|BROKEN MEMORY: NOTRE HOMMAGE A MARTIN DUPONT DISPONIBLE!
Notre hommage 11 titres, à ces pionniers Marseillais de la musique electronique est maintenant disponible!
Vous y trouverez des reprises par Dekad, Neutral Lies, Celluloide, Happiness Project, Auto-Immune, The Rorschach Garden, TourdeForce, Makina GirGir, Cyborgdrive, Müller Denscheidt et Sweater With A Hood.
En plus du CD, une édition limitée LP vinyle est également disponible!
Mais il y a plus :
Une édition spéciale VINTAGE PACK contenant en plus une cassette 8 titres est également disponible, avec des reprises bonus d’Opera Multi Steel, Tiramist, Le Cliché, Solemn Meant Walks, Edw+Marika Divita, The Grilled Chicken Legs Brittanny Style, Oberkorn and Culcultura.
Ne la ratez pas!
L’édition CD, vinyle et vintage pack (LP + cassette) sont déjà disponibles sur notre boutique en ligne!
Vous pourrez bientôt écouter l’album (mais pas le vintage pack) en streaming sur les plateformes habituelles.
Toutes les éditions contiendront un code de téléchargement, ainsi vous aurez l’objet collector et les titres en numérique!
BROKEN MEMORY: OUR TRIBUTE TO MARTIN DUPONT NOW AVAILABLE!
Our 11-track tribute to this pioneer electronic band from Marseille includes tracks from Dekad, Neutral Lies, Celluloide, Happiness Project, Auto-Immune, The Rorschach Garden, TourdeForce, Makina GirGir, Cyborgdrive, Müller Denscheidt and Sweater With A Hood.
In addition to the CD edition, a limited vinyl LP edition is also available.
And there’s more:
A limited VINTAGE PACK edition with an 8-track bonus cassette is also available, including additional covers by Opera Multi Steel, Tiramist, Le Cliché, Solemn Meant Walks, Edw+Marika Divita, The Grilled Chicken Legs Brittanny Style, Oberkorn and Culcultura Don’t miss it!
You can now order the CD, LP or vintage pack LP + cassette on our online store. You will soon also be able to listen to the album (but not the extra 8 songs from the vintage pack) on all streaming platforms.
All editions will of course contain a code to download the tracks in high quality. So you will have both the collector item and the digital tracks!
|FOLLOW YOUR ORDER!
New on our website: the My Order button in the top menu (Store section) allows you to follow your order step by step or track your parcel.
We recently had an in-depth conversation with Canadian electro-acoustic composer Paul Dolden, following the review of his recent output “Histoires d’histoire” on empreintes DIGITALes. You’ll understand the reason why his musical production – focusing both on harmonic and tonal research as well as on the superimposition and juxtaposition of different music styles – deserves to be delved into.
Chain D.L.K.: Hi, Paul! How are you?
Paul Dolden: I am good. Thank you for taking an interest in my music and contacting me. I always love to hear from people who enjoy my music.
Chain D.L.K.: Could we take some steps back for readers who are seeing your name for the first time, starting from the very first ones? How did you get closer to “experimental” music?
Paul Dolden: My musical history is a classic North American West Coast baby boomer story. Born in 1956, I practised various musical instruments as a boy. I started playing professionally when I was 16. I grew up in a home where my mother’s side of the family were classical musicians and she was constantly playing the classical literature. My father was not a musician, but came from a long line of string players and was invariably listening to jazz. During these early years, I owned a tape recorder and became fascinated with audio technology.
My curiosity about modern music began when I was about 14 years old. In the late 60s and into the 70s, the idea of a new music, a new art, a new society, etc. was on everyone’s mind. So there I was, a 14-year hippie child buying my Xenakis, Bartok, Muddy Waters, Coltrane and Hendrix albums. Although I had some music teachers as a kid, I am primarily self-taught in music. Therefore, when it came time to go to university, I skipped over music and studied liberal arts. Ultimately, I would have loved to be a historian or philosopher, but let’s just say my talent for music was stronger. During the university years, I started composing short works, mainly using technology to create this music. In Vancouver at that time, there were almost no performers who would play a contemporary score. Indeed, there was really no “new music” scene to speak of. Very quickly, the unique musical possibilities of the recording studio, computer music programming, and live electronics appealed to my musical imagination.
