The outline of a woman lying in a daydreaming, studious and sensual pose within some blue depth has been chosen to represent the sonic research of Lithuanian experimental musician Gintas K, moniker of Gintas Kraptavicius and of his intrinsic properties: his music manages to seduce, but it allows the listener’s mind to focus and wander away. It depends on your listening approach: you could give attention to the techniques Gintas uses or twirl while lapsing into melodic fragments resurfacing from those depths on his new album “Slow”. Carefully crafted microsound, microgranulated textures, melodic elements and gently deconstructed sounds melted with symptoms of a somewhat melancholic and deeply sensitive artistic personality. A core member of the first Lithuanian industrial music group, Modus, he released a plenty of albums for renowned labels such as Cronica, Retina Scan, Skyndo, Percepts as well as many sound installations, live performances and film music. His brand new “Slow” comes out on the French independent label Baskaru.
Chain D.L.K.: Hi Gintas. How are you?
Gintas K: Hi Chain D.L.K.. I am ok. Just went through my archive and found a 15-year-old Chain DLK paper page where you reviewed my then group Modus and sent a copy to me!
Chain D.L.K.: It has a long shelf life! Let’s introduce yourself. So you come from Lithuania, don’t you? What’s the situation of experimental music scene up there?
Gintas K: Yes, I am Lithuanian and I come from and live in Lithuania. And in a country of, according to Mel Gibson, Lithuanians who are “sharp-toothed” and “armed with baseball bats”, everything is ok with experimental music or let’s say sound art. The situation here is quite intimate with concerts and warmth between people. Everyone knows each other. Everyone works in their own personal individualistic style. And it is good and interesting. Last year the CD “Lithuanian sound art” was released where you can get an overview of Lithuanian experimental music scene /sound art of today. If you are interested I can send you a copy.
Chain D.L.K.: Thanks. It’s would be a pleasure. How would you define your music or sonic research? Is it somehow influenced by your own personality?
Gintas K: I don’t know how to describe my music. Creation for me is always like going to terra incognita and searching for something that can give me pleasure, sometimes pain. Or sometimes it becomes a terrible work. It depends. But in fact this is a big part of my life. An artist reflecting his own personality is a natural thing, I think.
Chain D.L.K.: Even if music is a universal language, in you opinion are there any details a non-Lithuanian listener wouldn’t understand in your release?
Gintas K: Yes music is a universal language like you said and doesn’t need any translation. I don’t use or rarely use any Lithuanian context. I am not addressing Lithuanians or, lets say, American listeners. The listener in my experience is the same everywhere and it makes no difference if he or her is from Lithuania, Finland or Portugal. It depends more on similar music experiences and tastes than on nationality.
Chain D.L.K.: I’ve read that your artwork with the cutout of a woman in a pensive, but seducing pose could represent your music. Would you care to explain?
Gintas K: Some time after I considered releasing with Eric at Baskaru, I saw that picture by Morta Griskeviciute on Facebook. Somehow in my mind it fitted the “Slow” album very nicely. I connected with Morta asking to use her picture for the cover artwork and she agreed. I don’t know how but it really reflects the album’s mood – slow, melancholy mirroring some aesthetic, some feeling that you are walking above water.
Chain D.L.K.: Have you ever imagined a dialogue with that woman or does she prefer to stay mute?
Gintas K: Well well well …interesting question? I think she speaks using the sounds from the “Slow” album. I prefer that.
Chain D.L.K.: There are really amazing sonic treatments in your album. Could you explain to us some of the techniques you used to shape sounds?
Gintas K: I didn’t use any special techniques. I just play with the intention to catch the sounds that feel good when going to that terra incognita land. Most of the time when I begin to play I have some idea about what I am searching for. Sometimes I find what I am looking for, sometimes I don’t, or sometimes I find another beast that I didn’t imagine at all. All the tracks from the CD were played live and later edited a bit or not edited at all.
Recently I played live with a PC, a MIDI keyboard and a MIDI controller using the Plogue Bidule software and a bunch of plug-in, mostly from Cycling74. On “Slow” only synthesized sounds were used, no real instruments, no field recordings.
Chain D.L.K.: Is there any connection between “Slow” and your previous releases?
Gintas K: Maybe with “Lovely Banalities”, which was released by Cronica. I have another album in the same mood and those three albums – “Lovely Banalities”, “Slow” and the unreleased one – I think of as a trilogy. It was a the mood of that period of my life.
Chain D.L.K.: How did you get in touch with Baskaru?
Gintas K: On Internet it’s easy. After I returned from some French concerts in the summer of 2006, we connected with Eric and traded some CD’s. We kept in touch ever since.
Chain D.L.K.: Besides the remarkable technical quality of “Slow”, its sound manages to tickle the listener’s soul and imagination… is it intentional? Is there any “narrative” fill rouge between different tracks?
Gintas K: Sure it is intentional? For an artist it is always an intention to move the listener’s soul. If you feel some strong emotions during the creation it is possible that the listener will feel them as well. In some way it depends on how I experience it when I am listening to it. It comes down to music knowledge, taste and state of mind. So if the sounds from “Slow” have touched some listener’s soul and imagination I am happy to hear that.
Narrative as such does not exist but the sequence of the tracks in the album was prepared very carefully. It is very important to me because a good track can become less interesting if it does not appear at the right time.
Chain D.L.K.: Who were the very first electronic musicians who drew you towards composition?
Gintas K: For sure nobody like Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream or any ambient guy drew me to composition… As far back as I can remember, when I was a child, I used to listen to some pure electronic music programs on the Polish radio. It was a source of very good stuff then. But I was first drawn to composition through rock music, not electronic music. From when I was 12-13 years old, I played in a rock-punk-new wave-psychedelic-industrial band. As a child I attended music school, later a music college, then I finished the Music Academy. I didn’t study composition anywhere but in some way music was besides me through all this time. And I used this music experience in a band first, and later in computer music.
Chain D.L.K.: What’s your favorite moment of the day or season of the year to play?
Gintas K: Morning is the moment of the day, and summer is the season for creation for me. Summer maybe because I have holidays during that time of the year. It was so until now, how that will it be in the future, I don’t know.
Chain D.L.K.: Any forthcoming sounds after “Slow”?
Gintas K: At the same time “Slow” was released on Baskaru, another CD album entitled “Greit” (which means ‘quickly’ in English) appeared on the US label Ilse. It is very different from “Slow”. So that is today. Future sounds depend on me but whether they will take the shape of a release does not depend on me. So to speak of forthcomingness is difficult, unless I open my own bandcamp profile…?
visit Gintas K on the web at: gintask.puslapiai.lt