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15 Questions to Mystified

img  Tobias

Hi! How are you? Where are you?
Hello! I am well, thanks. I am currently in Saint Louis, MO USA.


What’s on your schedule right now?
I am between major projects and plan on continuing to write pretty much every day.


You just released “Dark Lacunae” on Nishi. Would you agree with me that this is a perfect match when it comes to the music itself and the philosophy of making and distributing it?
I think the match is nice, too! Nishi is a really neat label. I really like the philosophy of giving music away. My music is fun, I think, but a little off-center, so it never hurts not to have to pay for it!


“Dark Lacunae” is highly diverse. While there can be no doubt that the individual tracks are excellent, weren’t you afraid that the eclecticism could endanger the album’s coherence?
I really wasn't afraid at all -- to me the tracks all have thematic consistencies.


On the other hand, web labels like Nishi offer yourself and other musicians the opportunity to create music without having to check back on its marketability all the time. Is that the freedom you always wanted?
Well, it is nice to have a continuous platform like the one offered by Nishi, indeed. I also like the way ease of distribution helps to encourage me to continue writing a lot. Writing is the name of the game!


How would you describe or characterise your composing process?
I am, right now, into sample sequencing. I like combining sounds created by different artists (or by myself). I also like introducing non-linear elements -- atmospheres, or off-time beats, and such. I have created samples from local sounds too, and I plan on pursuing this direction more very soon.


How do you see the relationship between sound and composition?
Composition is more important, but isn't it nice when a musician cares about sound, too? In this world, even talented composers like Brian Eno might not have made it without attention to sound. . .


What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage?
Well, personally I do not perform live -- yet! Though I plan to. When I go to shows, I am usually looking to relax and have fun, so if that happens, the show I think is a success.


What’s your view on the music scene at present? Is there a crisis?
A popular musician I was writing to who I will call G. told me that there are too many musicians and not enough listeners. So on the one hand you have all of these talented people unable to distribute their music, which can be very frustrating. On the other hand, everyone's kid nephew can pick up a guitar and start a garage band-- and pretty much everybody's nephew does. That's kinda neat, that whoever wants to be in a band can be in one!


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 would love that in many ways. . . but it might be nice for there to be a kind of musical geneology, where interested listeners could trace the origins of different sounds. . .


Some feel there is no need to record albums any more, that there is no such thing as genuinely “new” music. What do you tell them? Is “new” an important aspect of what you want your pieces to be?
There is definitely still "new" music. Even music that does not sound "new" may be making a "new" point. Folks who are struggling with this should probably try a different means of composition -- change instruments, dabble in fractals, and so on. . . one idea I had for myself was to experiment with field recordings, which for me is "new" and I think could be very interesting.


Do you feel an artist has a certain duty towards anyone but himself? Or to put it differently: Should art have a poltical/social or any other aspect apart from a personal sensation?
You can be as political as you want as an artist. Just be aware that that might affect your audience. I think political art definitely has a place in society, and is generally a good thing.


You are given the position of artistic director of a festival. What would be on your program?
I would want to combine sets of pre-recorded music and improvised music. DJing is something I could imagine doing myself, and a set based on ususual indie experimentalia might be nice. I have a friend on the East Coast who does this sort of thing. Since I don't play live, some type of low-level ambient noise or drone improvisation might be nice, too.


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?

I think music is all about creating a certain type of experience. An intrinsic definition is unnecessary. . . if a continous drone or a series of glitchy sounds cause the right kind of reaction, then they are music.


Many artists dream of a “magnum opus”. Do you have a vision of what yours would sound like?
I have an idea, yes. If my field recordings work out, you might hear something like it next year -- let's just say my opus would be very soundscape-ey and give people lots of room to explore.


Discography:
Music For Transit (2002) Soleilmoon Recordings
Deus Irae (2003) Sine Fiction
Transient (2004) Dreamland Recordings
Transient 2 (2004) Dreamland Recordings
Solaris: Seas of Endless (2004) Mbira Records
Distance (2004) Mbira Records
Arctic Isolationism (2004) Mbira Records
Cardboard Bed (2004) Webbed Hand Records
Ancestral Technologies (2004) Webbed Hand Records
Elemental Ragtime (2004) Webbed Hand Records
Rain 1 (2004) Webbed Hand Records
Rain 2 (2004) Webbed Hand Records
Free Passage (2004) Webbed Hand Records
Emanate (2004) Webbed Hand Records
The Hush (2004) Webbed Hand Records
Elemental Spirits (2005) Blue Water Records
The Hand Of Jayanti (2005) Blue Water Records
Dub Shift (2005) 20 kbps Records
Pirate (2005) Enough Records
Felon (2005) Enough Records
Masks And Wires (2005) Mannequin Oddio
Music For Infants (2005) Treetrunk Records
Clockwork (2005) Treetrunk Records
5 Minutes (a history of the world) (2005) Treetrunk Records
Fabrication (2005) Treetrunk Records
Screams In Space (2005) Treetrunk Records
Ophir (2005) Darkwinter Records
Chaosia (2005) Batman And Robin Records
Machines 2 (2005) Benekkea Records
Spacewater (2005) Benekkea Records
Constant 7 (2005) TZP Drone Company
The Hand Of Jayanti (2005) (cdr) Transceover Productions
Dark Lacunae (2005) Nishi
Vagabond (2005) Infinite Sector
Rain 3 (2005) Webbed Hand Records
Wind Hands (2005) Webbed Hand Records
Constant (2005) Webbed Hand Records
Intrigue (2005) Webbed Hand Records

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