Name: Emme Moises
Occupation: Producer, sound artist, event technician
Current Release: Emme Moises's Talking To The Spheres is out via Modularfield.
Software: ADPTR Metric AB
Great VST that I use on the master out of my DAW, whether while composing, producing a live set or the occasional masterings I do. It’s great to have visual aid on how the frequency spectrum is behaving, measure loudness, check stereo (left and right) balance. One of the best features is that you can add a song/composition from another artist and do a great A/B comparison, which is always useful to get a better result and be a bit closer to The Sound that I want to ultimately achieve.
Gear: Moog Subsequent 37
2 years ago I was able to get my first Moog synthesizer, fulfilling a dream of having one of these incredible instruments. I love how versatile it is and the depth of the oscillators. Also that filter knob is just perfect, I cant stop moving it around! Always one hand on it :) I have recorded most my electronic bass sounds with this synth.
It is so fun to play “as live” with this synth, creating acid-like modulations, bright leads and ambient textures. The step sequencer is quite interesting, with the possibility for up to 64 steps and using duo mode to have 2 pitches playing simultaneously.
First thing I did after getting it was create a composition only using this synth, stacking sounds and notes on top of each other, to create a chord-like scifiscape that resulted in the song “...and they decided” included on my upcoming album. The piece is completed by an amazing cello performance by Samaquias Lorta.
If you enjoyed this interview with Emme Moises, visit her official website for more music, and recent updates. She's also on Instagram, and Soundcloud.
What was your first studio like?
My first studio back in Córdoba, Argentina, was a rehearsal and recording room called Groovers Studio, were I worked for a few years, from the construction of it (walls, acoustic treatment, gear selection) until we had bands coming over to rehearse, record and that was the main place where I spent most of my time, rehearsed/composed with the the first reggae and punk bands I had and later on where my first electronic music project was created.
After that I moved back home and had a small room in the back of my house. It was really minimal but so nice and special because it was my own space, where I could be loud, and me and work at any hour/any day. Access to equipment was very limited for me at that time, partly because of living in Argentina (this was 7,8 years ago), but mostly because of money. I didn't have any, ha.
My first “synth” was a free app on my phone called Alchemy, the first DAW I learned Nuendo 4, until I could acquire a big CPU computer, get Ableton live, some midi controllers, very good headphones and decent enough speakers.
A studio can be as minimal as a laptop with headphones and as expansive as a multi-room recording facility. Which studio situation do you personally prefer – and why?
For me, all studio situations are great, for different reasons.
Limitations as just a laptop and headphones make you think differently than going to a big recording studio. Sometimes when you are composing or editing, it is good to have less tools to distract you. And the portability of a laptop computer is amazing, you can make music traveling by train or in a cafe!
When going to a big studio you need to have a purpose for why you are there and understand the studio workflow and its tools. The most important thing is feeling comfortable where you are working, and having good headphones to listen through :)
Having my own studio space, outside from home and acoustically treated has made me incredibly happy in the last 2 years, and has improved my workflow greatly.
Last year I was fortunate enough to go to Hansa Studios to do the final analog sum mix of my upcoming album Talking To the Spheres. It was an incredible experience to listen to your creations through that emblematic desk in that room. And thanks to that we (together with the sound engineer and music co producer) achieved the 70s psychedelic sound aesthetic I was looking for.
But I also had lots of fun and made lots of progress while having only a little desk in my tiny bedroom. Just make music with what you have, wherever you are, all is valid, depending on the result you want to achieve.
How would you describe the relationship between technology and creativity for your work? Using a recent piece as an example, how do you work with your production tools to achieve specific artistic results?
I have always created conceptual works, starting with my first music projects, and technology has enhanced as well as developed further the creative ideas I had. Having a new tool or even just reading about new advances in tech makes me come up with a new approach, discover and investigate mechanisms that I might not have known before.
Technology has favored complex creations by single individuals, and as a female artist this has been of great importance, to express myself without anyone putting limits or barriers to who I am. That is one of the main reasons why I am so in love with electronic instruments.
Lately I am more immersed in multimedia projects, especially if they involve collaborating with other creative minds.
The first single release from my upcoming album “Talking To The Spheres” is called “Interrupted Communication” and comes with an animated music video that was made by visual artist Alina Mocanca, utilizing Unreal Engine. For this piece I sought to work with her, I even had it on my mind while finishing the composition. Knowing her work creating 3D environments, I thought it would finish completing the scifi/virtual idea of the song.
Production tools can already suggest compositional ideas on their own. How much of your music is based on concepts and ideas you had before entering the studio, how much of it is triggered by equipment, software and apps?
When I'm composing music for an album, like my upcoming vinyl one “Talking To The Spheres”, I always like to think of a concept or story. I write a lot, think, read, analyze and have a lot of input coming in, from sounds, books and my own thoughts and perceptions on the world.
Even reading manuals and researching more about the gear I am going to use, even if I already know it, there’s always smth to learn from the synthesizers and instruments. I believe by doing that, when it's time to sit down and create, all of that information is already internalized and will come out one way or another through the music.
I do sometimes want to achieve a very specific sound or composition and use the tool that will best achieve that. For example on my ambient EP “wewerelost” I worked a lot with the Nord synth that my friend Simone would bring to jam at the studio. After several sessions jamming, that instrument inspired the whole concept of dark-loneliness that this EP has.
That was not planned, it was what the instrument suggested to us after playing it.
In the past years I have been submerging myself in the modular world, in a way to free myself from certain constraints I’ve been feeling towards electronic music, and the instrument itself is leading the way.
Especially with this modular, I feel it's the instrument telling me what to do or where to go, not the other way around. And I like that feeling of letting go of absolute control. There are parameters, cables going here and there, but the modules dictate the path.
How do you retain an element of surprise for your own work – are there technologies which are particularly useful in this regard?
Since I think we are living in such an interesting time technologically wise and socio / political / environment wise there are always surprises coming along. The job of the creator is incredibly interesting, I even find it hard to keep up with all the new tools and experimental tech that is appearing. It's all just fantastic, it feels the creative world is turning into an endless pool of experimentation.
And I want to do/try everything!
My latest experiments are coming from the side of spatial audio and A/V projects, having worked too long mostly alone and in the stereo music field. It is time for me to advance to crazy collaborations on multimedia and the spatialization of sound for immersive experiences.
To some, the advent of AI and 'intelligent' composing tools offers potential for machines to contribute to the creative process. Do you feel as though technology can develop a form of creativity itself? Is there possibly a sense of co-authorship between yourself and your tools?
I call my music science fiction music, partly because of the machines and technology that I use to create this music, which enabled humans to create complex compositions and artworks and perform them. Also, because it gives me freedom to create whatever I want inside the realm of music (and art).
We are already becoming cyborgs, our intertwinement with machines is getting closer and deeper every day.
I believe these machines, the synthesizers I use, have their own personality, my Matriarch in my studio played by me is not the same instrument as when it is used by someone else. We humans give “humanlike” meaning to the objects that we cherish. The tools we use are a form of creativity in itself, they have their own characteristics, limitations, moods, and that also feeds your creativity, so I think it is a back and forth between us and the machine.
With the advance of AI and technology, my generation has seen an intense evolution of what it means to exist in this world, and I feel that this stage is still a discovery/try out stage, and I really hope we focus the use of these technological tools in a new positive way in communion with our natural world.
I'm very curious to see where we will go in terms of the collaboration between AI/humans. Maybe this finally means liberation from certain absurd laws / restrictions / who-owns-what in creative work and produces a huge advancement towards a positive (even protopian) future.