Giray Gürkal (1988) is a guitarist, improvisor, composer and sound designer born in Istanbul. At the age of 11 he started to play guitar. Later he got to know different musical styles, such as church music, minimalism, electronic music, free improvisation, contemporary classical, and noise. Exploring these new musical styles he started to build up his own language in music.
Giray plays electric guitar with an innovative approach, using different combinations of techniques and effects. His main focus is on timbre rather then conventional playing.
He is a member/co-founder of many bands, such as Turkey’s pioneer free improvisation band Islak Köpek, Percussive!, Goblin Shark, Mutant and IstanPOOL.
He has nine released albums, including two solo albums. Apart from that, his work featured in numerous compilations. An improvised piece he recorded with Şevket Akıncı has been distributed by the English music magazine “The Wire” in 2010.
Giray has done sound design for theater plays, installations, and audio/visual performances. Some selected works are; “Under an Alias” which was performed at Genius Loci Weimar Festival, and has won an Honorary Mention Prize at Prix ARS Electronica in 2013, “Sonicfield 01” at Venice Architecture Biennale in 2014, “Prima Materia” at Ars Electronica Festival in 2016, and “Oculus” at Istanbul Design Biennial in 2016.
He has played and participated in many festivals and exhibitions, such as: Moers Festival, Akbank Jazz Festival, Venice Architecture Biennale, Genius Loci Weimar, Future Sounds Festival, Sperm Festival, and Istanbul Design Biennale. He has played with musicians such as Michael Moore, Alfred Harth, Audrey Chen, Robert van Heumen, Tanya Kalmanovitch, Wolter Wierbos, Wilbert de Joode, Oscar Jan Hoogland, Korhan Erel and Şevket Akıncı. As a sound designer he worked together with notable artists and collectives such as nohlab, candas, nerd.
AllAboutJazz - by Gian Paolo Galasi:
"An extremely creative player, in Signals From Heart, a solo guitar record—with the addition of a trumpet on track three—Gürkal deals with distorted signals and echoes, creating prolonged sounds and building a highly structured and personal language."