Pluie/Noir Interscapes 09

Pluie/Noir
Interscapes 09

“You Must Sleep And Dream”

Sound mixed and compiled by Myles Greenwood
Visual interpretation by Daniel Ellwood

Welcome to the new Pluie/Noir podcast series. 9 years after our debut we decided to press the reboot button and return to our roots. With a new format and back to a regular monthly schedule, Pluie/Noir Interscapes will feature audio collages, mixes, live interviews, and live recordings from P/N artists, friends, and other collectives we admire.

 

For Interscapes 09, we welcome Myles Greenwood – The DJ, promoter, digger extraordinaire, and part of the iconic Swiss record shop Le Gram Vinyl Garden – to give us a glimpse of his vast record collection. Scalpel art and digital finish by Daniel Ellwood, the Berlin-based visual artist behind Ellwood Art. We interview both for the occasion:

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INTERVIEW — MYLES GREENWOOD

Hi Myles, welcome to the PN Interscapes series. How are you holding up?

Hello Bruno, thank you so much for having me. Things are very busy at the moment, actually. It’s been a tough, dull year for everyone, but now I’m back in the UK, I seem to have a lot on my plate.

How was it living in Switzerland? For how long were you based in Renens?

I loved Switzerland; like I said, this past year was challenging, but I can’t complain about the 8 or so years I’ve lived there; I’ve had a lot of fun. I mainly was living up in the mountains, they’re beautiful, they don’t seem real. The shop (Le Gram VG) is obviously down in Renens – it’s a sort of suburb of Lausanne. Totally different feel to the city. It’s got a great vibe, artier, and more kebabs. The last couple of years working down there with Oscar was great; I had a good routine of heading down from the mountains for a few days at a time, sorting out records, and eating kebabs. What’s not to like!

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I helped as much as I could sourcing collections, pricing, listing, and helping with the general tasks of running the shop

Did you start Le Gram VG with Oscar Conway when you moved to Switzerland? Are you still managing the project from the UK?

I didn’t start it no, It’s Oscar’s love child. He just asked me to get involved from an early stage. I can’t take any credit for the building or aesthetics of the shop; that’s all Oscar. But I helped as much as I could sourcing collections, pricing, listing, and helping with the general tasks of running the shop. There have been times before where I was managing it from the UK. For example, the first wave of lockdown saw me stuck in England with 5000 records and Oscar in Renens needing the stock for the shop. We managed to make it work. Part of the beauty of running a business with your best mate is it somehow always works itself out.

How is Le Gram VG standing out from the general international record store panorama?

I’m not sure, to be honest, but I hope we’re standing out. We have our core values and just go with them. I think the partnership with LEGRAM (restaurant & bar) downstairs helps. When the building is actually open, and the customers can get quality beers and wines while digging, it creates a really nice atmosphere. In terms of the music on the shelves, we try to maintain an extremely high standard. People are picky; they know what they want! I think the struggles of opening so soon before a pandemic has shaped the character of the shop.

“the first wave of lockdown saw me stuck in England with 5000 records and Oscar in Renens needing the stock for the shop. We managed to make it work.

And the events at the shop? Did you and Oscar curate these events too? 

This was a bit of a team effort. Oscar had some great experience from booking the parties at the Polaris festival. We’d run events and parties in the mountains before. We’d often just brainstorm potential DJs who we’d like to see and go from there. The sound system was lent to us by a good friend; cars were sometimes borrowed, basically doing whatever we could to make it work.

For me, this was the biggest thing I missed in the pandemic months. The few events that we did really helped get the word out about the shop. We somehow managed to squeeze some amazing party’s out in some very stressful times. The work that goes into the events is always so worth it.

We had some close friends start to invite some of their favorite DJs from Europe to play the in-store sessions. This was another great collab between friends and artists, using the shop to host events and benefiting from the wonderful space.

“‘We somehow managed to squeeze some amazing party’s out in some very stressful times. The work that goes into the events is always so worth it.”

