RSS feed RSS Twitter Twitter Facebook Facebook 15 Questions 15 Questions

15 Questions to Pawel Grabowski

img  Tobias

Hi! How are you? Where are you? 
Hi! I'm in my studio in Dublin, Ireland. It's raining outside and it's a bit cold.... but apart from that it's OK. 

What’s on your schedule right now? 
Not much at the moment. I took some time off from composing after the release of "Notes from the House of Dead" in January, and  just now I started to make first initial notes for new material. I have two releases scheduled for this year,  "Kissing evil ghosts goodbye", an e.p. for Dark Winter recs. and "Eva Hitler's Favorite Drama", a CD for Cohort, both labels from the US. "Kissing..." will be out in august, as for "Eva..." there's no fixed date yet. 

What or who was your biggest influence as an artist?
To me influence or inspiration is something that helped me to drew my ideas, opinions, to formulate my views. I guess out of that theatre would be one thing. I absolutely love theatre. Also literature, Dylan Thomas, who's my favorite writer. German philosophy of the end of 18th and start of the 19th century.... History, WWII especially. German history as well. As for the musical inspiration, well, I do not spend much time on listening to music. And very rarely I discover something new. 

Do you see yourself as part of a certain tradition or as part of a movement? 
No and I wouldn't like to. 

What’s your view on the music scene at present? Is there a crisis? 
I don't spend much time researching the scene, I am hardly in touch with any scene, so it's really hard for me to answer this question.  

What does the term „new“ mean to you in connection with music? 
Nothing. I do not try to reinvent the wheel.  

How do you see the relationship between sound and composition?
Strangely enough because I use electronic set up and field recordings, found sounds to compose music I'm very often mistaken with sound artists, therefore being asked questions about my ideology towards sound etc. I am actually as far from being a sound artist as it is possible. I write music, very often about my very personal experiences, emotions. And it just happened that for that I use field recordings, found sounds etc. But to me it's the message that's important, sound only carries this message.


How strictly do you separate improvising and composing? 
I do not improvise, so probably very strictly. I went that road once with "Glitch Letters" album, but even though I was improvising, I'd still have some parts pre-set and I'd still try to plan, structure the whole thing before playing it. So I basically decided it's not for me, I get more satisfaction from composing. 

What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage? 
Well, I do not perform live anymore, so there's no approach really for me. I kind of grew tired of it. it wasn't giving me much of a satisfaction.

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? 
My God, so that discussion is still on?  I thought the world has grown up to leave that behind.... 

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

Again, to me it's an another pointless discussion that many people waste valuable time on. In my view music is judged subjectively by two factors, "I like it" or "I don't like it".

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?
I believe that everyone should do what they feel they should.

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?
What is wrong with the current situation that it has to be improved?  

You are given the position of artistic director of a festival. What would be on your program? 
I actually was, twice. But I these days the program would be much different than in the past. You see I do  not listen to much of contemporary/classical music anymore, so I wouldn't have many artists from that area playing. I'd probably go for artists who write very personal music, who express themselves through their music. As for names, I'd love to see Sol Invictus in full line up live, so they'd probably be on top of my list. 

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

No, I just want my next record be better than the last. In other words I want to develop my musical language, learn new ways to express myself through music....

Diarakth (Laub records) 2002
Glitch Letters (Sine Records) 2004
Cirr's Songs (Drone Records) 2005
Arh (Mystery Sea) 2005
Notes from the House of Dead (Silence is not empty) 2006


Pawel Grabowski

Related articles

15 Questions to Jos Smolders
The oeuvre of Jos Smolders ...
Interview with Richard Lainhart 2
Richard has never really been ...
15 Questions to Antonio della Marina
For seven years, Antonio della ...
15 Questions to Paul Bradley
Generally speaking (which is always ...
15 Questions to John Duncan
John Duncan Biography #1: After ...
15 Questions to Jason Kahn
Quite obviously, rules and stereotypes ...
15 Questions to Brendan Pollard
One of the reasons, why ...
15 Questions to DAC Crowell
David Rosenboom may not be ...
Interview with Diamanda Galas
For some odd reason, the ...
15 Questions to Mathias Grassow
Everybody loves to claim that ...
15 Questions to Steve Jolliffe
Some people will get all ...

Partner sites