How strictly do you separate improvising and composing?
I would have said that they are very separate entities before. But now, with my new set-up, they are starting to get more friendly. Of course, improvising is the part of making music that gives you freedom of expression and the composing part is a more logical part. So they still need their own space.
How do you see the relationship between sound, space and composition and what are some of your strategies and approaches of working with them?
The relationship between these factors is very tricky, because in most cases in music less is more. It is still something I fight with at times, but the best tracks usually have very few elements. It is all about working the space between these elements in an intelligent, calculated way to keep the listener and yourself interested in the outcome of the piece.
What's your perspective on the relationship between music and other forms of art – painting, video art and cinema, for example – and for you and your work, how does music relate to other senses than hearing alone?
My philosophy on art is that all the senses in our body are longing to be entertained. I think the future of music will be a 360 degree experience that touches all the senses. This is one of the reasons that it was very important for me to have something visual on my label that was as inspiring as the music itself. I really believe that artists of different forms can feed off of each other for a common vision - and often this can challenge them to push their creativity to a new level.
What's your view on the role and function of music as well as the (e.g. political/social/creative) tasks of artists today - and how do you try to meet these goals in your work?
Music can be a very powerful tool in all of these areas and there are some incredibly inspiring artists that I have the highest respect for out there that are capable of intertwining political and social views with their musical operas like Matthew Herbert. I on the other hand, at this moment in my career, am focused on challenging myself in making the truest music possible, something that is a mirror into my emotions. It is a lot of work trying to actually stay true to yourself and find your voice. There are many days that are a real struggle. But then I remember how very fortunate I am to be able to make a living out of my passion.
Listening is also an active, rather than just a passive process. How do you see the role of the listener in the musical communication process?
You are right: listening can be very active, especially if you make dance music. There is something esoteric that happens between the artist and listener, often it can not really be defined. This exchange of passion for a higher form or communication is so strong sometimes that it really can only be described as spiritual.
Reaching audiences usually involves reaching out to the press and possibly working with a PR company. What's your perspective on the promo system? In which way do music journalism and PR companies change the way music is perceived by the public?
I don't think journalism and PR companies can change peoples mind about music. Either you like an EP, album or track or you don't. I do think it is important to have a good PR company to help you get your music out to the proper journalists and artists that can possibly appreciate your music and give you support. I personally am not very good at the whole social media game, so I like the idea of someone helping me to get my label or tracks heard.
Do you have a musical vision that you haven't been able to realise for technical or financial reasons – or an idea of what music itself could be beyond its current form?
I do I have a musical vision of an album that I can't seem to finish because of technical reasons and that being time. I am running my label Sol Asylum since one year and I follow the whole process from mastering, artwork to distribution, so it is very difficult to balance my studio time at the moment. But I am a firm believer in all things happening in the right time without being forced. So I feel positive this will come out in my near future.
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