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"Scaling Refrains: Political Ecology of Monophony and Silences of an In-Between Place"

Openwork Academic Journal, Columbia University, Inaugural Issue Vol. 1, No. 1 (May 2023), Columbia University Academic Commons, Columbia Creative Commons, and Columbia University Library, ISSN 2767-7060

Selected Colloquia

Multiphony and Reductive Ecologies

partially from Silent Frictions

March 7–8, 2023

ACLA 2022

What if the Universals are Silenced? 

Supplementary excerpts 

June 18, 2022

Creative Sound Studies:

A Seminar on Interdisciplinary Methods of Music and Listening

IBB Atatürk Kitaplığı, Jan 13, 2022


My recent focuses are on dramatic composition projects, working with acoustic and electroacoustic environments, IDE, C based creative coding, and graphical object based programming; Franz Kafka's fiction and writings, as well as my ongoing  research in acoustic ecologies, posthumanism, new materialism, environment, cosmopolitanism, and postcolonialism; and my philosophy projects systematizing ecological mediation, time, and vibration, with related empirical work in bioacoustics and cognition, in construction of the sense of place in acoustical and temporal terms and incorporating close readings (and listenings) of Cage, Deleuze, Kant, Hegel, and Marx.

My postdoctoral work (2021-2023), Silent Frictions, focused on speakers,' broadcasts,' and silences' role in mediation of digital and natural environments with comparative case studies from central Turkiye and south Thailand. I examined soundscapes, media, and political ecologies surrounding industries and other sound practices and manifestations with mixed methodologies.

My doctoral dissertation (2014-2019), The Composer’s Mind Through the Looking Glass: An Analysis of Pitch-Centricity in Zaïde/Adama, examined the auditory counterparts of silenced women and incompleteness in the unfinished Mozart opera Zaïde and Chaya Czernowin’s opera Zaïde/Adama in light of philosophical, syntactic, and cognitive aspects of pitch, timbre, and event analysis. This study argues against the reductive projections of sound and imagination, initiating on the mind's dream state, through-the-looking glass state (Descartes 1641; Carroll 1871), and continuing on Leibnizian unit theories (Leibniz 1714), the proposals of analysis and synthesis (Kant 1781, 1787; Helmholtz 1954), and problems of singular conceptual proposals such as generative theory (Chomsky 1957), investigating through new critical trajectories of sound studies and cognitive theories with historical and comparative evidenced.

In my extensive larger research, Silent Ecologies of the Unheard (2019–2023), that builds on my doctoral work and postdoctoral work, I focus on materiality of sound and posthumanism, focusing on their relation to the dominant actor networks and ecocosmopolitan universalizations as defining and defined by sound. I investigate the problems involving creative sound practices in changing theoretical conceptualizations of eco-anxieties, environmental consciousness, sense of place, time theories, non-reductivity in music creation, sci-fi literature and drama, auditory cognition, and philosophy of mind relevant to sound and musical creation, as well as advanced subjects of music theory beyond the Western canon.


My work incorporates theoretical and empirical methodologies, fieldwork, creative coding, sound design, SPL, EMF, and spectral analysis, analysis of film, animation, and new media, field recordings, hardware and software, and  my creative skills in  composition and performance.

Research Projects

Dissertation: Bilir, Canbekir. “The Composer’s Mind Through the Looking Glass: An Analysis of Pitch-centricity in Zaide/Adama” ProQuest Order No. 13881788, Cornell University, 2019.


Permanent Link:

Publications and Record Labels

(scheduled) “Scaling Refrains: Political Ecology of Monophony and Silences of an in–Between Place,” Openwork Academic Journal, Issue-1, Columbia University Library Journals (May 2023). Accepted and copy-edit stage completed.

Ephemeral Qualia for amplified violin, collaborative album and record label, a commission by Ellen Jewett and Klasik Keyifler, Ada Music Label Co. December 30, 2022.

Düşük or Fallen, String Quartet III. Contemporary Music Score Collection powered by California Digital Library at the University of California, in collaboration with Kaleidoscope. Bilir, C. (2020). Fallen. UCLA: Music Library. Retrieved from: | 11th most used score globally.

Gerileme for flute, clarinet, percussion, and harp. Contemporary Music Score Collection powered by California Digital Library at the University of California, in collaboration with Kaleidoscope. Bilir, C. (2020). ( UCLA: Music Library. Retrieved from:

KATIK for orchestra. Contemporary Music Score Collection powered by California Digital Library at the University of California, in collaboration with Kaleidoscope. Bilir, C. (2020). KATIK. UCLA: Music Library. Retrieved from


Catalog of Species for soprano, clarinet, and piano. Contemporary Music Score Collection powered by California Digital Library at the University of California in collaboration with Kaleidoscope. Bilir, C. (2020). Catalog of Species. UCLA: Music Library. Retrieved from:

Catalog of Species for voice, clarinet, & piano, Remembrance Species 2020, a collaborative album released on November 30th, 2020.Digital access to album: Remembrance Species Scotland and Laura Luna Castillo of Lunetario Editorial in collaboration with Umbral Axochiatl, Xochimilco Mexico City and Scottish Seabird Centre, North Berwick, United Kingdom. 

