Interview: Sadık Avcı

Sadık Avcı

Lighting designer, Babylon

What does a typical concert day look like for you?
“I don’t have a lot of time to get ready, so when I arrive at the concert venue, I take a quick look at what I can prepare both in terms of lighting and video.”

Are there musicians who travel with their own lighting designer?
“About once every two months we’ll have an event where the performer comes with a full team. Other than that I’m generally the one to do everything. I don’t even have a chance to rehearse; what I actually do is follow the music. I look at what they’re playing and think about what they might do next.”

Do you normally have a list of the songs to be played?
“Sometimes I do, but even then I don’t have a chance to listen to them in advance and prepare. I have to plan everything in the moment.”

We hear there have been musicians who were so impressed with your work that they asked the event planners how it was you knew their songs.
“The question I get most often is whether or not I know the songs ahead of time. I’ve even had bands ask me how come I knew a song that they had just written.”

Do you play any instruments?
“No, but I listen to a lot of music. In a way, listening to music is my job.”

How did you become a lighting designer?
“Back in the day there weren’t any schools in Turkey where you could learn this profession. Now there are video-art departments, but I’m pretty sure there still isn’t a school specifically for lighting design. A large part of this job is knowing the equipment, so you have to be tech-savvy.”