During my 20s, I transitioned from a full-time performer to a full-time composer. Now I only perform on my own recordings and with a few friends just for fun. Composition and audio technology has taken over my life!
Chain D.L.K.: Do you remember the dreams of musicians and composers when technology began to spread into the scene? How did they change over the years, in your viewpoint?
Paul Dolden: For sure, I remember the dream that we would all produce music, and through published recordings, people would hear your sound and you could access the musical thoughts of others without leaving home.
Musicians would all become like Glenn Gould or the Beatles, with the studio being the centre of creation and performance. Many of us announced the death of the concert hall, but we underestimated people’s attraction to public rituals.
In addition, many of us had the dream that a new music would transform culture and society.
For sure, as time went on, and the 70s turned into Reagan, Thatcher, and Mulroney, just surviving as a full-time modern music artist became the dream!
At the level of day-to-day tools, I can remember the excitement of getting my first 4-track tape recorder and then an 8-track tape recorder. I remember programming a mainframe computer in 1977 with Stochastic and Gaussian distributions and thinking I was hearing something new.
Back then, I could have never imagined that today, on a home computer, I would be recording, mixing and processing hundreds of tracks of sound.
Chain D.L.K.: Is there anything you criticize about GRM precepts and teachings?
Paul Dolden: GRM and the German school at Cologne were important for establishing the studio as a place of creation that did not involve live performances.
They are also important for discovering ways to use audio technology to manipulate sound.
Having restated the “official” history of electroacoustic music, I do hope that in the future they tell the full story of technique and tool development. For most of us, it was the development of these techniques, at the same time or earlier, by Les Paul, Hendrix, Pink Floyd and numerous Foley artists since the 1940s, that informed our sonic imaginations when we were younger.
Chain D.L.K.: Any complaints against contemporary musicians and their audience? Is there anything that audience had problems understanding regarding compositional experiments like the amazing ones you made?
Paul Dolden: The “contemporary” music or “new” music scene is so wide and varied that it is hard to make a summary comment. Among the mid-century modernists I still really like are Ligeti and Berio. And there are a lot of composers since then I really like, for example, Adès, Abrahamsen, Sallinen, etc. However, I have to answer the question in a different way.
When we say contemporary music, we usually mean music that does not sound like 19th-century music. By contrast, for years, I have been following a lot of composers who continued writing in the tonal tradition with clear structural articulations or “climaxes”. About 60 of these composers, living or recently dead, are documented by Robert R. Reilly’s book “Surprised by Beauty”. By definition, they are contemporary musicians, although largely ignored by the “new music” scene.
Among my reasons for listening to these composers is that I still struggle with most modern music that is constantly dissonant in our tuning system. Twelve-tone equal temperament (12ET) was designed to create tonal music that can modulate rapidly. The most accurate representation of our 12ET semi-tone in the harmonic series is the distance between the 84th and 81st harmonic. Let’s face it; even heavy metal guitars or Peter Brotzmann’s saxophone do not produce 84 harmonics! There is an infinite amount of varying dissonance possible in new tunings, so why the semi tone over and over in “modern” music?
As far as audiences go, there are lots of people who love my music in various ways, and when I do a concert the audience is enthusiastic about what I am presenting.
Performers today are amazing, and I have had a chance to work with some of the best over the last 35 years. We often talk about how music language has developed so rapidly over the last 100 years. I suspect an ever-greater growth has occurred in instrumental technique.
Chain D.L.K.: Recently, I heard Histoires d’histoire, but the first time I met your music was on L’Ivresse de la Vitesse – wonderful release! – …Can you introduce it to our readers?
Paul Dolden: The double CD, now two separate single CDs, “L’ivresse de la vitesse” (Intoxication by Speed) mainly includes works from 1989-1995 and is inspired by postmodern theory. The program notes suggest which part of post modernism I am taking on musically. The music is dominated by speed and density and quick changes in musical style. Indeed, many musical styles occur at once and are transforming at the speed of sound. Since 1983, I have had the same simple working method: first I compose the works with hundreds of musical parts on large manuscript paper, then I hire musicians to play the parts individually, and finally I mix and master all the musical parts or tracks separately. This working method allows for each part to have its own tuning system and/or tempo, if I want.
