Name: BEWIDER (Pierniola di Muro)
Occupation: Music Producer
Current Release: Gymnopedies rework on Wider Studio Music
Recommendation: This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession by Daniel J. Levitin / Call for Winter by Daniel Herskendal Olafur Eliason
You can listen and purchase music, check in on tour date and watch videos at www.bewider.net
When did you start writing/producing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences? What is it about music and/or sound that drew you to it?
From an early age, I have always had a passion for music and for sound specifically. I also loved to record my parents' conversations with a small tape recorder my father had given me. At university, I studied cinema and filmmaking process and from there my passion for music and images became concrete, especially in the creation of a sound that was as cinematic and evocative as possible.
For most artists, originality is first preceded by a phase of learning and, often, emulating others. How would you describe your own development as an artist and the transition towards your own voice? What is the relationship between copying, learning and your own creativity?
Rather than copying to say that the exact term would be, to understand other artists. I believe that listening to other musicians is important to guide personal tastes and identify what your voice is and how to present it. Furthermore, being inspired by others makes you better relate to the concept of compromise.
What were your main compositional- and production-challenges in the beginning and how have they changed over time?
When I produce music, I usually start by throwing down a lot of ideas, at some point I find myself having to rationalize everything to give a clear definition to a more sensible track or concept. This is the hardest part, making sense of what you have instinctively created. It is a process that often contains many frustrations but for me it is necessary to understand which is the right proposal to carry out. The idea is to have a range of things ahead, perhaps sketched out over a longer period of time in which your attitude and approach has changed, from this point to synthesize a unique idea that can enclose this emotional flow that has evolved into a certain time period.
What was your first studio like? How and for what reasons has your set-up evolved over the years and what are currently some of the most important pieces of gear for you?
For me, the studio is not a place but a tool. Just like a cellist is his own cello. Over the years this idea has always been present. I do not come from an academic musical background and my relationship with music as well as from a compositional point of view was also productive and interacting with sound. The need to have a place to work in this sense both creatively and technically has always been important to me. Over the years, compatibly with my economic and working possibilities, I have always built a professional working environment, up to now having a very professional personal studio perfectly suited to my needs. My most important piece of gear remains my studio monitors.
How do you make use of technology? In terms of the feedback mechanism between technology and creativity, what do humans excel at, what do machines excel at?
The most obvious difference is time and not creativity. Technology helps you do and create things in the shortest amount of time. The important thing to understand, however, is that it doesn't get any easier. Even with technology you need learning discipline, patience and the ability to have greater flexibility in approaching new means. It is not necessary to be afraid but to understand that it is always the man who creates and not the machine. Of course, I have to be honest, I got to slightly deepen everything that is being done with artificial intelligence and I must say that while it is an incredible and fascinating progress, it scares me a little.
Production tools, from instruments to complex software environments, contribute to the compositional process. How does this manifest itself in your work? Can you describe the co-author ship between yourself and your tools?
Well, we are in the middle of a situation in which two types of instruments are proposed, on the one hand those who want to emulate existing acoustic and electronic instruments, on the other hand the invention of new instruments capable of doing things that were previously impossible. Honestly, I'm someone who seeks and lets himself be involved by novelties and new approaches and I must say that several times it happens that the discovery or testing of a new tool can give rise to some winning ideas. ITB processes have gone a long way and now the ability to colour the sound effectively, creatively, is increasingly influencing my modus operandi.
Collaborations can take on many forms. What role do they play in your approach and what are your preferred ways of engaging with other creatives through, for example, file sharing, jamming or just talking about ideas?
Collaboration and confrontation with other artists are fundamental for my creative process. It is now common practice for every upcoming release to have a trusted group of people to submit the material to. They are people of extreme trust. It is also very important to involve other musicians in the making of a song when this is possible. Also experiment with improvisation a different instrument that apparently seems to be far from your arrangement. Even in electronics, sharing and experimentation given by working with other musicians is very important.
However, I am also convinced that too many external inputs, too many feedbacks, may not necessarily be useful, you need to have that dose of conviction that it is right to question, but then you have to keep your musical identity alive or at least try to carry it out with respect and belief.