 

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Tell us more about “you must sleep and dream.” What were your creative process and idea for this mix, when and how did you record it?

It was recorded in late January, so deep into a freezing & snowy winter. I was listening to A LOT of ambient/experimental. Once I started digging more and more into the sound, I fell in love. For the mix, I wanted to create moments that would catch you off guard: relaxing at times and stressful at others. I hope the listener feels a range of emotions while listening to it.

You see yourself as a DJ and Record Collector? Do you intend on getting involved in the creation of music or maybe even a record label?

I have dabbled, and I mean, I dabbled in music creation. I’ve had bits of hardware at times in my life. But the passion is always far greater towards digging new music than creating my own. Maybe this will change one day, but for now, yea, a DJ/Collector only. 

"the passion is always far greater towards digging new music than creating my own."

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A label? It’s funny you say that as we’re in the process of compiling a Various Artists release from the shop. It’s a little idea and compilation of our 4 favorite tunes that have been sent in to our monthly online Radio Show. 

Short, medium and long term goals?

So haha, I don’t want to reveal too much at this moment in time. But the reason I’ve headed to the UK is to hopefully start a little project here. As soon as things are a little further down the pipeline, I’ll start telling people. But until then, I can’t say too much. Fingers crossed and lips sealed FOR NOW!

me cutting deep

INTERVIEW — DANIEL ELLWOOD

Hi Daniel, welcome to the PN Interscapes series. How are you feeling lately?

Hi Bruno, thanks for inviting me to do a feature artwork for Myles’ mix. I’ve been good, keeping as busy as possible while patiently waiting for things to get rocking and rolling once more. Had my first vaccine jab last week, which put me out of action for a few days but now I’m fighting fit again!

Are you keeping active & creative? You feel these past periods had an impact on you?

During this whole lockdown, I have had the opportunity to keep busy designing and creating, which has probably kept the wheels turning. It’s given me a chance to go back to the drawing board and look into new styles and avenues of design. Recently I have been working a lot with digital artworks and motion graphics. I specialize in graphic design for work, so it’s great to incorporate my creative side with more commercial projects. 

“my primary creative weapon of choice has been a scalpel and a black canvas which I cut and peel to reveal white underneath”

When did you move to Berlin? Do you still find Berlin and its music scene inspiring? 

I moved to Berlin 3 and a half years ago. I had set my eye on this place while still based in Leeds doing my master’s in art & design. With regular visits coming here to watch my mates spin and the unique art culture that seemed to slip in and around every corner of the city, I knew this was where I was heading. I did a couple of years in Dubai to build my design portfolio up and hosted my first solo exhibition there, then a stint in South America, and then it was time to set myself up here.

The music scene for me is growing and growing. I am surrounded by DJs and producers in their prime, so I seem to be spoilt for choice. On arrival to Berlin, I ended up shacking up with Josh Tweek from The Ghost I lived with back in Leeds. He introduced me to the tightly knit group of ‘sound heads’ that he beers with, and it’s nice to be one of the few visual artists in the group. From there, I moved on to living under the same roof as Huerta, who also offered up consistent daily bangers, so it’s always inspiring to see my mates producing at the highest level. 

 

“The music scene for me is growing and growing. I am surrounded by DJs and producers in their prime, so I seem to be spoilt for choice.”

Your style is very particular. What are your main techniques?

Since I was 15 years old, my primary creative weapon of choice has been a scalpel and a black canvas which I cut and peel to reveal white underneath, leaning into the apparent limitations of a black surface. I’m inspired by life, nature, and structure – and I love to throw these ideas into an abstract form. These ‘still’ images achieve their animated effect through the fluid lines that I favor. Using a scalpel without any guidelines is fun because it means there are no mistakes! Every work is a one-take, free-form improvisation. From here, I like to bring my artworks onto the computer to reinterpret them digitally: applying color, zooming in to create more abstraction, or else repeating patterns for a kaleidoscopic effect. 

I’ve seen your work also appearing on labels of some records. Since when have you been doing freelance work like this?

