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HI! HOW ARE YOU? WHERE ARE YOU? I’m fine thanks. I’m at home in Chicago (Evanston, technically – a suburb of Chicago). THE SO.CAL.SONIC IS RIGHT AHEAD. WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR PERFORMANCE? I’ll be performing along with Glenn Bach, the organiser of the festival. He and I have worked on many projects together for my net.label, and last year he and I began working on a collaborative project called Two Cities. It uses field recordings, drawings, and objects we’ve each made or acquired on our daily commutes – we both walk to work, and we began matching up our daily experiences, keeping track of the distances we walk and the sonic and visual elements we each experience in our seperate cities. We’ll each be performing a short solo set on laptops and then finally duetting, all by using the source material from our walks. ON A MORE GENERAL LEVEL: WHAT CONSTITUTES A GOOD LIVE SHOW IN YOUR OPINION? WHAT’S YOUR APPROACH TO PERFORMING ON STAGE? A good live show, in general, is one that makes me think as well as not think, something that I can lose track of my everyday concerns and get lost in the performance. A good live show of my own work usually involves a patient and attentive audience, as my work is very quiet. I approach live performance as a meditative exercise, so I’m very focused on what I’m doing rather than trying to physically entertain people – I mainly perform with a laptop, so visually I’m not that exciting, which is why I like to incorporate video into my performances as often as possible. I know many artists doing the type of work I do feel this is a compromise or a cop-out, but I think it genuinely adds to the experience, as long as the video is complementary to the sound and produced with the sonic material in mind. WHICH OF THE CONCERTS OF THE OTHER ARTISTS WILL YOU DEFINITELY ATTEND? Unfortunately I’m travelling to Long Beach from Chicago, so I won’t be able to make it for the entire festival. But I will definitely be watching all of the Friday and Saturday acts. I’m looking forward to it, I’m not familiar with many of the artists performing either of those nights, so I’m excited to hear what they’re doing. I’m orignally a drummer, so I’m very interested in seeing I Heart Lung and Brad Dutz’ Obliteration Quartet. I’ve heard some of Marcos Fernandes’ work, he’s a well-respected field recorder and I’m very much looking forward to his performance. WHAT OR WHO WAS YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCE AS AN ARTIST? It’s hard to say because there have been so many, but if I have to narrow it down to one person it would have to be Brian Eno. His approach to music and sound opened me up to a whole new way of thinking. He’s one of the few artists I can think of whose work really did change my life in a profound, significant way. WHAT’S YOUR VIEW ON THE EXPERIMENTAL MUSIC SCENE AT PRESENT? IS THERE A CRISIS? Maybe not in a crisis, but I think it’s definitely in a period of transition – which, technically, I think it should always be in a perpetual state of transition, since by its very nature it should be seeking new ideas. MULTIMEDIA: A SOLUTION TO ALL PROBLEMS OR A CURSE? It’s certainly not the solution to all problems. When was the last time that multimedia fed a malnourished person? It’s not a curse either, but I do think it may be overrated. A lot of people seem obsessed with making “multimedia pieces” just because they think it’s what we’re supposed to be doing now that modernism is supposedly dead and buiried. But I think modernism’s still got a few breaths left in it. 😉 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? If music not being “new” was an excuse to ban making records, then there never would have been any records in the first place. Everything is based on the past, whether it’s directly influenced by it or whether it outright rejects it and pushes forward. All art is recycled to a certain extent. Personally, I would prefer to watch living people struggle with what it means to make art today than to simply allow myself to lapse into the laziness of only appreciating old art. HOW DO YOU SEE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SOUND AND COMPOSITION? Well, as the concepts relate to my own work, what I do sonically is something between composition and improvisation. Most of the pieces that I perform live are only partially created in advance, for example I know what sounds or field recordings I’ll be using for a certain piece, but I may decide during the performance to radically change them, or the order that they are incorporated into the piece, or will manipulate them in a way that I’ve never done until the moment of performance. I have a lot of beginnings of pieces worked out in advance but the middles and endings are spontaneous. So I do feel very strongly that my work is composed, yet I also feel very strongly that accidents should be incorporated into the final work whenever possible. TRUE OR FALSE: IT IS THE DUTY OF AN ARTIST TO PUT HIS PERSONAL EMOTIONS INTO THE MUSIC HE PLAYS. True for me. False for some others, most likely. TRUE OR FALSE: “MUSIC IS MY FIRST LOVE” False. Drawing was my first love, which is why a lot of the music I make is based on the confluence of sonic and visual art. TRUE OR FALSE: PEOPLE NEED TO BE EDUCATED ABOUT MUSIC, BEFORE THEY CAN REALLY APPRECIATE IT. Absolutely false. Go back to punk. Go back to the Beatles. Go back to any number of naive musicians throughout history. Musical amateurs have been responsible for some of the most highly regarded music on the planet. YOU ARE GIVEN THE POSITION OF ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF A FESTIVAL YOURSELF. WHAT WOULD BE ON YOUR PROGRAM FOR THIS SEASON? I think it would contain as many of the artists on as possible, as well as some other people like Bernhard Günter, Eliane Radigue, Günter Müller, Taylor Deupree, Christina Kubisch, Bang on a Can and Steve Reich (if I had a budget!). I’d also love to mix in some pop as well, people like Paul Weller or Marshall Crenshaw, old guys with guitars who still make great music. Give me David Bowie, Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed, John Cale, Outkast, Prince and Portishead as well…I’d love to see a festival that switched between big bombastic pop/rock and quiet, minimal experimental music. Other people’s heads might explode but I’d be happy. 😉 WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE CD AT THE MOMENT? Right now I’ve been listening to Günter Müller and Otomo Yoshihide’s “Time Travel” on Erstwhile. WHAT’S UP FOR YOU AFTER THE FESTIVAL? I’ve got some shows lined up here in Chicago, and then I’ll be curating an online exhibition on called The Resonant Image, featuring contemporary graphic scores and performances. Weitere Interviews aus dem Experimentell-Elektronischen Bereich siehe auch

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