Did you ever thought that music isn’t really a subject in the arts? Or it isn’t in the arts because of its lack of visual images. Well, for me music has no conflict with the arts. It’s a part of the art history if you tell me. They have an immense connection. Music creates visually images in your mind, even an artist can’t reproduce those images into perfect images in real life. That’s the reason too why I admire the human brain, it develops personally images of the times you lived in a specific time line. What would those images be? Maybe scenario’s you make with your loved one by going to a honeymoon trip or imagining a t-Rex as a pet, I don’t know, everything can and everybody has their own expectations and imaginations. We live in an area that art contains everything, science and art included.
Therefor, music can bring you anywhere and Rudi Araphoe gave me that possibility to be myself. A very talented artist with a great eye for the art and his music is so gracious that you’ll feel yourself like a plume, just floating in a distance and feeling relaxed. The other side that Rudi’s music makes me think is our existence or in better words, the reality we live in.
Could you introduce yourself?
I am a composer, sound artist and designer who is based in the UK. My musical compositions typically deploy classical chamber music instruments such as piano, soprano voice, violin, bells, harp, clarinet, flute; whilst also featuring extensive use of contemporary sound design that is created through the use of field recordings and unreliable, ageing synthesizers; that are later processed with modern software tools. Prior to living as I do today, I studied Psychology at an English university, before working in Soho London as a sound designer in the British film industry. These two somewhat unrelated life experiences seem to have melded together to make me who I am today.
How did you get involved with music?
When I turned 18 I left my parents home for a year abroad in China. In China I was taught to play the guitar by a generous music teacher at Jinfan Middle School Suzhou. When I returned to the UK I began to play the piano in the practice rooms at my university, and then slowly I became very interested in music technology and the possibilities that it offers. Back then I had little knowledge of computers so I sequenced my ideas together using a Yamaha QY700 before recording them with musicians in a studio.
Who are your inspirational artists in the music world and who may you look up to?
Oh there are so many great artists in my genre… I admire Robin Rimbaud (Scanner) for his ability to bridge the art and musical worlds, whilst intelligently working in the commercial sphere; Susumu Yokota for his restless, compound invention and Geir Jenssen (Biosphere) for his strength and concentration.
“Over the past eight years my output has become increasingly sparse and in a sense reflective of my own lifestyle. “
How would you like to describe your music? Does it have a specific category name for it?
Over the past eight years my output has become increasingly sparse and in a sense reflective of my own lifestyle. I spend a lot of time alone in my studio designing objects, composing music and doing the various administrative things that need to be done to maintain the smooth running of my life and business. I’ve found that I’m increasingly composing more and more music that I enjoy listening to whilst working on non musical things. So perhaps I could call it facilitative music for designers, office workers and artists. Music that provide a pleasant backdrop for contemplation, organization and creation. Perhaps the most unusual element of my music is the cold eroticism that bubbles up in compositions such as Double Bind and Conversation Piece; I guess even office workers thoughts drift away to pleasant and unpleasant places.
Do you have plans for a new album or another release?
Yes, I’ve written a lot of music since 2008 and released very little of it. I’m currently working with a very ambitious and experimental sacred music duo from NYC called Ariadne.
Whilst simultaneously composing a series of long, spacious compositions for wind instruments that I will release as a solo project.
“Whether reviewing a visual artwork, film, novel or musical creation, I am always looking for a mystery at the heart of it. I always want an ambiguity, I hate resolution and I hate to be left sated.”
Would you like to share us your thoughts about music and art? Do you think that music and art has a connection or not at all?
Whether reviewing a visual artwork, film, novel or musical creation, I am always looking for a mystery at the heart of it. I always want an ambiguity, I hate resolution and I hate to be left sated.
Do you have specific artworks that you admire? Could you share your thoughts about those artworks? Why do you like them or what do you see in them?
I’m very drawn to Juan Munoz‘s work. When I look at these figures I feel like they are telling me something about my looking. Though I can never get the same perspective as the character, so they become like a mirror that can not reflect; I leave knowing less that I did, just fifteen minutes prior. Kobe Abe’s The Box Man also left a profound impact upon me.
“In seeing there is love, in being seen there is abhorrence. One grins, trying to bear the pain of being seen. But not just anyone can be someone who only looks. If the one who is looked at looks back, then the person who was looking becomes the one who is looked at.” Equally, R.D. Laing’s ‘Knots’ left a lasting impression;
One is inside
then outside what one has been inside
One feels empty
because there is nothing inside oneself
One tries to get inside oneself
that inside of the outside
that one was once inside
once one tries to get oneself inside what
one is outside
to eat and to be eaten
to have the outside inside and to be
inside the outside
I assume that the cover art for your album “Echoes from one to another” is by Piero Roi? What did you like about Piero Roi’s artworks? Why did you choose this image/artwork for your album cover?
The inner sleeve of ‘Echoes from One To Another’ was created by JeanieTang, an interdisciplinary artist and member of the experimental band ‘Dapplegray’. I felt she was an idealized protagonist for the story within ‘Echoes From One To Another’.
‘Echoes from One To Another’ by Jeanie Tang
Piero and I met shortly after ‘Echoes…’ was complete. At that time he made a series of photographs of myself called ‘The Conversation’.
“Last time we met was in Valencia, I remember that day because it was so sunny; the city magnificent; we were so leisured, moving from cafe to cafe; he was accompanied by his talented, beautiful assistant and collaborator Francesca Mele and I was with my wonderful partner Charlotte. I think we all felt a million dollars that day.”
‘The conversation’ by Piero Roi (2008)
‘The conversation’ by Piero Roi (2008)
‘The conversation’ by Piero Roi (2008)
He is extraordinarily nomadic, every time our paths cross he seems to be living and working in a new location. Last time we met was in Valencia, I remember that day because it was so sunny; the city magnificent; we were so leisured, moving from cafe to cafe; he was accompanied by his talented, beautiful assistant and collaborator Francesca Mele and I was with my wonderful partner Charlotte. I think we all felt a million dollars that day.
I have noticed that the cover art for the album “Double Blind” is Rorschach art. Why did you choose that specific idea or art for this album? Who’s the maker of this cover art?
The Double Bind artwork was created by Jessica Grant. My early education was rooted in Psychology, at 19 years of age it was my plan to become a Psychologist; I was later deterred from taking this route by reports of stringent, restrictive, unpleasant working conditions in the UK NHS. I made a good decision, I would have been a terrible practitioner, but maybe a good theorist. I continue to read deeply around the subject and find a deep wellspring of inspiration in early psychiatry. Gregory Bateson’s Double Bind theory was key touchstone for the EP. The theme was chosen because it gives a very clear visual link from early psychiatry to the compositions. The Rorschach ink blot that Grant developed for the cover art was her interpretation of the music. Everyone sees something different in it. Much like the complex make-up of a Double Bind.
How do you see yourself in the future? What’s your goal?
In the past I hungered for freedom. I now have it and a great deal of control over my life, but I still crave more freedom and more time.