Burak Ōzdemir believes that contemporary society has lost enthusiasm and “become foreign to the poetry of love.” Musica Sequenza rediscovered the Seicento, a period in Italian history and culture which occurred during the 17th century. Ōzdemir explains that “especially in Italy this century was devoted to the relinquishing of god-fearing sentiment. Women were described as diaphanes, love became a storm cloud, their enchanting odor a sweet allurement.”
Musica Sequenza wants to captivate the original sound of traditional baroque music. Modulating perfect audibility by incorporating the Italian Baroque Bassoon and other authentic Italian instruments. Musica Sequenza is comprised of young talents in the effort to bring unfamiliar jewels of the early music repertory to new audiences in an innovative and virtuoso manner worldwide.
S2S: In 2008 you founded Musica Sequenza, bringing together young graduates from the Julliard School in New York with graduates from the UDK (University of Arts) Berlin who were passionate about the treasures of ancient music. You inspire and enthuse your audience with new discoveries of well-known creations such as Vivaldi’s The New Four Seasons and Bach: The Silent Cantata. How did you manage to cross the transatlantic borders uniting musicians from New York and Berlin?
Burak Özdemir: The group is really an open platform for artists from my past, present and future. The journey of Museq (Musica Sequenza) started in New York, where I was enrolled in an artistic graduate program at The Juilliard. Later on, I signed a contract with Harmonia Mundi Label in Germany for the release of my debut album, Vivaldi: The New Four Seasons. The promotion needed me to be back in Berlin physically. So I decided to found the ensemble by inviting my former college friends from the University of Arts Berlin, and started working on concerts in Germany and Europe, followed shortly by international productions. Our U.S. Tours are for example a reunion with our New Yorker team.
S2S: Musica Sequenza is renowned for its wide musical and artistic spectrum, because you experiment and combine different elements. Where do you get your inspiration? What are your biggest influences?
Burak Özdemir/Musica Sequenza : I am influenced by our daily lives and all kinds of people. Reading the papers, walking down the streets, taking the subway or traveling around the globe and paying attention to how other people live.
To a certain degree it is analytic work that is socially engaged and conscious. Vivaldi: The New Four Seasons was addressing the issues of global warming: people going to Dubai for a ski vacation in summer or eating strawberries in winter, and questioning whether this extravagant lifestyle is really necessary.
Recently Bach: The Silent Cantata is questioning the development of communication between people today, their usage of online platforms: Facebook & Twitter and its pros & cons.
S2S: In November you performed “The Silent Cantata” at Panorama Bar in Berghain. How did you perceive the performance there? Do you personally have one venue that stands out in your memory?
Burak Özdemir/Musica Sequenza: I perform more than 80 concerts a year worldwide and they all are special to me in the same way: What stands out is the contact with the audience, the energy in the space, the vibe, the people and the moment when the sound I produce is heard in the room. I reflect the emotions and the movement, the perception of all those people, their appreciation. It’s all smoothly tuned.
S2S: You are originally from Istanbul. What roles do Turkish music and the cultural scene there have in your life?
Burak Özdemir: I am strongly bound to my roots in Istanbul, where my family and my old friends live. There’s simply so much history both in the city and for me personally. Every time I’m back in Istanbul, I feel there are some other senses in my brain that are on alert: The food, the tempo, the chaos, the beauty. I think Istanbul, with the culture it offers is a lifetime experience for artists of any discipline.
S2S: March 2012 your debut CD “Vivaldi: The New Four Seasons” was released and recently your CD production “Bach: The Silent Cantata” celebrated its’ premiere at the Crescendo Festival. How would you describe “The Silent Cantata” and your interpretation?
Burak Özdemir: There is something timeless about The Silent Cantata. It’s not music to be described by words as even its title is on mute. It is pure music that requires an open heart, allowing oneself to join the journey of music that is leading the way and taking you to unexpected places.
I have my very personal connection to the piece, which I don’t want to elaborate on further, as I believe everyone needs to have their own experience with “The Silent Cantata.”
S2S: Do you have future projects planned? Is there anything you eagerly would like to realize?
Burak Özdemir/Musica Sequenza: For the next two years we are almost completely booked. Some of the upcoming shows are: January 23rd at Umspannwerk, premiering Transmute; a space junk show. February 28th in Potsdam Nikolai Saal with a Sampling Baroque performance and April 4th with an exclusive performance at the Biennale for Early Music.
S2S: On New Year’s Eve you will be performing at Radialsystem, what can your audience expect?
Burak Özdemir: Wildness! I almost dropped the phone, when I was asked to be part of the Fuga: The Electro-Baroque Opera again.
Basically it’s a multi-media production of voice, baroque instruments, video installations, dance and live electronics. It tells the story of a young, hip, party couple, who is having trouble due to extreme cocaine use, manipulating their sexual identities. It’s an opera where you can stay put in your chair and watch, but also stand up and dance to it, while having cocktails.
Opera del Futuro
New Year’s Eve with Burak Özdemir, Musica Sequenza und DJ Ipek
Tuesday 31.December 2013 9:00 pm tickets
Tickets incl. Party 18 € | 28 € | 38 € | reduced 18 €