5 Questions With... is your chance to get to know a new or up-and-coming metal band. Yayla is a one-man project founded by Turkish composer/filmmaker Emir Togrul, whose latest release is Nihaihayat. He introduces us to Yayla.
What is the origin/genesis of your Yayla project?
Making and experiencing what I consider to be art, to me is something deeper than any aesthetic, mental or spiritual information. Where other things might fail for me, art only expands. I was already deep into making art back when I started Yayla. It started when I felt it was time for me to explore sound and music as an artistic outlet. When listening to music, I enter a meditative state and interact with otherwise imperceptible things. I dare not describe the experience, and I cannot find a more fitting attempt at explanation for any quality than being somehow lovable (which I find to be an anti-explanation in itself) for a song to take me there.
However, certain music makes it easier for me to enter these kinds of mindsets. But whenever I make a conscious decision to listen to music of my choice, I more often than not effortlessly enter this state. That is what listening to music is for me, interacting with the work that dances me away.
When I started making Yayla, the focus was on making work that would ultimately help me achieve that state easily and effectively by interpenetrating in ways necessary and work with rather than for the listener. Of course, since the beginning, I compose music putting myself in place of the listener, but can never really experience it as a third person, so I would not know if and how far I achieve this. This becomes irrelevant because I find it would be pointless for me to wonder if I achieve that goal which I feel to be a matter of faith anyway. However, I feel it is helpful that I point this out, since these stepping stones of relevancy and irrelevancy deal greatly when creating aural work.
How would you characterize the style/sound of Nihaihayat?
To me, as all previous Yayla albums, it is more a journey than a compilation of songs that make an album. I would simply describe its mere physicality to be very thick and very dark. It is a long and substantial road to walk on, as opposed to a joy ride, from what I gather, some people (who I deem not ready) to be calling monotony. Looking inward at some of my reflections in particular albums, I would describe it as an abyss filled with transparent substance, or the heavy presence of the unseen compounds.
A great level of aesthetic characteristics of this record would be in the realm of what is considered to be black metal and ambient music with the addition of a narrative and inward evolving song structure. The patterns I use to structure this music is something I would keep for myself, but a clue would be that I am in what is called the existential realm.
I would call the outer aesthetic to be a deep and expansive wall of aural presence, with the addition of being very present. The wholeness of it I would describe as a very powerful and heavy hearted experience. It is simple, marbled, saturated with sound and emotion. Not to mention, with a very visual substance and structure that has been effected greatly by my time spent interpreting, making and imagining visual art.
You have been very prolific, releasing four albums in two years. What else do you have in the pipeline?
Right now I am making a more rock/punk/synth oriented album for my feature film. It will spawn a new band for me, and I will keep on making new music for that project. The movie is new and very different from most of my previous work. I take this opportunity to announce their names. The English title of the movie is "Drink From The Fountain Of Uncertainty" the new band is called Viranesir.
When it comes to Yayla, I am presently looking into compositions that I have made and reworking them for the forthcoming albums. The next Yayla album will be produced in a few months time, and it will mark some sort of formal and internal change for the project, being very pastoral and slower in relation to the previous metal albums. However, that change is only for the next album. After that, although somewhat visible, the horizon is too dark to give what I would consider to be a rather concise description. That is the beauty of composing and creating too. I do not know what is to come. But the feeling I have is that Yayla will very slowly evolve into a considerably different form.
What types of films have you made/are planning to make?
The outer aesthetic or "genres" of the moving images that I have been making vary greatly from project to project. The two main categories would fall under what is considered to be experimental and narrative. I have been making experimental films for the past 4 years. These include the soon to be publicly released two long works Fear Through Eternity and Adana; Grief Of The Certainty That I Will Kill Myself.
Fear Through Eternity is a project closely associated with Yayla and it has a soundtrack made exclusively on synthesizers already available on our website and bandcamp. Adana... is a 53 minute journey, which is what I consider to be one of my most powerful works to date, but one needs to be most patient in working with (experiencing) it. I will release its soundtrack under the new band Viranesir because this video is actually connected to my upcoming film Drink From The Fountain Of Uncertainty. This film is what I am currently working on and it is ultimately a feature fiction about the musician making music under the name Viranesir.
Not that by any stretch I give much thought nor value to what is to me an ephemeral thrill vis-à-vis the depth of art; namely aesthetical originality, I would still like to mention that this new film is very far from anything that I have personally seen before, because to me, the thrill stems from and works with the depth of this particular piece. In the near future, I will probably keep on making what is considered to be narrative films because I am currently very interested in them.
Anything else you'd like to mention or promote?
I'd like to thank you for the interest in my art, and challenging me with these questions. The only reason that I am living is my art currently, until maybe some day I can find another reason to be. It is very good seeing other people appreciate that which is this dear to me. As you said, I am very prolific, and as long as I am alive, one could expect me to release multiple projects every year. The future holds very different horizons for and with all my projects.