In today’s day and age, collaboration is more pertinent to the creative process than ever before. The limitless nature of the internet allows for people from different walks of life to come together with the sole purpose of leveraging one another’s skillsets in hopes of doing what would not be possible alone. Numeni and Kutan Katas met five years ago and after four years of friendship, the two recognized the logical pairing of their production fortes and began to experiment with a sound best described as “cinematic techno.”
The duality of a self-taught multi-instrumentalist composer from Istanbul, Turkey, and an Ableton obsessed audiophile took form and the results speak for themselves. Much of the music’s appeal and sonic narrative stems from time spent living in cultural hubs including Berlin, Istanbul, Sao Paulo and most recently Los Angeles- a melting pot of experiences translated into sound. We are honored to be working in conjunction with this unique duo today to premiere their debut release and are confident that the future of this project is bright.
“Together We Are Unique” is only the first component in Numeni and Kutan Katas’ long-term project. The executive producer of the video undoubtedly brings their sound to life in the most character-filled manner– he finds a perfect harmony between the analog visuals and sounds, resulting in a true sonic and visual masterpiece.
What is the correlation between the visuals and the music? Can either medium live to its fullest when not paired?
Numeni & Kutan: The rhythm and the aesthetic are what really connect the two. We tried to create a video which was as dark and experimental as the music, but which also kept the rhythm. Although both can be enjoyed without the other, the pairing of the two is what really lets them shine. We now realize it even plays into one of the meanings we had intended for the song; together, Numeni and Kutan are really able to be unique.
As the song has no vocals, how do you go about conveying emotion?
Numeni & Kutan: The emotion in our music is the product of the chords and melodies expressed through carefully created sounds. We design our sounds as we play them, making sure that every idea is expressed in its most beautiful form. In addition, we are always modulating our sounds in real-time, created in that very moment, which can never be made exactly the same again. The last trick is present in the arrangement, keeping forward momentum and knowing when to hold back is really crucial in maintaining excitement and curiosity.
This is a big first step for the project, what’s the next step?
Numeni: Together We Are Unique is the first piece in a larger project, which will culminate in an incredible night in September, where Numeni & Kutan Katas will perform a live set, sandwiched between a Numeni DJ Set. Before that happens, we will be releasing our first EP titled “Our Time”, followed by a live performance of two songs from that EP. Finally, we will be releasing one final music video.
Kutan: Of course, the never-ending next step is to continue to make music and to evolve as artists and individuals. We have already made 8 tracks which are ready for release, and couldn’t be more excited to play them over the coming months.
How did you land on this sound?
Kutan: We typically start with a musical idea, and the sounds are shaped as we write more notes. Although sometimes we start with a sound in mind, and the melodies come after.
Numeni: The sound we chose is really a bi-product of all the places we have lived in. Between the two of us, we have spent significant time in Turkey, Brazil, Berlin, Switzerland, California, and Chicago. We really wanted to have a global sound. The specific tone of our music is a combination of the analog synthesizers and effects we use.
What is the most important thing about the creation process that one should know when watching the video?
Numeni: I think something really cool is that the song and the video were made in very similar ways. Everything you see was created in the real world. All the shots are a combination of water, paint, oils, lighting, and different camera angles. Similarly, the majority of the sounds in all of our songs come from analog hardware. Of course, both the music and the video are edited heavily in the digital domain, but the source is analog.
Kutan: The most important thing about the creation process is collaboration. Being open to trying everything creates a space where all ideas are welcome, and that space turns into an energy field where you can build a story together. And every story is unique.
What motivated you to begin producing?
Kutan: While I was performing as a bassist and vocalist, music was just a fun experience that I shared with my friends. But when I hit some keys on the piano for the first time, music became my life. Even though I didn’t know how to play the piano, I started composing after I realized the endless possibilities of storytelling you can do with notes. Since then I have been teaching myself piano to be able to play my own compositions. And as soon as I started composing, I was eager to learn producing.
Numeni: I think a lot of people get into production in high school or college because they are inexplicably drawn to the idea of expressing themselves through sounds and music. For me, it began simply because I fell in love with synthesizers; the feeling of manipulating and creating in real-time. It was really a process of self-discovery, and the better I got the more I felt like I could say and had to say. It’s like a never-ending positive feedback loop. Music can express what words cannot, and it’s very interesting to see what you have to communicate with yourself and the world which you did not know was there until you played it.
Would you consider your project evocative or provocative?
Kutan: Evocative. This project is about what we already know but need to be reminded of. It’s so easy to be disconnected from other people and to isolate yourself to find your own voice in our time.
Numeni: Evocative. Music for us is about emotion. The sounds should grip you and move you into a different mental space. The best moments are those which pierce the noise of everyday reality and make you forget everything else around you. In those moments, a second can seem like an eternity.
Tell us a bit about your inspirations behind the creation of this video.
Numeni: The video is a statement. It says, “We have arrived, yet we have only just begun”
Kutan: Colors and what they can do combined; people and what they can do together.
Numeni: Although Kutan and I came up with the original concept for the Music Video as Co-Directors, it was really everyone at Trikon who made it come alive. Santiago Cervantes (Executive Producer / Founder @ Trikon) and I went to school together in Switzerland and recently reconnected when I moved to LA. Given his background in film, a music video seemed like the perfect starting point for us to work on together. Jeffrey Haskell (Co-Editor / Post Production) and Strack (Editor) also deserve major shout outs for really putting a ton of love into this project. The entire team at Trikon really blew me away.
What made you both decide to collaborate?
Numeni: There is an Arabic term, Maktub, which means “it was written”, which was popularized by the Brazilian author, Paulo Coelho, in his book The Alchemist. Maktub is the only way to describe the day in which we decided to make music. It was meant to be.
Kutan: Although we met in college, it took until after we graduated to ever make music together. We bumped into each other on a random street in Santa Barbara after not keeping in touch for years. A week later we were in the studio together. It took us two hours to just figure out how to connect our setups, as we both used different DAW’s and instruments. Finally, we found something that worked moderately well, and on that day we finished 80% of our song Epiphany, which will be released on our upcoming Our Time EP.
Follow Kutan Katas
Production Company – Trikon
Executive Producer – Santiago Cervantes & Nelson Cury (Numeni)
Director – Jeffrey Haskell
Co-Directors – Santiago Cervantes, Kutan Katas, Nelson Cury (Numeni)
Editor – Strack
Set Design – Mamo Vernet