When a language dies the world loses a part of its humanity. Time Travels Through Sound is a documentary project that aims to bring music sung in languages that faces extinction into the future. There are about 7000 languages in the world, and only 85 of these languages are being spoken by the world's majority. Every 14 days a languages becomes extinct. When that happens we lose our connection to the land, oral traditions, and music.
The project as a whole is a celebration of the intangible beauty of sound, and how it's both impermanent and endless. The upcoming film; The Elements is a poetic, non-verbal (or better yet, non-spoken) documentary feature film that invokes deep emotions through the music and life of Anatolian, Turkic, Mongolic, Ainu and Ryukuyuan people.
Deniz Aydemir is a 28 year-old Turkish-American musician, director, and a cross-continent cyclist. Born in Southern California in 1989 and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, Aydemir started his music career at the age of 13 by giving guitar lessons. He spent the next 8 years of his life making and teaching music, taking up analog photography, and picking up his third language, Spanish. On his 21st birthday he left his hometown, applied to Berklee College of Music in Boston, and got accepted with a scholarship. The year leading up to his Berklee attendance he lived half a year in Mexico City attending UNAM for Spanish language and Mexican Folk Art studies, and spent three months biking 2500 miles from Málaga, Spain to Istanbul.
During his Berklee years he picked up Japanese, did various volunteer work at juvenile detention centers, a local ramen shop and a Japanese-American kindergarten, and worked at the Apple Store as a Mentor and Business Specialist. At Berklee he took an eclectic mix of classes ranging from microtonal fusion and bossa-nova to lyric writing, and was the student of David Fiuczynski, Pat Pattison, Simon Shaheen, and Tomo Fujita among others. In 2014, Aydemir created Time Travels Through Sound to contribute songs from endangered languages to the music community which he filmed in seven countries across the Asian continent.
Uğurcan Öztekin was born in Istanbul in 1990. He studied composition and electroacoustic music with Mehmet Ali Uzunselvi and Onur Dülger at Kocaeli University State Conservatory. He attended masterclasses given by Mark Andre, Jerome Combier, Mahir Çetiz, Dmitri Kourliandski, Yannis Kyriakides, José Manuel López López, Elzbieta Sikora and Onur Türkmen. Before his composition studies, he also studied History of Art at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University (2008-2012).
His music has been performed in several concerts and festivals in Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Russia, Bulgaria, and Turkey (Donaueschinger Musiktage 2017: Next Generation Concert, Festival Mixtur, Atlas Festival, Computer Space International Computer Art Forum) by ensembles such as Ensemble Diagonal (Paris), Atlas Ensemble (Amsterdam), Ensemble Sinfonietta für Neue Musik (Trossingen), Molot Ensemble (St. Petersburg) and Hezarfen Ensemble (Istanbul).
His compositions are published by BabelScores.
Suphi Uzun was born in Istanbul in 1981. He started studying cinema during high school, and later on went to Bilgi University where he graduated with a Cinema & TV degree. Apart from his experience editing commercials for Turkish Airlines, Disney, DeFacto and ODTU among many others, Uzun has also worked as an editor for documentaries such as Spica, a Global Lives Project feature. Uzun has won several awards for his short movies by Yıldız Technical University, TRT, and Maltepe University.
On April 25th the Tuvan throat singing band Huun Huur Tu performed at the First Congregational Church in Cambridge, MA. Having experienced this mesmerizing polytonal music in person for the first time the creator of TTTS, Deniz Aydemir, decided to learn Tuvan throat singing – essentially how to sing two notes at once. As a student of Berklee College of Music in Boston at the time he decided to consult the professors about Central Asian music and how to do throat singing while continuing his personal research. That same research led him to find out about language death because Tuvan happened to be an endangered one. Being the songwriter and multilingual he is, Deniz saw that there was a clear correlation between language death and his not being able find enough information regarding the throat singing technique. Lastly he thought of the following question that would later on impel him to travel for over a year in Asia with a camera in search for unique music; "What happens to the music after its language dies?"
Having landed on the perfect a name for the project Deniz Aydemir decided to launch a crowdfunding campaign. Firstly he sold his guitar, and bought a camera and audio recording equipment. During March he shot and edited the Kickstarter with Enver Perez. He flew to Almaty, Kazakhstan a couple of weeks after the launch, and the campaign ended successfully.
During the second half of the year Deniz traveled across Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and Russia and filmed for more than a month in each country. He learned Kazakh and Tuvan, as well as throat singing and doshpuluur (Tuvan lute) along the way.
Starting the year in Vietnam, Deniz spent the remaining months of filming for TTTS in the northernmost and southernmost prefectures of Japan in search for Ainu and Ryukyuan music. He also teamed up with the Turkish humanity magazine Magma Dergisi, and wrote front page articles about Okinawa and Japan on their April issues of two consecutive years (2016 & 2017).
Returning to Turkey with more than a year worth of videos, music and photos in hand, Deniz collaborated with video editor Suphi Uzun, and contemporary composer Uğurcan Öztekin to create the feature film 'The Elements'.
After a meeting in Sausalito, CA Manuel "Manoli" Tsingaris joins the team as a consultant.