Mercan Dede Reimagines Ludovico Einaudi
26.07.2021, by Giacomo Luperini
The Turkish-Canadian multidisciplinary artist brings the music of Ludovico Einaudi into his own narrative universe
Fractal (or fractal-like) geometry is a strangely widespread phenomenon in the natural world. The presence of this particular shape within a painting or a video game, attempting to represent and reinvent nature, is often a deciding factor in favor of our brains conceiving an image as “real”.
Fractals are homothetic figures, that is to say they feature internal similarities. Think of the Milky Way, a pine tree or a mountain: all three have in common the fact that, as we get progressively closer to them, they will present a similar (but not identical) image to the one before, creating an impression of jagged complexity that makes them concrete in our eyes. Another defining feature of fractals is fractal measure: that is to say, due to the property we have outlined above, as the units of measure decrease the measurable details of the object will increase, until it will show a tendency to infinity. Confused yet? Let’s make an example: think about the coastline of the United Kingdom. If we measure it in kilometers, we will find it has a total perimeter of 242.495 km². However, if we measure it in meters the situation changes radically, quickly leading us to acknowledge the existence of many inlets, and allowing us to measure details of the landscape that were previously unmeasurable. As a consequence, every time we decrease our unit of measure the United Kingdom grows larger, thus becoming unmeasurable and tending towards infinity. .
This sense of recreated reality is very much at the heart of the visual and musical art of Mercan Dede, a Turkish-Canadian artist born in 1966. Mercan’s art is born from a syneresis between opposed worlds: between the West and East, the massive and the tiny, the old and the new. It is dreamlike, frank and finely chiseled. His attention to detail and inclusion in apparent cosmogonies creates a fractal impression that gives “real” substance to his narrative universes, often made of electronic, Eastern-inspired remixes of Western musicians.
July 23rd, 2021, saw the release of the first, eagerly-awaited chapter of Ludovico Einaudi: Mercan Dede Reimagined, published by DECCA. The album represents the latest piece in a human and artistic partnership spanning over a decade, between Mercan Dede and Ludovico Einaudi. Ludovico’s eternal, intimate and epic atmospheres find ample space for a new and compelling narrative within Mercan’s universe. As Mercan himself put it:
Ludovico’s music is magical, significant, dimensional, complex and yet at the same time calm, pure and minimalistic. Just like him, it is filled with every emotion. I am honored to have had the chance to freely reimagine his melodies and adapt them to my world.
The project will include two volumes, each divided into three chapters comprising two tracks each. The next two chapters from the first volume will be released on August 13th and September 14th 2021 respectively, while the following volume will not appear until 2022.
The 12 tracks that form the project are the result of two years of work, and the first two from vol.1 chapt.1 are already available for listening: they are Twice, from the 2005 album Elements, and Fly, from 2006’s Divenire.
As regards the visual part, all album covers were created from Mercan’s own paintings, while the Fly video employed some of Istvan’s fractal visuals, remixed by DJ Dexter Crowe, a young co-producer who collaborated with Mercan on the project.