a piano is actually a stringed instrument. It wasn't a coincidence that early keyboards, harpsichords, included the word harp in their name. For what were they if not the means to play chords on a harp? Like any stringed instrument, when you depress or adjust the strings on a piano you change the tonal quality it will produce. While the idea of the prepared piano, a piano whose sound has been deliberately modified by attaching or...Read more
Ragazzi Magazine Review August 2012
"Eleven Short Stories" ist im Vergleich zu "Freedom To The Black" ein beinahe eingängiges Werk. Inspiriert von Filmemachern, und unter Nutzung von Fragmenten mehr oder weniger bekannter klassischer und aktueller Kompositionen bespielt, tatsächlich, bespielt Erdem Helvacioglu im Korpus des Flügels mit allerlei Instrumentarium (Gongklöppel, Stiften, Hammer, Plastik- und Metal-Löffeln, Messern, Gabeln, Schlagzeugstöcken, Plektren, Metalplatten, Ohrsteckern - und allerlei interessanter Hardware mehr - Plastiklöffel etwa werden zwischen die Flügelsaiten gespannt, Erdem bespielt...Read more
The Compulsive Reader August 2012
On his album Eleven Short Stories, he has transformed his piano into the most flexible of instruments, augmenting it with odd implements and making it sing with new tones, telling vivid tales. The pianist, guitarist, and composer Erdem Helvacioglu, informed by classical, folk, and popular music, has wanted to bring together emotion and experiment. By Daniel Garrett Erdem Helvacioglu, Eleven Short Stories Recorded by Murat Ersan; mastered by Pieter Snapper Produced by Erdem Helvacioglu American Composers Forum Innova Recordings, 2012 There are artists who can be counted on...Read more
Exclaim Magazine June 2012
This album represents a significant departure for Turkish musician Erdem Helvacioglu, as it's his first made without his signature electronic treatments. Save for some overdubbing and standard studio stuff, it's effectively an acoustic disc, with the composer directing his imagination towards the sonic possibilities of the piano via extended techniques and his vocabulary of prepared sounds (knives, forks, earplugs rammed between the piano strings). Helvacioglu sounds right at home though, sculpting miniature soundscapes in covert homage to the work of various film...Read more
I CARE IF YOU LISTEN MAY 2012
Let’s play a word association game. If I say, “prepared piano,” many of you might think “John Cage.” Yes, John Cage was a pioneer for prepared piano, and yes, Sonatas and Interludes becomes an almost inevitable comparison when discussing any prepared piano composition, but I only mention Cage because I don’t want you to think about him. (I realize, of course, that’s like saying, “Don’t think of a honey badger.”) The problem with comparing Eleven Short Stories to Cage is that while the basic instrument is the same(ish), the end results are anything but. If you listen to...Read more
Monsier Deliere April 2012
Of course I had to receive this new opus from Turkish composer Erdem Helvacioglu right after I broadcasted a one-hour musical profile on him on Délire actuel. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to broadcast an addendum, especially since this new CD is so enjoyable and different. Eleven Short Stories feature 11 short pieces for prepared piano. No electronics, no electroacoustics, only a concert piano, five microphones, and various preparations. The music is often slow-paced and meditative, with the sustain pedal depressed through out, in order to let every resonance unfold. The...Read more
Percorsi Musicali April 2012
I lettori più attenti avranno notato che tra i dischi del decennio inserii, nella parte riservata alla world music il nome del giovane musicista turco Erdem Helvacioglu, suscitando forse perplessità negli stessi. Le proiezioni musicali di quel disco lo rendevano un'episodio del tutto particolare. Se tutte le combinazioni musicali sono possibili si deve ammettere che oggi è un lusso l'esistenza di una classificazione (anche poco rigida) tra i generi; Erdem risponde a questo eterogeneo principio soprattutto perchè appartiene a quei musicisti intelligenti che cercano di...Read more
The Rambler April 2012
The prolific multi-instrumentalist composer/improviser turns to the prepared piano to evoke the work of 11 film directors (Lynch, Aronofsky, Lee, Kieslowski, etc.). There’s plenty of Helvacıoğlu‘s warm textures, deconstructed hints of ambient techno, and so on – but the underlying wood and copper of the piano gives it all an earthier, more grounded, and strangely more mystical sound. Some of his best work yet. Tim Rutherford JohnsonRead more
Vital Weekly March 2012
For his eleven pieces for prepared piano, Erdem Helvaciouglu pays homage to some of his favorite film directors (Lynch, Kieslowski, Angelopoulos, Campion, Ki-Duk, Soderberg), but the titles do not refer to any of them especially, but rather scenes from movies. Me no film buff, I could say to which movies these scene belong. Turkish composer Helvacioglu has composed electronic music, which we reviewed in Vital Weekly 675, but here its the prepared piano, which he prepared with pencils, erasers, paper, plastic and metal spoons, knives, forks, drumsticks, guitar plectrums and...Read more
Gapplegate Classical Modern Music Review April 2012
Ever since John Cage's "Sonatas and Interludes" and selected other works, the prepared piano has been a part of the modern concert music landscape. Lately especially there seems to be a surgence of compositions for the altered piano. One of the very best is Erdem Helvacioglu's Eleven Short Stories (Innova 245), an 11-part suite for the instrument that includes various sequences for the conventional sounding of the prepared piano plus a variety of inside-the-piano playing techniques. The music is less of the percussion-orchestra-in-a-box that Cage so brilliantly favored in...Read more
WTJU Classical Comments April 2012
Turkish composer Erdem Helvacioglu embarks on a fascinating project with this recording. He writes in the liner notes, “Eleven Short Stories is inspired by the works of film directors Kim Ki-Duk, David Lynch, Krzystof Kielowski, Theodoros Angelopoulos, Jan Campion, Anthony Minthella, Ang Lee, Atom Egoyan, Darren Aronofsky, Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu and Steven Soderbergh.” Using a prepared piano, Helvacioglu conjures up sonic impressions of various types of movies – as they might be interpreted by these directors. That’s not to say that Helvacioglu’s arranging soundtrack...Read more
Textura Magazine May 2012
Erdem Helvacioglu first became known to us as a guitarist when his New Albion release, Altered Realities, was reviewed in 2007. But these days, the Istanbul-based artist is perhaps better described as contemporary composer, given the myriad ways by which he's branched out into other electronic music-related areas in the years since. That's obviously reinforced by Eleven Short Stories, which eschews guitar playing altogether and instead finds Helvacioglu concentrating exclusively on playing a prepared grand piano, whose strings, in the long-standing tradition associated...Read more
Revue & Corrigee Magazine December 2012
Inactuelles November 2012
Erdem Helvacioglu : l'art de l'acoustique prolongée ou préparée. Collectionneur, traqueur des disques du label américain New Albion Records, l'une des sources profondes de ce blog, je devais rencontrer Erdem Helvacioglu, musicien de la scène électronique turque dont le second album, Altered realities, sorti en juillet 2006, fut l'un des derniers produits par la maison de Foster Reed. Né en 1985 à Bursa, il a étudié la composition électroacoustique et l'ingénierie sonore à l'Université technique d'Istanbul, joue de la guitare et du piano. Sa discographie s'étoffe assez...Read more

Interviews

NEUE ZEITSCHRIFT FUR MUSIK August 2013
RC Quarterly Magazine Spring/Summer 2012
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