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Strië: Spending days in different worlds

img  Tobias Fischer

Pianist Glenn Gould compared the mood at concerts to those at a Roman gladiator fight. Was this impression of things not being about the music but spectacle also at the heart of your decision to quit the circus?
I can understand what Glenn Gould meant by drawing that comparison. However it's all about talking with music. In any kind of music you can find actors - sometimes acting more than playing - and people who are too shy to stop trembling. However, I've always hoped that music would rather be focused on the sounds and less on heroes .
Performing classical music is scary. Most of the time, you are playing pieces which have already been interpreted thousands of times before. You need to be a genius to play it differently or at least good enough to copy some of them. And you need to be strong enough to take all the criticism even from people who are not musicians but have merely heard you play a piece on CD. Maybe I was just too weak to keep going. But most of all, the feeling that I was facing a border I just couldn't cross – imposed on me by, for example, the score or even a particular style – felt dissatisfying.
Fortunately, I never wanted to leave music altogether. I know I couldn't, as my life is based on it. However, it took me quite a while to find my own path. Of course, it's always about searching anyway - and I've never stopped trying.

A debut, for most musicians, marks their „stepping into the light“. It's interesting, then, that you've named your first album „hidden“.
My main aim for Sléptis was to tell the story about being „beside“ reality. It's more like a mental state – anyone familiar with the sensation of searching for a place to hide and find their real identity will be able to relate to it. Kind of situations when you feel alone in the crowd or you are simulating sleep to not talk to anyone and avoid questions which can not be answered. But despite all this, you are accepting your alterity, that what you see doesn't have to be the truth for others. This is what the album is about: Loosing and finding meaning inside yourself.

Were you were producing electronic music all the time, even while still on the classical music scene?

It's hard to pinpoint exactly, but I think I've been working on electronic music for six years. Before that, it was more about composing scores. Sléptis is the result of a pretty long process, almost three years in all, making music and taking decisions. Even though my music is very personal, I wanted to share it with others. It was my boyfriend who convinced me to send it to some labels and probably it wouldn't have happened without him.

In how far were early collaborations with Pjusk and Greg Haines important for finding your own voice as Strië?

Hmm... It was great to work with Pjusk and touring with Greg, I feel like we are good friends now. I think that every meeting, every co-operation is bringing some new emotions to the table. It doesn't have to be quite that obvious or a direct influence on my music. Encounters like these just make your eyes "wider" and your ears more sensitive to sounds. I'm not sure if Pjusk are planning to release the other tracks we recorded together. To be honest, I do hope so - but it's up to them to decide whether they feel they are good enough to appear somewhere else.

Intriguingly, the themes of the album sought you out rather than vice versa. Could you describe that process?
(laughs) I still think it works like that. So it's hard for me to call myself a composer or producer. When I'm sitting in front of the computer, I'm loosing the feeling that music is happening because of me. I rather use my ears, hands and sensitivity and allow them to complete its shape. Spending hours and days in a different world, just hidden somewhere inside - it's both a concept  and a desire.

So the relevance of things which can not be immediately grasped is extremely important in your music in general?
I think that for many artists, missing something is a greater spark for creativity than a feeling of satisfaction. And that, I believe, was also the way things worked for me... I know it sounds as though it's impossible to achieve happiness, as being satisfied means not being imaginative. But that's not the truth. It just requires finding new modes to describe such a state of mind.

Your music is of a highly immersive and dream-like nature. Pieces like this mostly either take ages to refine or arrive through sudden outbursts of inspiration. Which of the two was closer to the truth for the music on „Sléptis“, would you say?
Even though I feel that I'm not really part of the process of making music and it's appearing by itself (laughs), I know that the main thing is the sound. The color, harmony and the mood of the short samples I'm using... It's inspiring to collect them and combine them with other sounds and integrate them into the structure. It is a "sudden outburst". It's like waking up with the conviction "it will happen today". And then you really need to prepare some coffee, because when you boot up your computer, you are already lost and spend at least half a day without going to the kitchen.

The term „cinematic“ takes on multiple roles on the album. Do you see connections between the visual and the sonic?
Some people are finding a color for each sound or harmony, but I just want to see a story or just an "action shot". It's inspiring mostly in terms of creating music, but it also helps for hearing more details... you name it. If you take this concept as your departure point, it is much easier to develop a track or to understand what should happen over the course of its duration.

Homepage: Strië
Homepage: Soundscaping Records

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