Binary Noise

Dervis Can Vural, Assistant Professor. Physics Department, University of Notre Dame. Email:, Tel: 617-401-5659, Room: 384g

Music Website

Physics Website



Welcome to Derviş Can Vural's music website. My compositions are experiments in counterpoint, distortion and noise, microtonality, electroacoustic improvisation, and various folkloric and classical forms of the Middle East and Balkans. My structural themes include closed orbits, series, stochastic patterns, partitioning, decomposition and disintegration of order, self similarity and self reference.

Tonal Works

Heterophony is when multiple voices play a single melody together, with slight variations. Few heterophonic voices produce a fibrous texture; when many are put together, individual voices cannot be discerned, producing a dense cloud.

I build some melody lines self-similarly (e.g. three notes surrounded by three shorter notes, each of which are surrounded by three shorter notes). I also build multiple independent heterophonic voices in counterpoint. I find the effect to invoke tactile impression, as if one is touching an ornate architectural detail, or a heavily textured surface.

wine bird

Tonal Samples

Tonal Poetry for a Dragon that Smells like Supernovae: To Anka.

Gülnihal: A belated birthday present for Pinar; a reimagination of Ismail Dede Efendi's piece with the same name.

Embracing Oppression: Dedicated to Faruk Yarman and the wise children of the Gezi Park protest.

Oil Wrestlers Celebrate the Ovulation of Pachamama: This piece is a fusion of Aymara folk form with syncopated triplets, parallel fourths, and decisive codas; Ottoman classical music, with dense heterophonic melody line and deep and slow drums; and baroque counterpoint.

Piece for Gene: Pentatones and thirty one eighths for an unintelligible afroamerican cowboy shaman who one night froze himself to death.

baby feet

Fevkalbeşer Dumduma: Up beat heterophonic counterpoint, building on the piano tradition of Feyzi Aslangil. The title roughly translates to ‘‘superhuman disarray".

Heterophonic Textures: A humorous melody line embelished by space-filling self-similar ornaments with a generous whack of disorder.

The Epic of Failure

Meditations on a Picture of Dr. Z.

Knots and Folds

Ney Taksims

The Ney, an rim blown reed flute, has a history of 4500 years. It is the centerpiece of the Ottoman classical music tradition.

The 13th century poet and philosopher Rumî wrote, Pay heed to the grievances of the reed, of what divisive separations breed: From the reedbed cut away just like a weed, my music people curse, warn and heed. Sliced to pieces my bosom and heart bleed, while I tell this tale of desire and need". Below are few ney taksims, i.e. short structured improvisations.

One, Two, Three,

Four, Five, Six, Seven.

Sound Sculptures


These pieces are mosaics of natural recorded sounds mutated and fused together via digital signal processing. The input material can range anywhere from a brief cough to stirring wet styrofoam and pennies in a metal bowl. I am particularly interested in granular synthesis, which involves overlaying identical or similar sound bits many thousans of times, each with a slight shift of phase and amplitude.

Phase randomization is exactly why a single violin sounds so different than an orchestral ensemble. If you ever wondered what a few milisecond tap on a desk or a hum would sound like when millions of them are overlayed, check below.

The Humming Song

Fine Structure of an Ultrasonic Orgasm


The elegant marble sculptures of antiquity, now all white and noble, were once painted in awfull pinks, purples and greens. Art historians have been crying in denial for a decade, but this shouldn't have been a surprise: Who in the eastern mediterranean doesn't love a little bit of kitsch?

These pieces are the musical analogues of these sculptures, or Leonardo's grotesque faces, featuring caricaturistic, jazzy, uncomfortable, inelegant and awkward expressions. You'll love it if you are a fruit fly with Asperger's syndrome.

Bionic Safiye and the Pepper Flower

Delik Pantolonlu Narin Sebastiyan

Mukaddes Oynak Beri Zelzelesi