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15 Questions to Michael "Atonal" Vick

img  Tobias

Hi! How are you? Where are you?
Hello, I am doing great, and I don’t give my position out unless I am performing.

What’s on your schedule right now?
Well, I have recently been recording and doing some shows with an artist who goes by Electro Acoustic Drummer, and he will be contributing to my track for the upcoming CD Compilation.

What or who was your biggest influence as an artist? Do you see yourself as part of a certain tradition or as part of a movement?
The fact that I appreciate a variety of sounds has influenced my approach to composing and improvising. I feel am part of the current fretless guitar movement, and through the fretless guitar I can help spread the word of tunings outside of the 12-TET.

What’s your view on the music scene at present? Is there a crisis?
The current the music scene that I follow is thriving with the artists and listeners being given the true gift of creativity.

No but I do feel that our world is in a crisis of misguided leaders and diets.

What does the term „new“ mean to you in connection with music?
New music means sounds never heard before. Sounds meaning every facet of music from rhythm, harmony, tunings etc. for example there are acoustic sounds that could of been produced Centuries ago, but we never heard them directly because they were not recorded.

How do you see the relationship between sound and composition?
Sound and composition go hand and hand with me. Being a composer is utilizing sounds as a means of expression.

How strictly do you separate improvising and composing?

It really depends on the type of project, but in the end they are closely related until I decided to stick with an idea and add too it.

What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage?
Well, it must sound good to me first off and getting paid always helps too. I like to rehearse before shows so I can communicate my ideas properly. I also like to be in tune, and this can sometimes involve seven instruments approximately in tune together.

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 and have at it!

Are “serious” and “popular” really two different types of music or just empty words without a meaning?
I feel that so many words get thrown around with the arts, but to me music can simultaneously be popular and serious. I mean some music can be groovin’ and not popular but still serious.

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?
No but it is good to be aware of your surroundings. All music will reflect the current time and that is not to say that some artists might try to deceive it. Most of the time one can break down a whole theory through one of my tunes and in the next song hear out of tune beauty about taking refuse to the corner, peace.

True or false: People need to be educated about music, before they can really appreciate it.

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?
No. May I pose a question back? If Sony sells discs with so and so artist’s samples and one makes a “hit” song with them, is that really your art?

You are given the position of artistic director of a festival. What would be on your program?
Check the NYC Fretless Guitar Festival and that should be a good idea of a low budget type of program I am into, yet it still retains a lot of meat.

Many artists dream of a “magnum opus”. Do you have a vision of what yours would sound like?
Yes, it is extremely long with harmonic passages of beauty and pain with flurries of silence and various non-attack sounds from instruments they are not typically associated with.

Inciting-Freedom w/ Sampled-Loops Of LOVE
Free Master-Bass-tion
Hectic-Eclectic Guitar Masterworks Vol. 1
Dynamic Intentions With Marginal Sleep

Michael Vick
Michael Vick at MySpace

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