I could talk on and on about compositional technique in the each work, but most of my concerns are clearly summarized in the introduction to the main score for the CD.
Instead of talking on and on about the early works, I would like to take this space to clarify an important aspect of these works that many people are left confused by.
Two times in my life, I have gone through a massive re-mastering of early works (everything before 2004). This often takes almost a year to do. I go back to the original recordings and remix and master. This habit is inspired by the ever-improving sound of modern audio technology. I also do this because it often takes me years to fully understand the music and how to maximize the mix for the work. Remember, the works involve hundreds of musical parts occurring simultaneously. This musical understanding of a work could be compared to the career of many conductors. Conductors often talk about conducting the same work for 30 years and preferring their later performances because they understand the work better. Likewise, I prefer the later masters and, yes, they are more true to my original music score for the work.
The first major re-mastering job was done in 2000-2002. These re-mastered versions were published by empreintes DIGITALes at that time on CD. After years of listening, I re-mastered the works again in 2012. Only recently have I turned these new masters over to empreintes. I hope they will have these 2012 versions on their streaming service soon.
I promise my listening public I will not re-master or “re-conduct” my works again! I am getting too old!
Chain D.L.K.: Why was the above-mentioned last release titled Histoires d’histoire? Sounding like a ‘best of’?
Paul Dolden: Although I have lived in Quebec for almost 20 years, my French is still a work in progress. My understanding of the title of this new CD is “Stories of History.”
Like my previous work, the main artistic inspiration is history or stories from the past. In this work, a different historical myth inspires each movement, hence the title.
Chain D.L.K.: Some reviewers labeled the triptych of Walls of Jericho as apocalyptic…Would you say the same?
Paul Dolden: When I hear my work from the 80s and early 90s now, I understand why people thought they were apocalyptic. I prefer to think of those dense music worlds as creating a sublime music. Specifically, I wanted the music to create a sense of grandeur or power, and of inspiring awe and reminding us of the things that are larger than our banal lives.
The program notes for the works usually had a historical/philosophical idea I was trying to capture in music. These ideas were based on topics as wide ranging as the biblical Walls of Jericho, the Romantic notion of music creating the social revolution, the postmodern idea that the speed and density of the information of our times are creating an intellectual and emotional stasis, etc., etc. With such big ideas, the music itself had to be larger than life!
But whatever my artistic intentions were is of little importance. The listener will always decide for himself or herself the meaning of an aesthetic encounter. The real artistic or aesthetic moment happens in the relationship established between the listener and the music. For example, the Walls cycle of works has been described by some as transcendentally beautiful. By contrast, I know of two scientific experiments in which the same music was used to create an environment of pain for the test subject.
Chain D.L.K.: Regarding labels, your music has been often labeled as ‘maximalist’ (supposedly to highlight the fact it’s opposite to minimalist)… Do you agree with such a way of filing your music?
Paul Dolden: Apocalyptic and maximal are adjectives that work for much of my music. I understand the need for labels and pigeonholes for music. Indeed, I spend great amounts of time on streaming services finding new music and I always put reductionist labels on it so I can remember what it is at a later time! That is just being human, with brains that only have so much RAM and so much hard drive space. But let’s not lose sight of the fact that music exists to express things beyond words.
Chain D.L.K.: As a former and current fan of drum ‘n’ bass and fast-paced music in general, I still remember a masterpiece by yours, Who Can Play The Fastest… what was the spark for that?
Paul Dolden: This is from the “Who Has…” cycle of works. The largest work in the cycle is the 52-minute studio work called “Who Has the Biggest Sound?” which is published on Starkland Records (USA). Then there are five works for instrument(s) and tape. For example, “Who Has the Strangest Melodies?” is for chamber orchestra and tape, or “Who Has the Biggest Noise?” for electric guitar and tape.
