Hasan Elahi, Storyteller

Hasan Elahi

HASAN ELAHI, Media Artist, UMD Professor of Digital Media

I work in a field where I don’t really know what field I work in. And I’m okay with that. I’m fascinated by work that challenges my ideas and my preconceived notions, things that really take me out of a comfort zone. I’m okay with just being an artist. It allows me to jump from place to place to place to place to place, or from content to content, without having to categorize what kind of response people should have to what it is that I do.

Hearing Kronos Quartet really made me rethink what music is.

One of my most formative experiences was the first time I heard Kronos Quartet. I was just a punk teenager in one of these noise death metal bands and a friend of mine said, “Hey, check this out.” We had these piles of cassettes at his house in New York.

He always had very eclectic tastes in music.

So I was a teenager — which meant I knew everything — and 
I had my idea of what music was. I knew what I liked and what I didn’t like. And then I heard Kronos and I’m thinking “What is this? Wait, you mean this is possible?” It really challenged me to try to understand how the music made sense. It really made me rethink what music is.