It was always a dream of mine to design artworks for vinyl covers. My first cover was for Andy Ash on Fullbarr Records back in 2014. After that, I was contacted by Berlin-based label Dreamers Recordings and have done the last 5 artworks for their releases, and last year I was invited to do 4 releases for Opia Records. It’s been a perfect way to crossover my love of music with my passion for art.

“I  have jumped into experimenting with video-based modular synths, which has opened up many new avenues for creativity”

And video? Is it another one of your passions?

Yeah, visuals and animations have been some of the most exciting projects I have been working on in the last few years. I have jumped into experimenting with video-based modular synths, which has opened up many new avenues for creativity. In the last couple of years, the gigs have started to come in, which has been great. I’ve had some incredible gigs at Gottwood Festival, Houghton, Free Rotation, CDV, and Hoppetosse… Last year, I was invited to create a feature-length visual for Huerta‘s downtempo album Junipero on Andy Hart‘s Voyage Recordings. During lockdown, I teamed up with Josh to create our own audiovisual series called Boshcast, where we have invited the likes of Bruno Schmidt and Sugar Free to lay down an eclectic range of grooves — I provide the visuals, and we live-stream each episode online. I can’t wait for clubs and festivals to open back up to get the chance to perform again, hopefully, this summer.

Tell us more about “Just Jamming”? What was your creative process, and how did the music from Myles inspire it?

After listening to Myles’s mix, I wanted to create the idea of excitement, movement, and vibrance but keep a clean structure with shapes locking together. Each track is unique and beautifully blended from one to the other. I wanted to keep that idea of individual shapes coming together to create something unique, with each object complementing its neighbors. I’ve titled this one ‘Just Jamming.’

“It was great to link up with Conxi in the last couple of years. She has been an incredible inspiration”

I’ve seen some lovely works done together with Conxi. Are you planning on doing more collaborations with her or other artists alike?

It was great to link up with Conxi in the last couple of years. She has been an incredible inspiration in terms of evolving my style and thought process. We are pretty similar in creating abstract characters and forms, so when we put our heads together for the first time, it felt right. We are currently in the middle of our third piece together, and hopefully, this will continue for many years to come as she offers up a whole fresh bag of wild ideas. I am always open to collaborations as it gives scope to experiment and develop new styles of work.

Short, medium and long-term goals?

In the short term, I would say is to keep pursuing opportunities to create more audiovisual experiences. I’ve just bought a new video synth, so that will keep me entertained for the foreseeable future. I’d love to look at applying for my work on clothing and textiles in the near future. My long-term goal is to eventually open up a gallery space here in Berlin. It was the 5-year goal I set myself when arriving here, to have a space where I can host audio-visual experiences and have a physical space for my work.

Links:

soundcloud.com/myles-greenwood
www.ellwood-art.com
www.maxbinski.com


Whttps://pluienoir.tumblr.com
M: info (at) pluienoir.com

Pluie/Noir Interscapes 08

Pluie/Noir
Interscapes 08

“Random Color Swings”

Sound mixed and compiled by Pocket Club
Visual interpretation by Marlene Magnoli

Welcome to the new Pluie/Noir podcast series. 9 years after our debut we decided to press the reboot button and return to our roots. With a new format and back to a regular monthly schedule, Pluie/Noir Interscapes will feature audio collages, mixes, live interviews, and live recordings from P/N artists, friends, and other collectives we admire.

 

For Interscapes 08 we welcome Pocket Club aka Alex Troubetzkoy – the now Paris-based DJ, producer and head honcho of the Pocket Club label – to lay down his pocket of influences over a one hour mix full of versatility and heaps of blues. Gorgeous illustration full of fauna and flora by the talented Marlene Magnoli aka Mlen Draws. We interview both for the occasion:

Alex

INTERVIEW — ALEX TROUBETZKOY aka POCKET CLUB

Hi Alex, such a pleasure to have you at P/N. How have you been?

