Name: Rhys Fulber
Occupation: Producer, sound artist
Nationality: Canadian
Current release: Rhys Fulber's Brutal Nature is out via FR.

If these thoughts by Rhys Fulber piqued your interest, visit him on Instagram, Facebook, and twitter.

Can you talk a bit about your interest in or fascination for sound? What were early experiences which sparked it and what keeps sound interesting for you?

I am lucky enough to have grown up in a house with a great record collection and instruments. Also, when I was 11 or so my father built a recording studio where I would spend a lot of time.

I also started messing around with cassette recorders at an early age. I was already into music, but also just liked recording different things and hearing how the character or your perception of sound changes when captured.

What's your take on how your upbringing and cultural surrounding have influenced your sonic preferences?

Well other than playing music from an early age what I said above about just recording things and the fascination and mystery of that and radio was a big influence. Not just music radio but things like the news and human interest stories and marine weather broadcasts I would listen to as a child in Canada.

I liked the idea of transmissions and radio and sound as a service. I still love terrestrial radio.

What types of sound do you personally prefer to work with? Are there sounds you reject – if so, for what reasons?

Its hard to say. There can be possibilities with anything. I can’t reject it until I try it somehow.

Where do you find the sounds you're working with? How do you collect and organise them?

Most of the time I make and collect sounds as I need them on a track by track or song by song process, and they come from anywhere and everywhere. It might not be the most efficient way but it's the way I have usually done it.

A few times I have even recorded things on phone to use later. Random things you hear and werent prepared for. I love those moments.

Some artists use sounds as a means for emotional self-expression, others take a more conceptual approach or want to present intriguing sound matter. How would you characterise your own goals and motivations in this regard?

I like to find sounds that have both atmosphere and musical intention. Sometimes even grabbing radio static sound bites and the putting them in tune with the rest of the track is almost like a way of sliding all this random drawing until they somehow fit together to make one picture.

From the point of view of your creative process, how do you work with sounds?

Usually stretch and pitch to find the music in them, or the texture or find the transient for a new percussion effect. Everything is usually altered in some way to find its use.

Which tools have been most important and useful for you when it comes to working with and editing sounds?

The computer is number one now. After spending years on hardware samplers with screens below a current smartphone, it's nice to see everything in one place.

But also the other approach for me is the modular and granular world of serendipity in which you have less visual control and often are not exactly sure where you are going. But when those results come together it may be even more satifying and even musical.

Many artists have related that certain sounds trigger compositional ideas in them or are even a compositional element in their own right. Provided this is the case for you – what, exactly, is about certain sounds that triggers such ideas in you?

I have had this experience many times but I really like when there can be unexpected musical elements in sound.

For instance when you pitch down insect calls and reveal a micro symphony. I like slowing things down and or reversing them. You can find things you didnt realize were there which is very inspiring.

How do you see the relationship between sound, space and composition?

The sound can dictate the composition. And like certain instruments, certain sounds evoke certain scales more than others.

Humans are often characterised as "visual beings". In your opinion, what role does our sense of hearing play in our understanding of the world? How do sounds affect you, compared to other senses like sight or smell?

I think sound has a power to trigger a myriad of emotions more than any other sense. A powerful composition can bring about a whole range of feelings more so than than mere sight and smell.

If you saw a sight in total silence and heard a sound without sight, I feel the sound would hit you more emotionally.

The idea of acoustic ecology has drawn a lot of attention to the question of how much we are affected by the sound surrounding us. What's your take on this and on acoustic ecology as a movement in general?

The noise of the modern world coupled with constant over stimulation of devices and media is taking us into places are brains are still adapting to cope with.

There’s a reason why every third person has insomnia. It's getting us futher away from a natural rhythm. It's also why there are phone apps that play ocean sounds to help people fall alseep.

We can listen to a pop song or open our window and simply take in the noises of the environment. Without going into the semantics of 'music vs field recordings', in which way are these experiences different and / or connected, do you feel?

Other than opening your window where there is random sound, the rest is all organized sound with different purposes. The pop music to lift people up or the ambient music to take us away. It's just different flavors of the same thing.

From the concept of Nada Brahma to "In the Beginning was the Word", many spiritual traditions have regarded sound as the basis of the world. Regardless of whether you're taking a scientific or spiritual angle, what is your own take on the idea of a harmony of the spheres and sound as the foundational element of existence?

I understand that there are many elements around us that can be quantified in terms of sound and key but I feel the foundational element of existence is more complex than just sound. I think sound gets us closer to it, but it is something bigger we are still trying to grasp.