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15 Questions to Philip Sulidae

img  Tobias

Hi! How are you? Where are you?
Excellent. I'm in Sydney, Australia enjoying the summer sunshine!

What's on your schedule right now?

At the moment I'm working on a new 3"cd release for my own imprint, as well as a proposal for the Mystery Sea label.

How would you describe and rate the music scene of the country you are currently living in?
Small! There are some interesting musicians and labels here such as Room 40, however I don't really have much to do with any scene here. Music scenes seem to be more about socializing than musicalizing. I prefer to do my own thing, like write music.

Do you see yourself as part of a certain tradition or as part of a movement?

Not really, although I'm sure that music critics or writers could probably find some connections there if they wanted to; minimalism, musique concrete, drone, polka etc

What, would you say, are the factors of your creativity? What stimulates you to write music?
I just like making things, making places to inhabit. I guess there are certain similar aesthetic and compositional characteristics that I'm drawn to... Why those particular qualities I don't know, and I'm not sure if I want to know.

How would you describe your method of composing?

Generally I begin with some found sounds, or a chord - some fragment of sound that's gives me some ideas or presents itself in an interesting way. From that I build up some structure and mood around that using whatever I feel will work - samples, organ, etc. For me music and sound are very architectural, so composing music feels similar to building something. So as I'm writing music, gradually the forms dictate where things need to go. Maybe architextural is a better word!

In which way, would you say, is your cultural background reflected in your work?

Well, European settlement in Australia doesn't really have much culture - it's more of a bastardized version of English and more recently, American culture. Aboriginal culture here is totally detached, if not totally gone and for what ever reasons Australia doesn't really see itself as part of Asia either, so  it doesn't really leave much. However it can be nice to have that kind of blank slate to create in, as you have no rules or narrative to conform to or subvert. I think if I were in Europe for example, it might be somewhat culturally overwhelming.

How do you see the relationship between sound and composition?

Close ... maybe like conjoined twins.

How strictly do you separate improvising and composing?

See above, except these twins aren't conjoined.

What does the term "new" mean to you in connection with music?

Not much. Semantics, mostly. Although it's probably a term that mostly is going to be used in a marketing sense that capitalizes on some people's notion that something new must be better.

Do you personally enjoy multimedia as an enrichment or do you feel that it is leading away from the essence of what you want to achieve?

I personally haven't done any, but as far as experiencing multimedia... It depends, if it's done well and I get some kind of mood or feeling coming through from it, then that's great. When it's done really well it doesn't get much better, but that for me is quite rare. What is sadly common, is multimedia where all it's elements have no relation to each other and just seem fairly arbitrary.

What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What's your approach to performing on stage?
I guess a good live performance for me, is one that makes me feel like I'm experiencing something unique, something that is overwhelming in a way and that stays with me. Good sound is crucial, it's amazing how often the sound seems to be overlooked. As far as my approach goes... I have none. I'm not really that interested in playing live or performing. I'm more interested and drawn to music as an object that can be moved about and taken with people.

How, would you say, could non-mainstream forms of music reach wider audiences without sacrificing their soul?

I suppose that for some non-mainstream music the main obstacle is simply exposure. With media avenues so heavily commercialized that can be difficult if not impossible. Some music is never going to be popular regardless of whether it reaches wider audiences though; I can't really ever see Whitehouse or Yasunao Tone getting any mainstream coverage no matter how much promotion or exposure they have!

You are given the position of artistic director of a festival. What would be on your program?

Mmm... Autechre, Merzbow, Mika Vainio, Thomas Koner, Helge Sten, Monolake, Surgeon, Jacaszek, Machinefabriek, somehow reanimate James Stinson and Miles Davis. That'll do. Maybe some set design by Gottfried Helnwein. Oh, I'd need some Morbid Angel and Kool Keith.

Many artists dream of a "magnum opus". Do you have a vision of what yours would sound like?

Hah! I have no idea. Ask me when I'm old and done making music.


Hasnamuss  (Dontcaresulidae) 2006
Forest Lodge (Dontcaresulidae) 2007
Benandarah (Dontcaresulidae) 2008
Inward (Dontcaresulidae) 2008
Southwest (Audiotalaia) 2009
The Blacken Solver (Dontcaresulidae) 2009
The Cause Of Others (Ripples Recordings) 2009
Unknow (Dontcaresulidae) 2009

Philip Sulidae
Philip Sulidae at MySpace

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