All sound is music

The relationship between music and other forms of art - painting, video art and cinema most importantly - has become increasingly important. How do you see this relationship yourself and in how far, do you feel, does music relate to other senses than hearing alone?

When performing solo, I mostly play in darkness to give the full focus and attention to the music. When performing with musicians though, it's very useful to see faces, movements and interactions. We also work with minimal visuals, but this is more in the way of a stage design, as I usually have white roses lying on the stage as well. My project with Swedish filmmaker and video artist Anders Weberg is a different way of combining sound and moving image. We both have very similar artistic ideas and therefore relate to each other on the same level. The result is something autonomous on its own, where video and sound are supporting each other. 

There seem to be two fundamental tendencies in music today: On the one hand, a move towards complete virtualisation, where tracks and albums are merely released as digital files. And, on the other, an even closer union between music, artwork, packaging and physical presentation. Where do you stand between these poles? 

Artwork and packaging can round up a good release. I know it is important for many listeners to have a haptic experience. But these days a lot of people are also pragmatic and listen to music with their digital devices. I’m not even nostalgic enough to press my music on vinyl.

The role of an artist is always subject to change. What's your view on the (e.g. political/social/creative) tasks of artists today and how do you try to meet these goals in your work?

My music is very personal. It is about beauty, pain, inner struggles and deep feelings. Things that I experience inside. It is not so much dependent on political, social or cultural settings.

Music-sharing sites and -blogs as well as a flood of releases in general are presenting both listeners and artists with challenging questions. What's your view on the value of music today? In what way does the abundance of music change our perception of it?

Musical tastes are more individual these days than ever before. People pick up their favourites from all kinds of genres and styles. To be honest, there is also a lot of meaningless and uninspired music out there and it happens very often that I just skip through a track and only in some few cases I get touched and start listening closely.

How, would you say, could non-mainstream forms of music reach wider audiences?

Through support and recommendation. Thanks.

Usually, it is considered that it is the job of the artist to win over an audience. But 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?

Not all people seem to like sushi and I don’t think it would help if they focused more actively on the taste. The perception is up to the listener. Some people think I do impressive art, some others think I make good sounds for relaxing and even others wonder if it's even music, as they can't hear a change and all the tracks sound the same for them. It's a question of ring and hook. But for sure, if people really tune in, then I try to lead them somewhere. For example the moment where music disappears in silence and all sound becomes music itself.

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?

Modern possibilities make things easier. If you find something interesting or get a recommendation from somewhere, you can look it up on YouTube and can get a direct idea if it is interesting or not. This was not possible 10 to 15 years ago.

Please recommend two artists to our readers which you feel deserve their attention.

Arve Henriksen and Veljo Tormis

Explore Martin's projects at www.krillminima.de and www.marsenjules.de

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