Could you take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your work? Do you have a fixed schedule? How do music and other aspects of your life feed back into each other - do you separate them or instead try to make them blend seamlessly?
I try to keep a morning routine, but the rest of the day can vary. I love the morning, I wake up around 06:00/06:30 maximum and without alarm, I make myself a Mate (an herb from South America with similar coffee effects but less invasive) and I do meditation for about thirty minutes, then fruit breakfast and another 40 minutes of exercises which can be some KM run outdoor or online training indoor. All of this doesn't work on a Monday after a heavy weekend on the road. Anyway at 08:30 am I am ready to start the day. It depends if I have to do logistics; making decisions, answering emails, writing interviews.
Organising releases on my label means that that day I will listen to promos, I will select music for the DJ sets, I will make some calls, perhaps I will go out for lunch or dinner with my girlfriend or friends, I will walk in the park. When, on the other hand, my mind is free from logistic duties, at 08:30 I will enter my studio and from there I can either be locked for the entire day or days, except to eat and do other meditations in the afternoons. At 22:30 I’m in bed, whatever happens!
Could you describe your creative process on the basis of a piece or album that's particularly dear to you, please? Where did the ideas come from, how were they transformed in your mind, what did you start with and how do you refine these beginnings into the finished work of art?
With pleasure. I will take as an example one of my tracks published on Plus 8 records, ‘Multiverse’, but the methodology can be applied to most of my works. My ideas always depend on some factors: How do I feel that day? What is happening at that precise moment on an astrological level? What kind of worries or joys am I having in those days? And finally, what is the weather like outside? All this and probably much more condition my approach to the frequency and melody that I want to use, based on the studies on which frequencies stimulate which chakras, which tones are more positive than others and so on. Each mood corresponds to a vibration / frequency, each frequency corresponds to a number and each combination of numbers corresponds to a musical chord! So I start strictly from the bassline - kick - synths tuned to the frequency I want. The creation of ‘Multiverse' was really a pleasure. Everything fitted perfectly, and in a short time with that track I can really say that I entered a beautiful flow - in two days it was done and it’s one of my best works, in my opinion.
There are many descriptions of the ideal state of mind for being creative. What is it like for you? What supports this ideal state of mind and what are distractions? Are there strategies to enter into this state more easily?
Without a doubt: being present. When we let ourselves be controlled by thoughts about the future, or we mull over past things, we are certainly not in a state of flow. It is no longer a secret that our mind can be our worst obstacle. So every day, through meditation, I try to be "present". When I am present I am in a state of abundance because everything, from being alive to a ray of sunshine that enters the window, with every breath, I am grateful for my life. When I am grateful for everything and everyone, then I can draw on the creative energy that permeates everything and that obviously is also within each of us at all times.
Precisely for this reason it is impossible for me to create music with a label in mind. I must also be free from that in order to do what really comes from within me. Beside meditation another great tool is a walk in the park or even a run as long as it’s in nature. That always brings me back to the present moment which equals: Creativity!
How is playing live and writing music in the studio connected? What do you achieve and draw from each experience personally? How do you see the relationship between improvisation and composition in this regard?
Well, I think they are highly connected and at the same time they don't necessarily have to be. Let me explain. When I play a freshly made track on a big sound system I can understand what and if I have to change something, I can read the audience's reaction and obviously my emotion in the face of all this. However, I noticed that during periods of many gigs, I can't draw on creativity in the studio, the pure one. I think it is because I am conditioned by all the music I play during a DJ set and also by the DJs who play before or after me - I always like to go before or stay a bit to listen. Then again from the airports, the travels, people I meet and so on. I have to wait for a moment of tranquillity to process everything, then be able to access my creativity.
I can't tell you what relationship there is between improvisation and composition. However, for me they are in this order: A DJ set is complete improvisation. Studio work is composition.
How do you see the relationship between the 'sound' aspects of music and the 'composition' aspects? How do you work with sound and timbre to meet certain production ideas and in which way can certain sounds already take on compositional qualities?
I think it's all about processing. I can start with a sample of a raccoon made with any synth. When you start to model it, apply effects, throw it on another machine, turn it back .. here that simple sound can become a carrier for that track without even have to pass by the “composition” stage. Depends of the track too. If I want to create something weird it’s about processing, when I want things to be more clear, then composition is essential.
Our sense of hearing shares intriguing connections to other senses. From your experience, what are some of the most inspiring overlaps between different senses - and what do they tell us about the way our senses work? What happens to sound at its outermost borders?
We often tend to want to distinguish things and label them, it is in our nature, but instead, everything is interconnected. At least that's what I've understood during my life so far. A sound, a frequency, a song - they all produce emotions. Emotions can provoke a tangible body reaction, from relaxation to heat palpitations with a simple musical chord.
Have you seen the study regarding the shapes of water molecules in relation to the sound waves facing it? Unbelievable. Harmonic chords make molecules take on magnificent geometric shapes. Disharmonious chords and annoying sounds, on the other hand, cause chaos. We are 70% composed of water, now think about what a musical note can cause to our body and probably also to the spirit? Sound is therapy and now is scientifically proven. I have personally had out of body experiences only with sound. It’s pure magic.
Art can be a purpose in its own right, but it can also directly feed back into everyday life, take on a social and political role and lead to more engagement. Can you describe your approach to art and being an artist?
Well, I am a collection of many things, from billions of cells, to the soul, to my experiences. But I am like all the rest of the people, and we are all artists in something. Art is everywhere. We continually create everything around us, and this is the fundamental thing for me. I have no approach to being an artist, I have conferred with my Ego several times and we agreed that the less I think about "being" an artist, the better it is for both of us!
It is remarkable, in a way, that we have arrived in the 21st century with the basic concept of music still intact. Do you have a vision of music, an idea of what music could be beyond its current form?
I wish there were more studies and funds to deepen research on the healing power of sound on the human body and the environment. You will take me as a crazy person but I am convinced that sooner or later we will be able to understand a lot about sound, up until we can program devices that can shape matter through frequencies. We and matter are vibration as the atoms literally vibrate creating the form ... since music is vibration I see a very clear connection here! There is much evidence that ancient lost civilisations used sound to move huge boulders or dig caves. Have a look on the web regarding this topic, it’s extremely interesting in my opinion.