In this cycle of works, I am studying different musical styles and nature sounds to uncover their relationships. In short, nature’s sound patterns create most of the music and are everywhere in this cycle. For example, the same intense microtonal and polyrhythmic patterns of a swarm of insects are modeled onto brass, wind, and string parts. In this work, I found that country music sprang to life alongside the howling hounds of the open plains, and that Spain begat Flamenco alongside crickets that chirp in 6/8; I found Chinese and Thai tuning systems in the insects of south-east Asian rainforests, etc., etc. In short, in these works, I am considering the relationship between culture and geography and take it to its logical extreme.
Many of the titles in this cycle of works are questions, because I am creating an imaginary battle of the bands in which, for example, our soloist tries to play faster than the accompaniment, which is music based on cricket sounds, or our string orchestra tries to play a more mournful melody than the combined pitch bends of a herd of cows.
By the end of this cycle, my belief that I or other musicians were “original” music thinkers was shattered. With the musical styles I explored in the work, I found each of their fundamental music patterns pre-existing somewhere in nature. Perhaps we are only mimicking what already exists, given, for example, that it is now estimated that insects first appeared 480 million years ago.
I should add that, for the listener looking for a Soundscape work, I would not recommend this cycle of works. All my source material, the nature sounds, were transformed into music, and the unsuspecting listener hears what I hope is a series of entertaining and engaging moments and goes on a musical journey unaware that they are listening to insects or barnyard animals. The lack of clear identification on my part, between human music style and natural source, is because I believe that any artwork that is totally complicit in its own absorption, so that it no longer makes apparent sense on the surface, will exercise a remarkable fascination. In short, an artwork fascinates by its esotericism, which preserves it from external logic.
Chain D.L.K.: Is there anything not explained by the liner notes of Histoires d’histoire that you would like to share with us?
Paul Dolden: The program notes do not really discuss the musical problems I am working on. To summarize:
1) I have been trying to figure out for years how to combine textural writing and density with the singular identity and memorable aspect of melody.
2) I have become frustrated as a listener and as a composer with the metronomic or “steady tempo exactly on the beat” aspect of classical music. Therefore, I have been exploring how to use what are called groove rhythms as a basis for the “skeleton of time” in my work. These rhythms are based on performances of African, Latin, jazz or rock music.
Secondly, the tempo of my work is almost always changing, usually quite slowly, inspired by Indonesian music but also observable in many ragas and Western improvised music, including rock and jazz.
3) From the beginning of my career, I questioned the idea of only 12 tones to an octave fixed at set vibrational rates (i.e. A=440). During the 1980s, and for the last 15 years, I have developed my own tuning systems or used historical tuning systems. I often use the more “true” or “natural” Just Intonation, but I am also interested in discovering new types of irrational dissonances. For example, one of my favorites is to design non-octave tuning systems or tuning systems with no octaves or 5ths. By that point, throw out the entire ear training you ever did and start all over!
4) Marshall McLuhan coined the term “global village” 55 years ago, and yet most musicians specialize in a specific style of a specific genre.
I have always been fascinated with all the music of the world and have tried in my own humble way to bring it all together into one artistic vision.
I am not interested in “cross over” music, or fusion. Instead, I want to understand and use the deep grammar of different music to create a unified aesthetic picture. I hope this is not another version of cultural imperialism.
On the other hand, I do realize my ambition of combining diverse music and orchestrations is based on being a privileged Western educated male who can listen to Indian or Thai music on recordings and read books on this music. And the fact that I grew up in a surplus economy, which allowed me at age 16 to buy, at the same time, my first Les Paul and Sitar. The same surplus economy which has allowed me access to recording gear which meant I could learn how to balance all these different types of timbres and gestures through the use of equalization, compression, expansion, transient and sustain shaping tools, panning, spatial enhancement tools and extensive mixing.
The listener will have to decide whether my music represents another brick in the wall of Western decadence and decline, or if it is part of a new perception and understanding of what it means to live in the Global Village.
Chain D.L.K.: The core of this release is the 5-piece set of Music of Another Present Era, a brilliant collage ranging from the reverie of Space Age music to African deities (Shango’s Funkyness refers to the god of storms in Nigeria’s old beliefs, if I remember correctly)… Can you tell us something more about this impressive composition?
