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15 Questions to Hior Chronik

img  Tobias Fischer

Hi! How are you? Where are you?
I’m pretty fine right now. At the moment I am in my hometown Athens.

What’s on your schedule right now?
My latest album, titled Unspoken Words, was released by the mü-nest label one month ago, so I am in the process of promoting it. I’ve booked some live shows and hopefully there will be more in the future.
Also, I’ve been working on music for a theatrical play here in Athens. I have no previous experience in that field, but I find it quite interesting and exciting.
As for my next solo album, it will be released by mü-nest as well and consist of collaborations with musicians coming from Asia. Their musical approach is very appealing to me. They inspire me a lot and lead me to the direction of discovering new “places” in music.

How would you describe and rate the music scene of the city you are currently living in?
The electronic music scene in Athens is quite limited. Over the last years, many people have been making music but the result is mostly disappointing due to lack of fresh ideas and improvisation. Of course there are some musicians whose work I admire, while others are much more known abroad than here in Greece. I believe this is no coincidence.

When did you start writing/producing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences?
I started making music seriously four years ago. However music has always been an important issue in my life. As a teenager and for many years that followed, I mostly showed interest in jazz and classical music. At some point during my adult years I discovered electronic sound. After a short experimentation with pure digital timbres, I discovered that I needed something different so I turned my sound into a more acoustic genre by mixing ambient sounds and piano melodies.

What do you personally consider to be the incisive moments in your artistic work and/or career?
Improvising with Uwe Zhan aka Arovane and Roger Doering from Dictaphone in Berlin two years ago, was one of the most memorable and intensive moments of my artistic work and musical life as well.

What are currently your main compositional- and production-challenges?

I would really like to score film music. This way I will be able to combine music and cinema which is also a field that fascinates me. 

What do you usually start with when working on a new piece?
I always create music instinctively. I never have a certain picture of a person or a situation in mind when making music. Music comes as a result of the whole of my emotional and spiritual state while working on a new piece.

How strictly do you separate improvising and composing?
I believe that improvising and composing are not to be strictly separated. For instance, I start a new piece by improvising and for the process of completing my work, I often use composing patterns.

How do you see the relationship between sound, space and composition?
One of my main purposes as a composer - and a listener, of course - is to connect sound with space. Music, after all, creates images and feelings.

Do you feel it important that an audience is able to deduct the processes and ideas behind a work purely on the basis of the music? If so, how do you make them transparent?
The variety of the personalities that make up an audience automatically means that there is also a variety in the way of how listeners sense the music and comprehend the processes and the ideas of it. Some may identify with the composer, while others may differ with his ideas, but still enjoy the music. Besides I never liked the idea of leading the audience to a specific direction. It’s up to them to decide.

There seem to be two fundamental tendencies in music today: On the one hand, a move towards complete virtualisation, where tracks and albums are merely released as digital files. And, on the other, an even closer union between music, artwork, packaging and physical presentation. Where do you stand between these poles?
Virtualisation provides the public with the opportunity of an immediate and more affordable approach. On the other hand, many artists are able to bring out their work without being supported by a record label which, amongst others, results in a lower price of the record. However, I prefer the physical presentation of my work. I believe that artwork and packaging give you a more precise idea of the artist’s point of view.

The role of an artist is always subject to change. What's your view on the (e.g. political/social/creative) tasks of artists today and how do you try to meet these goals in your work?
Understandably I am influenced by the changes that occur in the Greek society and the world in general. This affects my work, of course. Up to now, I haven’t succeeded in strictly separating the man and the artist. But as I previously said, I don’t pursue to present the audience with any specific political, social or creative patterns of my own.

Music-sharing sites and -blogs as well as a flood of releases in general are presenting both listeners and artists with challenging questions. What's your view on the value of music today?
Sites and blogs give us both the opportunity to discover new artists and genres of music. Thanks to the Internet I was able to get in touch with artists from Asia and find out more about their aspects of making music. But as an artist I am skeptical about the illegal sharing sites and blogs.

How, would you say, could non-mainstream forms of music reach wider audiences?
I see no reason why this should deliberately happen. All I care about is making good music. I am not concerned whether it reaches limited or wider audiences.

Please recommend two artists to our readers which you feel deserve their attention.
I would totally recommend Darren Ng and Zazie Von Einem Anderen Stern. They both deserve my credits.

Many artists dream of a “magnum opus”. Do you have a vision of what yours would sound like?
I am not the kind of person that makes long term plans for his artistic life. I have no such ambition of my own. I prefer to stay focused on the music I make each and every time.

Hior Chronik Discography:
I'm a Tree (Enregistrements Variables) 2010
Unspoken Words (Mü-Nest) 2011

Hior Chronik

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