H.C. Turk is a personification of the word multidimensional because Mr. Turk eats & breathes diversity. H.C. lives his life not just as a musician but also as a successful writer, painter, visual artist and photographer. With three albums complete and a whopping 36 novels written this man of many faces has the creative juices flowing into overdrive. His experimental electronica will mystify the audience and H.C. Turk himself said it best here: “My music is always an alternative to so-called “alternative” styles as I create brainy music to make you think about feeling fantastic.” Learn more about this fascinating gentleman who has a wide array of interests and actually speaks Martian!
J Rae: So what’s the H. C. stand for and where are you from if you don’t mind me asking?
H. C. Turk: H. C. stands for Harold Carl. “Carl” was supposed to be spelled with a “K” (in honor of my grandfather), but they got it wrong in the hospital. My life has been following its own tangent ever since.
J Rae: I have to be honest that when I did some research to find out more about you I came up empty. You do have a main website but it’s almost like a puzzle in nature, but maybe that’s the idea? Was your intention all along to be the kind of artist that reveals nothing to its audience & readers and in turn make you more of a mysterious & appealing sort of fellow? Never dare allow the curious inquirers to enter your world because just maybe you want to keep them on their tippy toes at all times and keep the people intrigued as long as possible? Whatever the case may be you don’t have to spill out all of your secrets to me but can you at least tell me if I was onto something here?
H. C. Turk: My intention as an artist all along has been to base my work on the person I am, and not be an imitation of anyone else. I welcome visitors to enter my world and my art in all its many forms and learn about me from what I have achieved with my music and my writing and my visual work. I don’t intend to be mysterious by failing to mention that I was born in Michigan or attended a high school that is now a nutria ranch. Regarding intrigue, I only want to intrigue people with what I create as an artist. I don’t presume to impress them with my shoe size or political views. (8 1/2, moderate reactionary)
J Rae: So I noticed you had some interviews on your websites that appeared to be staged at least to the naked eye so I ask were they? And going off of that I have to say after reading through the Q&A’s you make Bob Dylan look like the prizefighter of interviewees! Not an easy task to accomplish so congratulations on that!
H. C. Turk: The dialogue you might have read between myself and my stuffed dog, Buff, was staged. I admit it. He doesn’t speak, and never did. Not even when I received Buff as a gift when I was a kid did I imagine that he could speak. Since I write fiction, however, I made up his part in the dialogue. I think he did swell. (Let me add that Buff is also the star of my animated music vid, I EAT PUPPIES. [No canines were harmed during the creation of the video; see YouTube link below.])
Regarding the FAQ on my web-site, uh, I MADE THAT UP TO AND I ADMIT IT. (Hint: it’s supposed to be amusing.)
Nothing about me that you have encountered should suggest that I do the same old thing in the same old way. That being the case, there’s no reason to consider me difficult to interview unless I am asked the same old questions in the same old manner. As you can see by now, I’m answering even simple questions in my own manner, and therefore am being completely honest and straightforward in this sense: as an artist, I am impeccably honest, but never mainstream, common, average, run-of-the mill. I would be a liar to try and hide it. So there.
J Rae: After listening to a couple of your tracks online I heard some experimental sounds coming through in an electronic & rocky kinda way. If you could describe your music in just one word what would that be? And going off of that what musical plateau would you say you’re stranded on?
H. C. Turk: If I could describe my music in just one word it would be: idiudkueedu8l~wpwpwpueZZ. That’s Martian for Unique. “Unique” doesn’t mean good or bad. It means: What?
The musical plateau on which I find myself has shifted from my first album, THENEVER, to my second, HARDWIRED HEART, to my third, GLORY ROAR. What began as post-current rock evolved into experimental electronica, and has pretty much settled on the far side of left field. My music is always an alternative to so-called “alternative” styles.