Paul Dolden: The previous answer covers my main concerns.
Chain D.L.K.: Any words about the other two wonderful ensembles attached to Histoires d’histoire?
Paul Dolden: As I mentioned, I have had wonderful opportunities to work with great musicians over the years. Maurizio Grandinetti (guitar) and Lukasz Gothszalk (trumpet) are both great soloists and amazing musicians. In each of their works, there is a pre-recorded tape part. Like the rest of my works, the tape part creates different musical environments for the soloist and listener. For example, the tape may be in a heavy rock music mode with two drum parts, two electric basses and a wall of electric guitars with the soloist essentially going wild on their instrument. Within a minute or two, the soloist will be surrounded by soft wind instruments from around the world, usually playing the same musical material but in a soothing manner. As much as I love other people’s music, I still feel frustrated that 99 percent of most recordings document a performance. Why can we not have constantly changing orchestration, densities, and moods in our music? The string quartet is one of my favourite chamber ensembles, but after 15 minutes, I am tired of two violins, one viola and one cello. Can we not have, simply, 2 cellos, one viola and one violin, or two of each, or one of each, etc., etc. And why the constant buzz of a bow at 8khz? Can I have a cymbal ride up there, or a shaker every so often?
Needless to say, these two “concertos” that appear on the CD pose a challenge for most listeners, who are expecting a set proscenium arch or background around the soloist. In this case, Maurizio and Lukasz rose to the occasion of a stage that is constantly changing size, shape, colour and mood.
Chain D.L.K.: Are you performing something on live stage, by chance? If so, are you going to make a jump in Europe?
Paul Dolden: All I know right now is that I will be doing several concerts of my electroacoustic work in England in the Spring of 2019, for which I will be attending. Performances of my works for instrument(s) and tape go on without me knowing most of the time.
Chain D.L.K.: Any work in progress?
Paul Dolden: I am doing research for my next cycle of works that will be inspired by String Theory and that our “reality” may be vibrational phenomena at its core.
check Paul Dolden biography on the web here: electrocd.com/en/bio/dolden_pa
On September 8th, Sofamusic released Lieber Heiland, Laß uns Sterben, a very interesting output by Swedish jazz and improv saxophonist and composer Martin Küchen. The author wrote some introductory reflections on it: “On Lieber Heiland, Laß uns Sterben historical events intersect right into the contemporary sound making, slit through their titles sharp cuts in our listening present era and pry our eyes towards the seemingly inexplicable backyard of history; which nevertheless created the plateau of disintegration and opportunity that we now seem to live on. At the same time all the sounds on this recording – all the scrunching, the breathing, all the tones, all the composed-processed material – completely and fully give themselves to the listener, escaping all human epithet making and denominations, as the sound becomes manifest, becomes apparent.” Let’s dig deeper into it through the words we had with its author.
Chain D.L.K.: Hi, Martin! How are you?
Martin Küchen: I am fine. Church bells are ringing. No shootings in Malmoe so far this day! 🙂
Chain D.L.K.: The artistic path that you’ve been tracing for 20 years, more or less, is really interesting… I know some of it, but maybe some readers don’t…can we trace it back? Let’s start from the very first steps…
Martin Küchen: My first professional job as a musician was in a circus in 1996, a Swedish nouveau cirque performance….from 1992 onwards I had done a few door gigs with improvised music, mostly in the region of Stockholm (where I resided until 2008). In 1998, I started to play more extensively everywhere I could and with a lot of different people, from different disciplines and backgrounds, etc.
Chain D.L.K.: You toured with John Tilbury as well…can you tell us something about that experience?
Martin Küchen: Touring with John Tilbury was a very interesting story, especially when we were traveling in Poland. I remember most vividly our quite intense discussion one time in a café at the Warsaw airport, where the other “Loopers” didn’t really take part, only me and Mr Tilbury were doing the talking…btw, a fantastic musician….
Chain D.L.K.: Aside from touring, it’s really impressive the number of concerts you took part and performed in…are there some that marked your artistic growth in a specific way? If yes, why?
