Tonight a truly innovative performer who blends ancient Sufi and modern electronic music will take to the stage of the Oxford Art Factory. The Turkish born but now Montreal based Mercan Dede describes himself as “a very ordinary person with no specific talent for music” yet he has created something unique and mesmerising.
Dede’s unique style comes from his background performing shows both as a DJ and also as a flute of the shepherd player. During his performances as a DJ Dede learned to “focus on the audience” which became incredibly useful when he would return to traditional performances because it meant that he noticed “that even the people who loved that style would become tired with it because there was nothing new or fresh emerging.”
With that thought process swirling in his head Dede set out to use electronic music production techniques to bring many of the natural ambient sounds of traditional instruments back into its performances and recordings.
“One of the biggest details I do on my albums is to use real ambient sounds. You can go buy ambient noise packs for $50 but I never use those I always go out and record the natural sounds personally.”
Obviously when Dede chose to set out on this path he had to sway the doubters, in particular his first record label, but as he explained, “I was convinced that this combination between counter points would work. I wasn’t sure I would be the one to make it happen but I’m a very stubborn and dedicated type of person.”
Whilst that may make Dede sound egotistical he stresses that this was far from the case, “I simply had a naive dedication to this style which I think was very important because I knew something new, beautiful and honest was happening.”
Ahead of tonight’s show the excitement in Dede’s voice was palpable as he said, “last time we were there [Australia] we found an audience who was very direct and very honest, they didn’t hold back their emotions, which was a very nice feeling,” so he is hoping to continue to build off that.
With tonights show Dede has chosen not to overly prepare a “specific repertoire” because his “favourite thing is to go on stage with a very talented band full of technically great musicians to create something from the energy of the people and break the boundaries between audience and musician.”
Mar 16, 8pm. Oxford Art Factory, 38-46 Oxford St, Darlinghurst. $40-$50+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.oxfordartfactory.com