J Rae: I noticed that you’re not just a writer of songs & music but also of books which is very interesting. I’m a writer too in case you were wondering and I actually have a few book ideas of my own. First if you could tell me when you wrote your first book and what inspired you? How many books have you written to date and which is your personal favorite and why? And lastly what do you have to say to all of the aspiring authors out there, including myself, who want to learn the dos and don’ts of not just writing a book but also publishing a book?
H. C. Turk: I wrote my first novel, INERTIA, a couple of years out of high school. I was inspired by teachers who said, “Gawd, you can really write, dude!). So far, I have written 36 novels (and a few short stories). My personal favorite is ROCKET ROLL. Here’s a blurb: “On her way to an off-world vacation, Melody Rich is violently kissed by an alien who thrusts something inside her: the key to a lost planet. Melody travels among the stars trying to remove the key before it kills her…again.” ROCKET ROLL is my personal favorite because I have a crush on the heroine.
So, you want to be a writer folks? Here’s what I have to say. First, read more. More than that. Read what you haven’t read before, read books and plays and poetry that are unfamiliar to you. Then, ask yourself why you want to be a writer. Because you want to do something pretty much like the last something you read? Because you can add to the world of expression and understanding? Because you grasp that the word “literature” wasn’t coined by authors who have created the most vital and valuable writings of their eras, but by their admirers? Because you wanna make a buck? The most important thing I can say is this: If you are really a writer, you were born a writer. It has nothing to do with publishing.
J Rae: How does your book author figure/persona compare and differ with your musical side? Do they battle with each other OR do they live together in perfect harmony?
H. C. Turk: To make things more difficult, I’ll add that I also create visual art. We all get along just fine; for example, my music videos combine all three: music (obviously), literature (lyrics), and visual art (the, uh, visuals). To expand on the above-mentioned multiple-disciplinary-osity of myself, here’s the material I send along when someone asks for a statement/resume/bio:
I am a self-taught painter, writer, photographer, digital artist, and sound artist living in Florida. My photographs and digital images have appeared in CAMERA & DARKROOM, PHOTOGRAPHER’S FORUM, GRAPHIS AMATEUR ANNUAL, DIGITAL FINE ART MAGAZINE and on many web-sites. I have won the “Creative/Fine Art” category in POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY’s International Contest. My paintings, prints, and photographs have hung in several local and national exhibitions. I also won the Toray Industries Digital Art DCA Grand Prize.
Villard, Pinnacle, and Tor have published my print novels, ETHER ORE and BLACK BODY. The editors of the CHICAGO REVIEW published two novel excerpts of mine and spoke of their “indisputable literary merit,” “brilliant passages,” and “historical importance.” Reviewers said of BLACK BODY: “Masterful…utterly satisfying.” “Glorious!” “Beautiful…highly original.” “Wonderfully intricate and fascinating…a blood-thumping good story.” “Eerie and hypnotic.” “A mind-blowing masterpiece.” “Stunning and provocative.” “Gorgeously great-humored and lovingly imagined.” “I am amazed at the people who hold up Hemingway and his ilk as the last writers of ‘Literature’ when their tales cannot hold a candle to the writing of Mr. Turk.” “Beautiful phraseology. The writing style is terrific…incredibly rich….” “Exquisitely sensual and unexpected fiction. Absolutely unforgettable.” And so on. BLACK BODY was a SCIENCE FICTION CHRONICLE “Book Of The Year.” Another reviewer said of ETHER ORE, “This is an amazing piece of inventive plotting and imaginative world-building, with Turk’s totally unique and eccentric syntax adding to its aura. And its ending is as cathartic and poetic as any I have ever read.” The estimable Amazon Top Reviewer, Grady Harp, said this about my novel, ONLY THE IMPASSIONED: “H. C. Turk is able to define the possibilities of being truly aware of the significance of man in the universe. …A great novel…to be read again –perhaps several more times.”