Martin Küchen: When I went with 3/4 of Exploding Customer to Mexico (the bass player had cancelled the evening before our flight from Stockholm, because he could not find a babysitter for his one-year-old 🙂 – the way we then had to promptly rearrange the songs during these exotic concerts in Merida and Mexico City – the bass line on the alto sax for example – maybe not the best idea 🙂
And the first time I came with Angles 6 to Coimbra, Portugal in 2009. Three nights in a row. That was fantastic!
And most recently in a wintry, cold Moscow (in December 2016) with Steve Noble and Johan Berthling – we had the most dedicated, warm-hearted audience ever….
Chain D.L.K.: The number of bands and collaborations you have made over your career is likewise impressive…what’s the brightest creative spark that really inflames a collaboration, in your own words?
Martin Küchen: A collaboration can start from any point, really; from an ad hoc – situation the first time you meet a new person/musician at a concert you are just about to play (for example, with Ferran Fages, it was like that), to someone else’s suggestion or having been impressed by something I’ve heard from someone, etc., and then making contact… But, I think, the most spark-inducing encounter – meaning, a spark that can hold for a lifetime – is when you are able to communicate OUTSIDE the music as well….
Chain D.L.K.: This interview follows the listening of your solo release ‘Lieber Heiland, laß uns sterben’…before focusing on it, I’d like to know if you feel more comfortable or free in solo projects instead of collaborative ones?
Martin Küchen: Playing solo and/or playing together with others are one and the same, really. The one thing that clearly separates the two, though, is in a solo situation, there will NOT be any input from another breathing human being while you are alone on stage, but no real distractions, either; maybe only from the audience in certain circumstances… For me, the two feed on each other; they are each other’s parasites 🙂
Chain D.L.K.: In the liner notes of ‘Lieber Heiland, laß uns sterben’, I read that ‘music is uninterested in genre denominations and ideological markers’…does this thought apply to music in general, or to your music?
Martin Küchen: It must mean to music in general, even though you can, of course, try to subdue the music with agitating lyrics and manipulating emotional sequences(!) and by doing so, that also then subdues an audience.
With the music I do and, maybe most specifically, the solo music, the titles are bearers of a certain meaning/symbolism, etc. – but the music, I think, is always unharmed by any encounter with certain titles…..
On the other hand, I can’t help always being on the hunt for good, strange and poetic informative (!) titles….
Chain D.L.K.: I agree that reality and poetry seem to coexist in your album… In your own words… How do you balance ‘reality and poetry’?
Martin Küchen: Reality and poetry light each other up, or put each other in the dark for a certain amount of time – there is no end to the one which is not the beginning of the other… It has to do with your specific life circumstances, past and present, how these two entities interfere and correspond over time… Sometimes poetry has to be dragged out of the reality of a man’s circumstances, and sometimes reality has to ignite the poet within man….
Chain D.L.K.: There are moments when it seems you quoted a piano sonata or classical music… Can you explain some of the inserts you used in many parts of ‘Lieber Heiland, laß uns sterben’?
Martin Küchen: It’s from an iPod, and then through speakers inserted into the saxophone and also through an old radio speaker from the 1920’s, which is standing on a pedestal on my right-hand side. On this specific piece you mention, it’s the Busoni written interpretation of Bach’s “Ich Ruf Zu dir Herr Jesu Christ” played by Nikolai Demidenko.
Chain D.L.K.: You recorded after a visit to Lieber Heiland, laß uns sterben in the Crypt of Lund Cathedral, right? How did this place influence the sound of ‘Lieber Heiland, laß uns sterben’?
Martin Küchen: The acoustics of the crypt are somehow out of this world; it’s so magnificent and old and breathy, and influenced so much of what happened musically that very warm, humid evening in May 2016…
Chain D.L.K.: I have to forward a question by a collaborator of our zine… The title of a track that could crash many file compressors, if someone opts for the digital release (!): “Atmen Choir (I det stora nedrivna rummet med bortvaênda kvinnoansikten, skylda av veck; bortsparkat, ihopfoêst segel, krossat roêtt tyg stelnar i vinterkylan”…what does it mean?