Hello Bruno! Such a pleasure and honor to be part of the Pluie/Noir podcast series as well; I’ve been a big fan for quite a while now. I’m alright, the past few months have been very calm but pleasant! I love winter as it’s always the perfect excuse to stay in and create, trying not to overthink the other reason we are all locked inside.

The current pandemic has proven quite challenging for the music business as a whole. Considering you are both a DJ and a promoter and record label owner, how did it affect your work? 

I’ve spent the first lockdown in Bucarest, but, unfortunately, I couldn’t find a sane rhythm during this period, so I moved back to France at the end of it last summer. I always thought everything would be alright if something like a pandemic happened, as my days were already spent at home making music. But my studio wasn’t at home anymore, and it was complicated to go there every day. So, in the end, it wasn’t an easy period for me, mentally and creatively. 

When I arrived back in France, I stayed at my parent’s place in the countryside next to Paris. Little by little, I found my balance again — I mean, as much balance as one can possibly get considering the current situation. Being out of town has its ups and downs as well, but right now, it’s working pretty good, and the creativity came back too, so … 🙂

I always thought everything would be alright if something like a pandemic happened, as my days were already spent at home making music.

How have you been using your time?

Well, I made some music… then I made some more music, and now I guess I will go make some music again! I’m also playing guitar a lot, which makes me really happy as I’ve missed it so much. I’ve been drawing a little bit, walking in the forest, and I’ve tried learning the trumpet, although this one will take more time than I thought.

You have a particular workflow or focus when making music?  

I’m not sure; I guess it depends on the kind of music I’m making. For dance music, it’s a lot of trial and error – plugging in anything into everything in a search for inspiration in sounds, textures, machines… I create a soundscape or a beat following this ambiance and dress it accordingly. Then, I’ll try to arrange in the most musical way I possibly can.

When it’s not about club music, it’s different, as I don’t count as much on the « randomness » of things. It’s way more about composition; I usually have the main idea already in my head before starting, what kind of colors, chords, melodies I want. Sometimes I’ve had a track in my head for an hour, or even years, which makes it pretty special when it finally comes out! I then write the part for the instruments, record them one by one, and once I have a good structure, I get into the details, transitions between elements, etc.

“”Pocket Club” is literally the club of influences in my head, so there will be different recipes where some take the lead more than others, depending on the EP.

Last year was also the year you’ve released your first record on your imprint “Pocket Club.” What are your plans for this project?

The idea behind Pocket Club is really to mix all my influences. “Pocket Club” is literally the club of influences in my head, so there will be different recipes where some take the lead more than others, depending on the EP. There are no limitations, really. Electronic, jazz, trip-hop, experimental, bossa nova, pop, funk… If I could put all of them in every track, I would, but it’s challenging to do so as I want to keep a certain balance, so yes, the ratios are changing.

The first EP was electronic; now I’m preparing the second one, which will be a lot more acoustic-driven. I will let it speak for itself as it should be out in a couple of weeks! I will make a few more EPs as Pocket Club to set the tone. Then, I will release music from some of my friends. And little by little, I wish all of this ends up in extensive live studio sessions between producers and live musicians.

“Some people wouldn’t listen to “this or that genre” for 3 hours straight, but maybe they will like 3 min of it between other genres that are perhaps more familiar to them. “

 

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Why, when, and how did you record this podcast? 

I recorded this podcast during the first lockdown, so in Bucarest, last May I think. I wanted to take the label’s identity, put it into a set, carry all the small parts I love about everything, and make a nice collage out of it. It was made like that; I put all the tracks in Ableton and built it like a movie to control everything – transitions between genres, etc. Some tracks play longer than others, depending on what it says and what I want it to say in the mix, kind of like a “best of” radio show. 

Also, I think personal mixes like these are a good way of presenting more “difficult” music or sounds to a larger audience. Some people wouldn’t listen to “this or that genre” for 3 hours straight, but maybe they will like 3 min of it between other genres that are perhaps more familiar to them. Right now, I’m working on another set like this, and there will definitely be more and more.