WAIT A MINUTE–Skope=music. Let’s talk music. I create brainy music to make you think about feeling fantastic. My style is post-whatever-came-before, a type of experimental electronica. My influences are “Der Grosse Fuge,” Schubert, Bartok, Carl Ruggles, Charles Ives, Roxy Music when they were Out, Capt. Beefheart, and etc. In a sonic world where art is the ultimate animal, music evolution never ends, rising from the depths of the psyche to sing across a new sky. That’s where you’ll find me.
Here are snippets from early online reviews of my music:
-“…Sounds heavenly. I feel like I’ve died and have been sung to by angels.”
-“Some people will consider this the coolest music they’ve ever heard.”
-“Original and intriguing.”
-“H. C. Turk, along with David Sylvian, has become my favorite artist.”
Here is my off-the-rack artist’s statement (in two versions, both equally applicable):
-(Mood A): My goal in writing, photography, painting, or digital imagery is to manifest art’s most important social function: providing beauty, which cannot be expressed in the culture of political protest. My work protests against the falseness of spurious fashion. My politics reject democracy’s failure in promoting mediocrity as palatable while excluding excellence as elitist. I seek an elitist intimacy that compels extended sight, the deliberation of beauty viewed, beauty envisioned.
-(Mood B): I make goodlookin pics, no more. No rethinking figuration or refining abstraction. No pimple-deep metaphysics, no religious release, no political ploys, no social suggestions. No assessing existential essence as though an art god manifesting truth in a subject by applying metaphysical feelings. No denigrating profundity with pretense. Shut up and show me.
J Rae: How about we talk about your albums now and why don’t you tell the Skope Universe why people should buy the songs? Where can they purchase your music of choice? What is it about the unique H. C. Turk recording sessions and do the tracks blow away the competition in your opinion? I guess what I’m trying to say, in so many words, is simply this: does the music speak for itself?
H. C. Turk: People should buy my songs because they like them and want to support the artist responsible for this music, thereby encouraging him to create more. If people don’t like the music, I thank them for listening, see ya on the flipside.
My competition consists of all the honest, intelligent artists who endeavor to create the most compelling, memorable, and moving music they can. I am honored to consider myself peer to them, and am blown away by their artistry.
Considering all of the above, my music speaks for itself to the degree that nothing in this interview will sway people into appreciating it. They will like it or they won’t, and they can only tell by listening. That’s the way it should be.
Here’s where people can buy my stuff:
Music vids for your viewing pleasure: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheHCTurk
J Rae: Switching gears now I would like to ask what you think about today’s digitally-enhanced/humanly detached society and how does an H. C. Turk fit into this kind of place?
H. C. Turk: I don’t fit worth a damn. I don’t blog or twit or do Farcebook. I think people should only communicate with handmade, handwritten postcards. Hand delivered. Exceptions can be made for amputees with no hands. Kindly people everywhere will be glad to lend them a hand.
J Rae: Here’s a complete random question which you may appreciate and that is what is your #1 pet peeve and also what is your #1 bad habit?
H. C. Turk: My #1 pet peeve is having to reduce all my countless peeves down to a single entity. My #1 bad habit is trying to reduce all my endless bad habits so that I’m left with only one. No can do!
J Rae: Would you care to reveal one fact about yourself that no one else knows but you? Time to show the loyal Skope readers an exclusive, never-before-seen side of the incomparable H. C. Turk!
H. C. Turk: After much soul-searching, I agree to reveal an exclusive truth about myself that no one else knows. This revelation, available *only* to loyal Skope readers, is certain to shock and awe. Although I know that I am teetering on the edge of losing my audience by driving them away in astonished consternation, it’s too late. I’ve decided. Yes, I’m laying it on the line. It’s coming any time. Here ya go. I hope you’re happy now that you’ve driven me to my knees! But I won’t hold back: this revelation is coming from the depths of my heart, which, like the river of all our dreams, is deep and wide (and muddy on the bottom). HOLD ON, the excruciating truth is: WpwpwpueZZ?idiudkueedu8l~! which obviously is in Martian. You’ll be able to translate it after reading GALACTIC FAT. (I may have to write it first.)
By Jimmy Rae – firstname.lastname@example.org