Portrait: Alp Bora

Alp Bora’s music stands simply for cultural diversity, the highest artistic amalgamation of musical traditions into one homogenous expression of contemporary urban world music, which could hardly be more rich in its variety and scope.  Raised in Istanbul and long since a fixture in Vienna, this singer and guitarist has been intrepid in drawing bridges and intertwisting traditions between traditional folks music, (from his old and current homelands) musical epochs and contemporary styles. Although he is focused on a modern interpretation, he never falls into a stereotyped approach or cliché musical forms endlessly repeated so often today, rather, his music becomes an homage to historical forms, their reincarnation and renewed intention, as few have matched at his caliber.

Alp Bora has been on quite a journey since his birth in Istanbul, from where he moved to Ankara, and then with his family to Bagdad where he was confronted with a new and exotic culture, its music and its influence on his already developing musical curiosity and interest. His musical diversity reflects the diversity of the countries and cultures that he experienced in his formative years, and is a synthesis of musical syntax ,which, is a new codex of expressive form, evolving and developing.

Alp Bora has taken as much from his time spent in Austria, where he arrived in 1998, as he has from his formative years in the Middle East and Turkey.  In response to question why move to Vienna?, he replied, “ Because there is no other place in Europe where east meets west in such a cultivated mass as here.”  In Vienna he quickly organizes his first project, a trio bearing his own name, and from which the album “Amber” (2007) garnered international attention, as well as winning an Austrian World Music Award with the formation Nim Sofyan in 2004.

His musical inspiration is delivered with a seductive soulful oriental evoking voice, with mauve shades of his Levantine past lurking in the power of his creation. With such a mélange of musical styles from Jazz to Chamber, Soul to Folk; it is a testament to his artisanship that while he combines so many styles, he loses nothing of their originality, but rather makes something distinct out of their amalgamation.  This celebration of musical forms and tradition lends his music to international appeal and appreciation, and continues to move audiences around the world.

Alp Bora’s music is a draught of the highest authenticy, which never finds itself mislead into fulfilling clichés.  He continues to raise the bar for himself and his musical creativity, ever further into an unknown world, but one, to be sure, we can expect to be enjoyed by audiences for many more years to come.