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?
Although music is my elected form of artistic expression, I’m equally inspired by other forms of art. I don’t separate them. The synaptic impulses within a human responsible for the need to create are the same, I reckon. Still, some have senses more developed and acute than others and the way I express myself aesthetically through music wouldn’t be possible if I grabbed a pencil or a video camera because I’m not prone to express myself that way. However, the non musical stimuli is perceived and stimulates me in the same way sound does. I can express a certain kind of aesthetic better through music, but I can perceive it equally through all forms of art, so for me they’re interconnected. I try to apply this mind set whenever I work on a film score. The same applies whenever I reach out to someone to work on a video for a tune or a sleeve design for one of my albuns; I want that person to be able to grasp what I’m doing musically and transpose it to their visual work.
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?
From a musician’s point of view, I think it’s counterproductive to think music has to have a function or purpose other than your own. I can’t speak for others but I wouldn’t want to be nailed to a set of expected tasks and behavior I never wished for in the first place. My reasons to do music are selfish. I hate expectations. I’m pretty much a hermit who likes music.
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?
The moment the listener chooses to listen to you more than one time, a dialogue occurs. That dialogue can be fast and die quickly, but it can also last a lifetime. If something speaks to you, you’ll likely put your time and dedication towards it. I’ve been having constant dialogues with King Crimson’s discography for the last ten years and I feel it’s going to be like that until I die.
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?
Music journalists are curators of what’s supposed to be good and groundbreaking. PR companies are the machines that put new musicians under the radar of music journalists. The influence music journalism has is undeniable and more important than ever because, although the internet puts everything in front of you with the speed of a click, the amount of noise is overwhelming for the general public to be able to know what’s going on musically throughout the world and be able to pick something of value to listen. The internet also brought the slow death of printed music magazines and the rise of a few quality webzines (but a lot of bad ones too), where, often unpaid, “journalists“ with no knowledge or background in music are able to write their opinions on the newest albums Pitchfork reviewed (so they will too). And according to the hype these new type of journalists have, they can definitely influence people in a bad way. The whole music industry is still going through a transition phase though. I guess no one will have patience to read Vice’s blabberism and anti news in a few years. As for PR companies... I’ve never worked with them. Me and my girlfriend do all the promo ourselves. DIY.
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?
Yes I do. The main reason why I’m not being able to concentrate my efforts solely on music/sound is lack of money. There’s lots of new tools I’d like to get my hands on that would definitely influence the way I compose... but let‘s just say that my country is not very kind to artists and, when the Portuguese crisis started, cultural subsidies were one of the first things to go. Analyzing the last thirty years, one can clearly see the way technology influenced music. I think there’s still a lot of ground to break. The digital revolution has just begun and I think the future will continue to be dictated by new tools like the TR-808 or Ableton did in their time.