Harun Izer, Bant Magazine, Turkey, October 2005
What inspires you most these days - in terms of other music but also other artforms, buildings, nature etc?
I am in a quite luxurious situation, due to my occupation as musician and software developer I get lots of diverse impressions. I travel
, I meet people, and most of the time that input is inspiring
. A little detail can impress me as much as something obviously big. Muscially I do not feel that listening to other music gives me the most significant impulses anymore. I had enough input and now I would prefer creating more output by myself.
The music you like to make is in one certain corner, and covering a certain (darker and deeper?) spectrum of feelings. Don`t you ever feel to make other kinds of music, or express different feelings? Or you do such things and never release them?
I could be a great commedian, but musically I simply prefer this darker side of the world. For me there is more emotion in darkness. Happy music can get pretty anoying after a while. And rays of light look so much more impressive with a dark background. My darkness is full of desires, full of hope and from time to time quite comfortable.
You don`t play any acoustic / conventional instruments. Did you ever consider this as a disadvantage or you really don`t want to get involved with acoustic instruments? Did your lack of knowledge on acoustic instruments helped you somehow to create the music you do today? Espacially playing live. You created your own MIDI controller monodeck as your own instrument?
When I was younger I felt like I need to learn an instrument but since my parents did not support it I gave up and instead try to create music from a more soundscape-oriented perspective. Obviously my deep love to sound is a compensation for being incapable of creating profound music with classical composer or instrumentalists skills. In retrospective I would say it was good for my music that I had to define my own way. There is still so much to discover
in the field of electronic music that I do not feel the need to do something else. Why should I try to use classical instruments as long as I am still on the surface
of what can be done with my computer?
Your live collaboration project with Deadbeat: Will we ever see a recorded version of this or - perhaps due to the nature of the project - will it stay as a live-only collaboration? Are there any plans to do more Atlantic Waves concerts with other artists?
At some point I want to make a recording as a documentation. Also I had in mind doing Atlantic Waves concerts with other artists. For me the project is still quite interesting, I just need some time to write a better software version of it and to do more shows..
And in general, do you like collaborations with other artists? With whom would you like to work together if you could?
A collaboration only makes sense if there is a good musical reason. I recently made a remix for Depeche Mode
and I came to the conclusion that vocals and lyrics are an interesting topic. If I ever want to do a record with a singer, then I will try to find a singer, since I cannot do this by msyself. The last monolake album was done with a friend of mine, and the biggest benefit of this was the fact that another pair of ears were judging what I did and helping to follow the right path. Sometimes when working alone one can get pretty lost and blind. Collaborations are good to readjust your own ideas.
During last years we have seen more electro-acoustic works or projects from you that are not just music but also conceptual artworks. Do you plan to continue with such kind of projects? If you do, can you shortly tell about the projects that you have in mind (or perhaps your craziest ideas that you dream to do one day?)
There is Studies for Thunder Live
, an eight channel piece, which somehow creates an artificial and pretty impressive thunderstorm
in a composed way. This piece does not work on a CD, it needs the appropriate space and PA setup in order to work.
It premiered at MUTEK 2005
and I would love to do this piece again somewhere. I would also like to create more "sculptural" soundscape music for art galeries, but I do not have the time currently. I have no cracy ideas anymore. I like details and this seems to me a contradiction to craziness since details need planning and a clear mind...
What are these promotional lyrics in your singles? (I guess these are inserts for vinyls to explain the professionals the characteristics of the music - i don`t have any of your vinyls so I am not sure about this)
Usually the record shops and lazy journalists want some text from the label which tells them what the record is about. Usually these texts are super boring, telling you that this record is another essential milestone of electronic music
. And lots of reviews in magazins are nothing else but reprints
of these texts.
I`ve read them from the website, especially the one for invisible force was amazing and has very strong ties with the feeling the actual music gives to the listener. Is this (thinking of such short stories) something you do all the time or was it just this once for these songs? As your music has a strong atmospheric effect, I guess there could be more.
I just have fun writing these texts. I might write lyrics at some point and these lyrics will become part of the music then. But every attempt to write a "song" at some point ended up with deleting that folder finally.
An interview with you without asking something on Ableton Live is probably impossible :) What I am interested is, since you have a very unique sound, how do you manage to develop it even for the needs of the whole user spectrum of Ableton? (I have read the program is used from Eivind Aarset to Daft Punk, from Mogwai to Rennie Pilgrem etc... )
is developped by a lot of people
. In contrary to urban legends I am not even a founder, I am just massively involved in the design and development of the product. Each idea is discussed by a bigger group. When making music you try to find something special
, when making software you want a function to be as general
as possible. A good filter is a good filter, and it does not matter if you process a synthesizer with it or a trombone. It`s like a pen
. You do not need to know what
people write with it, you just need to understand how
they write technically.
Sound Quality: Do you prefer mp3? In your website you mention some websites illegally selling your music. What do you think about p2p programs where people download music from each other? And, were you also making mixtapes for your friends etc. in the 80's when the cassette player was the king?
Sound quality is more important for the producer
then for the customer
. People want good songs, they do not care about
good sound. I am fine with this. The whole discussion about copyright
comes down to some very basic questions about human interaction in general. If you consume something you should give something back to the creator
of it. It is not important that you pay for each track, but if you are often taking something from someone you should also give. People who make their profit by selling music they don`t pay for and do not own are acting completely immoral
. In case of some russian servers it gets really ugly: they look like fully legal portals, people pay
for a download and have no idea that they do only pay these criminals, but none of the artists.
Guys who make mixes for their friends area completly different thing. But in order to find a solution which works for a larger group of people without discussing each single transaction again and again you need to find a set of laws. That is what copyright is for: Trying to find a fair balance between those who create and those who consume.
This interview has been edited 11/2006 to make a few details in my answers clearer. I also removed some copy/paste errors. R.H.