“MC Rhetoric in Beethoven Symphonies.” Porte Akademik Journal: Research on Music and Dance, Issue 10 (Fall 2014): – 74 – 87. SSN: 2146 –2453, Accession Number: 2014 – 71682, RILM secondary journal.

Ivan the Terrible for solo guitar on a theme composed by Sergei Prokofiev for Sergei Eisenstein’s film with the same name, performed by Kazim Cokogullu, CAGSAV Istanbul, barcode 8680202661074, 2013.


Ivan The Terrible for guitar solo. “Yildiz Technical University Gorsel Yayinlar No:3 Polifonik Seri No:2, Istanbul. YTU Kutuphane ve Dokumantasyon Merkezi Sayi: YTU, ST– 0855, ISBN 978 – 975 – 461 ­–486 – 2, 2012"


Selected Presentations and Talks

Chair, Political Ecology of Silences

American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) 2022 Annual Meeting in collaboration with National Taiwan Normal University Taipei

Paper Presentation, “What if the Universals are Silenced?” 

Political Ecology of Silences, (please see above), ACLA 2022 Annual Meeting

Lecture & Workshop, “Creative Sound Studies: A Seminar on Interdisciplinary Methodologies of Music and Listening in Humanities and Social Sciences” (Yaratıcı Ses Çalışmaları: İnsani ve Sosyal Bilimlerde Müzik ve Dinlemenin Disiplinlerarası Yöntemleri Üzerine Bir Seminer), Atatürk Library Round Table Series, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Department of Cultural Affairs, Directorate of Libraries & Museums, Istanbul, Turkey, January 2022.


Radio Talk, “Sound and Space in Anthropocene (Antroposen Çağında Ses ve Mekan)” Metropolitika, 95.0 Acik Radio, November 17, 2021, Istanbul, Turkey

            For Apple Podcast Açık Radyo 94.9, or visit:


Composer talk, “Nature of the Things that I Heard: Can Bilir on Cognitive Aspects of His Music and Research,” Bilkent University Composers Seminar, 2021.


Paper Presentation, “Cosmopolitics of Pitch in Zaïde /Adama Fragments”

European Music Analysis Conference (EuroMAC 10), panel Musical Semiotics, Rhetoric, Topic and Schemata Theories, Tchaikovsky P.I. Conservatory Moscow, Russia. September 23, 2021.


Paper presentation, “(Eco)cosmopolitanism and Silence in John Cage’s Art and Philosophy”

American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) 2021 Annual Meeting, panel The sounds of the Other, April 10, 2021.

Paper presentation, “Smelling the Sound: Attention and Centricity in Cross-modal Compositional Contexts and Central Anatolian Islamic Rituals” 

Association of Asian Studies Conference, panel Returns: Rituals of Remembrance Genealogies of Artistic Practice in Asia, July 1 – 4, 2019, Bangkok, Thailand

Performance, installation, and paper presentation, “Decolonizing Emotion in Creative Processes: Nostalgia 30-note hand crank music box” 

commission for (Re)Making Memory, Southeast Asian Studies Conference at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, April 6, 2019

Paper presentation, “Listening to the Resonance of Apparitions: Zaide/Adama by Mozart/Czernowin,”

American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) 2018 Annual Meeting, panel Beyond the Human Psyche: New and Critical Approaches to Violence and Trauma in Global Anglophone Literatures at University of California, Los Angeles, CA, 2018

Guest Lecturer, “Galant Style Schemata on Classical Guitar”

A lecture on Galant Style music composition and analysis. Discussions on schematism and Galant schemata in light of theories of music, philosophy, and cognitive science; compositional analysis from W.A. Mozart, M. Giuliani, L. Bocherini, F. Sor, J.S. Bach, Aiva Artificial Intelligence Virtual Artist. Main course book is Robert Gjerdingen, Music in the Galant Style(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007). Final lecture for Music 2101 Theory Materials & Techniques 1, taught by Roger Moseley. Cornell University, 2018.

Composer presentation, Harvard University Composers Colloquium, 2017

Guest Lecturer, Transformations in Franz Schubert’s “Erlkönig” D.328, Cornell University, 2017. 

Guest Lecturer and Composer in Residence, Professor Rebecca Harris Warrick. Cornell University, 2017.

Paper presentation, “MC Rhetoric in Beethoven Symphonies,” Istanbul Technical University International Music and Theory Symposium, Istanbul, Turkey, 2013

Abstract Entries for RILM (Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale)


Clayton, Martin. “Local Practice, Global Network: The Guitar in India as a Case Study.” In Theorizing the Local: Music, Practice, and Experience in South Asia and Beyond. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009; pp. 65 – 78. 2014

Conner, Ted. “Structural ornaments: Transcending binaries in Elizabethan and Jacobean music.” Journal of the Viola da Gamba Society of America 42 (2005): 19 – 75. 2014

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