Name: Bruno Pronsato
Bands & Projects: Archangel, Half Hawaii, NDF, Others, Public Lover
Labels: Foom, Perlon, Hello? Repeat, DFA
Musical Recommendation: Peter Gordon, Oliver Coates
When did you start writing/producing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences?
I started producing music around 2000. At that time I was just getting into the whole electronic thing. I was mainly listening to the stuff coming out on Mego, Raster-Noton and Mille Plateaux. I was pretty much into every release those labels put out around that time.
What do you personally consider to be the incisive moments in your artistic work and/or career?
I feel like all of my work up until Why Can't We Be Like Us?, was warm-up material. It wasn't until I moved to Berlin from Seattle that I came into my own as a producer. In Seattle, I had been working a 9 to 5 which left very little time for music. After the move I had all this free time, I was able to explore a bit more and refine the sound I had imagined myself making. Then came, The Make Up The Break Up. It was the first time I had used someone else's music (It Was A Pleasure Then by Nico) in my own. Most recently the Archangel stuff. I have somehow managed to veer a bit from what I'm known for, and in the process dig into and transform a lot of my childhood favourites into my own sound.
What are currently your main compositional- and production-challenges?
At the moment, mainly cobbling a lot of the ideas I have musically into one cohesive piece. Right now, I am working on a suite with my friend Yonatan Levi. The challenge that I am facing now is putting a lot of our ideas together so that they flow into one moving story. We have everything from classic jazz to disco as separate ideas, but I really would like to find a way to combine those tracks where they flow into one another and don't just sound stitched together.
What do you usually start with when working on a new piece?
It's usually simply a sound. Sometimes I'll spend a few days just working with a synthesizer, exploring sounds. When I finally get a sound that I like then I typically proceed from there. Though lately, doing the Archangel stuff, I find that having a nice lyric helps. Lyrics seem to set the mood for the tracks most recently. I'm enjoying letting the words set the temperament of the track.
How strictly do you separate improvising and composing?
I really don't separate the two. A lot of times a great arrangement might come out of a small studio jam. From that session sometimes you can go in a lot of different directions whereas a lot of times mapping things out might seem a bit contrived. That's not to say that a composition might start very gruelingly and wind up in a very loose end-product.
How do you see the relationship between sound, space and composition?
In all of my compositions I think one of the elements that is most important is having space. And by that I don't mean that it has to be minimal, I mean that it has to have some feeling of airiness to it. It must sound as if it has its own life within the sounds surrounding it. It's almost as if the whole thing has to sound like all the elements are existing on different planes, but existing together in a very natural way.
Do you feel it important that an audience is able to deduct the processes and ideas behind a work purely on the basis of the music? If so, how do you make them transparent?
I don't think that a listener, in general terms, has to really be involved with process. For me, music can exist on that level and it's interesting, but music, in my opinion, should exist as its own entity. Free from process. I would like to think that the greater majority of listeners listen because they enjoy music - free of form and process.
I tend to go into a composition because it strikes me as something that I would like to be share with the world and I think that endeavour makes it transparent.