Martin Küchen: It’s a long poetic line in Swedish – you can easily google it 🙂 but its content has to do with this long winter night in January of 1945 in East Prussia, and how this bunch of women simply tried to survive in this maelstrom of mass terror and rape…and a lot of them simply didn’t….
Chain D.L.K.: The cover artwork can arouse some curiosity… How did you choose it?
Martin Küchen: I first came across the photograph in a book by historian R. M. Douglas called “Orderly and humane”. It’s a photograph taken in secret (that’s why you have “SECRET” stamped on the original copy) by a British embassy staff member just outside the Jaworzno concentration camp, Poland, in 1951. Inmates at the time were young Polish “enemies of the state”, Ukrainians and still some ethnic Germans.
The camp was taken over by the Communist authorities (Soviet NKVD and Polish UB) in February 1945, and at that time the camp was filled with ethnic German civilians (also women and children), German POWs and Polish adversaries to the new regime, etc.
Chain D.L.K.: Any word about the techniques you used on the album?
Martin Küchen: I didn’t use any particular techniques, other than the putting one speaker in the saxophone bell…. Everything is live recorded, but two tracks are multi-tracked but recorded on the same occasion…..
Chain D.L.K.: I checked your website…a link to a sci-fi movie (The Dark Tower)?
Martin Küchen: Well – then my site has been hacked again – simple as that. This summer it was hacked by an alleged pro-peshmerga fighter (!) who called himself MahmudEmad… we had to change passwords and all my last year’s listings of concerts were gone, etc. – and now a Stephen King movie….scheisse…..:-)
visit Martin Küchen on the web at: martinkuchen.com
What impressed me the most during the listening of her album “Qoosui” (recently out on the Room 40 sub-label Someone Good) is the way in which her voice renders the symbiosis with nature that she translated into sound…something flowing into a range between pure ecstasy and gentle touches! I obviously invite you to check out what Haco extensively explains in this interesting interview.
Chain D.L.K.: Hi, Haco! How are you?
Haco: I’m doing pretty good. Thanks.
Chain D.L.K.: Even if you’re new to the scene, can you introduce yourself to our readers?
Haco: I’m a singer, lyricist, composer, sound artist, studio producer, and have given performances throughout Japan and internationally. I formed my first band, called After Dinner, in 1981, and the band started to tour abroad in 1987. I released my first solo album in 1995, and my first solo tour of Europe was in 1996. Around 1997, I formed an all-female trio, Hoahio, and two of our records were released on John Zorn’s label, Tzadik. My forthcoming 7th solo album, “Qoosui” will be released on September 1st via Room 40’s sibling label Someone Good, and I am really excited about it.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you continue to give workshops on sound-related topics? Can you share something about the last one you gave?
Haco: Yes, I do. Last November, I was invited to give a lecture as a public master class, entitled “Parallel Audio Journeys – Between Sound Art and Avant Pop” at Wintec (School of Media Arts Waikato Institute of Technology) in Hamilton, New Zealand, and also collaborated with the composers, sound artists, and multimedia artists who teach at Wintec. We worked together on the recording and performance for creating the video. It was a part of the workshop on improvisation as a research project. And they will release those around this December.
Chain D.L.K.: What’s the most difficult aspect of translating sound into words or lessons?
Haco: It’s almost impossible to translate sound itself into words for me. I talk about the concept of the sound projects and usually show some audio examples, or some sounds performing by myself as a demo.
Chain D.L.K.: The first record by yourself that reached my desk and my headphones came years ago, Happiness Proof. It featured an impressive quality of sound, but it was completely different from a stylistic viewpoint to Qoosui, your last one…the quality of sound could be a point of intersections…do you see other possible connections between your first releases and Qoosui?
Haco: There is a song called “Feather Time” on the album Happiness Proof, where I tried making a kind of sound-wall by using electric guitars and sample loops, and one Shoegazing song, “Anesthesia Love” on the “Qoosui” record could be heard as one of the intersections, I guess.
Chain D.L.K.: Let’s focus on Qoosui…what’s the meaning of the title?
