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15 Questions to Christian Dergarabedian / Earzumba

img  Tobias

Hi! How are you? Where are you?
Fine. Now, I'm IN Buenos Aires, arrived a few days ago, visiting relatives and friends for a month.

What’s on your schedule right now?
Since it’s really cheaper to press a cd here I´m taking care of the last steps to release a new album of mine mostly of sampladelia (Billy Joel, John Cage, David Bowie, Metallica, etc). I hope that in a few days I will have it done. The album is called “Bestia Infernal” and the art cover will be postcards. Includes a live track of 30 minutes long of a show I gave in the Weseburg new museum of Bremen recorded by the mobile unit of RADIO BREMEN last year. This track is more close to drone music. Also starting to do a small promotional campaign here in Buenos Aires of some of my other albums, im virtually forgotten here by the media. (also my fault by not bothering to send stuff to the media).
Hopefully I will also see my old partner Alan Courtis just to listen to the entire archive that we have of some tapes during the first 2 years when I was part of REYNOLS in order to pick the best recordings to conpile an album and try it to get it released by someone. And If  there is some  time left i will record some sessions with musicians from here and continue developing some demos with a funny pop side im involved the last 3 years.

What or who was your biggest influence as an artist?
I think that this is the kind of question that has no answer. Actually I don’t care who it was or who wasn’t. I think that in each period of your life there is something that moves u inspires u, clarifies u, but this could also be a good lunch, you know. I really consider it a big stupidity to mention a list of a bunch of musicians  u listened to - that doesn’t mean that your are influenced by those artists. It just means that u are listening to them!! You need more than that, you need to study them. You don’t become sanctified by the artists that you are listening to just by mentioning them. Nevertheless, I would like to mention the artist Joachim Rapahel BORONALI, just as a blink for those who know who he was and for those who are curious to know who he was.


Do you see yourself as part of a certain tradition or as part of a movement?
As a friend of mine used to say to me “you are of the tribe of the ones who don’t have one”. And this is true to a  point. To be part of a “movement” you need to be in a institution, a circuit where you believe in musical categories as an ID, or to be mentioned by certain kind of specialized media or to have support of  the industry or something. I prefer to see myself as maker of popular music, period. Actually I see myself filling the gap in between the wall that Schoeneberg told Cage about, the one he was going to collide with and which he aimed for. For me this is were the boundaries of “experimental” and popular music get blured and the 2 become one: interpenetration of sounds and also where there is no need to be a  devotee to the perfect beat. This is the challenge, the goal  for me: pop music with a heavy dose of quotations of experimental music not just noise in the beginning and end of a song!!!. I do not believe in the avantgarde nowadays, it´ s naïve, innocent to talk about that. To truly believe in categories and be devoted exclusively to one genre is too romantic, outdated, now matter how extreme the genre might be.
What’s your view on the music scene at present?
IT´S OK! The problem is that there is so much stuff going around that is impossible to get in touch with everything. Is there a crisis? Yeah! But as usual it is related to the way a musician makes a living (this is related to the issue of mp3 free downloads etc). But also that there are too many people doing music isolated, thanks to the accesibilty of technology there is a big crisis. The participation with differents musicians seems have no space, it´s not so regular.

What does the term „new“ mean to you in connection with music?
Media Journalists that need to talk about a scene to make a living.

How do you see the relationship between sound and composition?
Differents words to talk about the same thing.

How strictly do you separate improvising and composing?
They go together.

What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion?

The one that achieves the intended goals, entertains u or changes your life.

What’s your approach to performing on stage?
I aim for having a good time, no holes in betweens. If at the end of a show I feel really exhausted but happy, I´m satisfied.

A lot of people feel that some of the radical experiments of modern compositions can no longer be qualified as “music”. Would you draw a border – and if so, where?
NO, there is no border, but in the name of modern and experimental music, tons of pure shit are played, composed, released , listened to and reviewed. And this is only pure shit, done by people who  need to believe or feel that they are special or exclusive or something and whose work is focused on an audience who needs to feel  special too.

Are “serious” and “popular” really two different types of music or just empty words without a meaning?

Popular means  something that u can sing or beat along to. Serious music means a smaller circuit where there are  really fewer chances to sing along.

Do you feel an artist has a certain duty towards anyone but himself? Or to put it differently: Should art have a political/social or any other aspect apart from a personal sensation?
It always has,  every work have a political/social statement whether u like it or not, just because it exists. Regardless of whether u are aware of it or not.

True or false: People need to be educated about  music, before they can really appreciate it.
False, someone could  be more open, curious to experience different styles of music, Others they will only enjoy a stretch agenda of music that they have access to only by the media.

Imagine a situation in which there’d be no such thing as copyright and everybody were free to use musical material as a basis for their own compositions – would that be an improvement to the current situation?
I´ve already been doing that for the last 15 years! And I never had a problem. Problems will arise if your music start to sell, in other words when you are making money with samples of others, that´ s when legal problems appear. If you don’t, who gives a shit?

You are given the position of artistic director of a festival. What would be on your program?
Let’s see, this question is kind of make a wish list, ok: Avoiding any logical profile, today I feel in the mood to invite:
Esther Venrooy,
Tv Pow,
George CLINTON ,
Shiv kumar Sharma,
Djavan gasparyan quartet,
John Duncan,
Los mirlos,

Many artists dream of a “magnum opus”. Do you have a vision of what yours would sound like?
Never, I don’t believe in art with capital letters. I believe that my “magnum opus” is the continuation and development of my own way, the trace that keeps me doing music.


As C.D.:
Yo Vibro (1999) Dial Sinfin
C.D. + Lens Cleaner (2001) The Ceiling
Un piano en la garganta (2003) Drone Records

As Earzumba:
Playback Emotivo (2003) Locus of Assemblage
Hermoso Movimiento/Florece Escondido (2004) Dial Sinfin
Afuera de la naranja (2005) Audiobot
Simulando un refugio (2005) Old Gold
Psichotruchas around the world (2005) Zeromoon
Bestia Infernal (2006) Dial Sinfin

Christian Dergarabedian / Earzumba

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