Haco: “Qoosui” is a coined word from me. Originally, it’s from one of the titles of this album’s songs, “Kusui”, which is written words in Japanese (with two ‘kanji’ characters) by Hidekazu Imashige. I just changed the spelling “ku” to “qoo”, which sounds the same. “Qoo” means ‘air’ or ’emptiness’, and “sui” means ‘clearness’ or ‘water’.
Chain D.L.K.: There are tracks like Tidal where the voice seems one with the surrounding sounds…but is there anything in the human voice that sound-machines can never or can hardly render?
Haco: Of course, yeah. I feel the voice is totally organic, like a fresh fruit or vegetable, when it comes to recording, and I definitely need that taste for my songs. Even if they look similar, you absolutely can recognize the difference between real fruits and fake fruits made from wax.
Chain D.L.K.: You used many contact mics to grab natural sounds…can you tell us something about the places where you grabbed sounds? Why did you choose these places?
Haco: I sometimes use a contact microphone, which is a piezo-ceramic sender for capturing solid vibrations, like on a bridge or so. For natural sounds like ripple waves, birds singing, and so on, I mostly use a pair of sensitive ear-plugged microphones. And I’ve used the inductive microphones (analogue telephone pickups) for picking up the electromagnetic waves inside of the tram in Osaka and Melbourne, Australia.
Chain D.L.K.: There are some songs in English. Can you provide some explanation of the ones in Japanese?
Haco: The “Kusui” song is about the mountains, and “Seiren” is about the sea; this Japanese word is similar to Siren by chance.
Chain D.L.K.: Japanese culture is mostly known for the constant balance between tradition, nature and progress. Would you say that Qoosui mirrors such a balance in a way?
Haco: Most of the lyrics of the songs on Qoosui are something related to nature and the universe. Japanese people have a tradition of feeling nature is mystic and sometimes symbolic and admiring it, yet all kinds of people around the world can have such feelings, I believe. And the sound in Qoosui is made from layered ambient electronics, field-recorded materials, and sampled guitars and kora (African string instrument). I could say that Qoosui has a more borderless world itself.
Chain D.L.K.: What’s the meaning of White Letter from Heaven? Something related to the above-mentioned Japanese culture?
Haco: “White Letter from Heaven” expressed the snow. And it’s a story I made up about someone getting healed and purifying on the snowy path. It’s gently superimposed on imaginary scenes from nature.
Chain D.L.K.: Is there any track where you experienced a total and almost mystical symbiosis with the sound you forged? If so, what did you have in mind while forging sounds?
Haco: At the beginning, I don’t have really clear images of the sound, but after making the words and melody line, I mostly have some kind of blueprint of the recording that I’m doing, and sometimes it would turn over to something like you described above, a “mystical symbiosis with the sound.” It’s a pleasant moment as a producer.
Chain D.L.K.: Any recommendation on how a listener can better appreciate Qoosui?
Haco: Feel free to imagine everything that you like on this planet and in the universe.
Chain D.L.K.: Did you record Qoosui in your studio in Kobe?
Haco: I collaborated with Stabilo (Speaker Gain Teardrop) and Gallery Six, masters of the Hiroshima ambient scene, and Tarnovski (Gurun Gurun), a key figure in Czech experimental-electro music. They sent me their separate tracks and some sound materials, and I recorded all my vocal parts, playing sampler, and electronics in my studio in Kobe. At the end, I mixed all of the tracks by myself.
Chain D.L.K.: Any other work in progress?
Haco: Two collaborative recording projects with the German electronic artist, Stefan Schneider, and with the Czech electro-acoustic quartet, Gurun Gurun, are in progress.
visit Haco on the web at: www.hacohaco.net
d'être & trȫum
XIBIPIIO. In and Out of
The second part of the collaboration that started
in 2013, now all RAISON D'ETRE source material was used,
processed and mixed with additional recordings by TROUM
(guitars, voices, flutes, accordeon, cello, violin,
didgeridoo, dombra, tapes, found sounds).
on a notion of the fascinating Amazonian Piraha tribe, this is
an excursion into nine different micro-worlds of perception and
that reaches for the eternal, but it only exists in the very
stunning digipak artwork with extra silver pantone printing was
created by Marcin Łojek.
Final mix: Troum. Mastering: Peter Andersson.
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