Considering your vast music knowledge and melomanous character, are you also exploring other music genres?

Oh yes! I think that’s the main point. We are not much without our influences, and the more you have, the more colors you add to your own palette. The music I’m making is only an interpretation of all those influences, peoples, instruments. So yes, yes, yes, that’s why it’s a unique and never-ending process. We are never exactly the same one year to another, same for our influences. All those ratios are quietly moving as the seasons go by — the good times, the bad, etc. — leaving an endless amount of music to be done.

Short, medium, and long term goals for 2021 and beyond? 

Although I don’t want to put a time schedule on this, I started to record my first album, so this would be a nice 2021 goal: finish the album! And a couple more EPs. Later I would like to start composing music for films, hopefully with more and more musicians, and continue making albums, always changing the ratios… Fowever (as a french would say).

Marlene

INTERVIEW — MLEN DRAWS aka MARLENE MAGNOLI

Hi Marlene, such a pleasure to have you at P/N at last. How are you holding up?

Hi Bruno! I’m good, thanks, and really glad to be here! 

Are you keeping active & creative? Was this period life-changing at any level to you?

Especially now, it is hard to stay active and creative (or at least partially). I go through phases; sometimes I’m full of creativity, but sometimes I just hang there. It is challenging to find new inspiration, and I try to bring a lot of variation these days (with moderate success, haha). Then, 20 ideas come at once, and I have to think about how I can work through them! 

I finally found the time to try new things out. And I’ve wanted to try some of them for quite some time, like screenprinting. It is for sure not on a professional level, but at least it is fun and artisanal.

“I go through phases; sometimes I’m full of creativity, but sometimes I just hang there.”

You moved to Berlin a few years ago. Do you still find Berlin and its music scene inspiring? What is inspiring you the most lately?

Absolutely. At the moment Berlin is, of course, very constrained. But it’s still the Berlin I got to know almost 10 years ago – not exactly, but almost. There is no other place where I can hear so much good music and meet so many exciting artists. Berlin is simply alive. It is a bit difficult now, but so many still make the best out of it and do what they can to keep the scene alive – like streaming their sets to virtually bring people to dance in their homes.

Lately, I’ve been listening to more music to feel inspired. In the past, it was traveling, sitting outside in nature. Going out. Living. Nowadays, it’s more the little things: cooking things I never cooked before, searching for music I never heard before…

“I regularly illustrate the covers for Hushlamb. It is an enjoyable recurring project because their ideas combine very well with my ideas and style and the music they release.”

You’re regularly illustrating for the Huhlamb imprint. Do you like doing client-specific works? Do you live from illustration alone?

I regularly illustrate the covers for Hushlamb. It is an enjoyable recurring project because their ideas combine very well with my ideas and style and the music they release! I’m delighted to illustrate for them for so many years, and I think it’s still a perfect fit. Working under client specifications is not so much what I do these days. Instead, I work freely, illustrate whatever comes to my mind. I work for others (illustration-wise) only when it really fits my style. 

 

I’m not a full-time illustrator. I’m a daytime software dev and a nighttime/every time artist. For me having both is really important. Both are creative work: one more technical, the other more free and visual (or even acoustic). The results of my free illustration projects (projected on textile and paper) are also available on Etsy.

"I'm doing some experiments here and there and have turned some of my illustrations into patterns."

One of my current projects is creating patterns for textile printing. I’m doing some experiments here and there and have turned some of my illustrations into patterns. I then print these into the fabric and sew them (not by myself – sadly, I can’t sew anything). Thus far, I’ve printed 3 patterns on 3 different garments (hoodie, bomber jacket, and light scarf). I especially like the print on a slightly shiny fabric like the “Quagga Bomber Jacket” – this is made with duchess satin. I also sell the jackets on request; these are then produced in a single edition. I’m still thinking about how the whole thing can be serialized without having to do individual editions — I hope to work together with manufacturers one day and solve this issue. For the moment, I will continue to design more patterns and print them in single editions, in whatever shape comes to mind (which, of course, manufacturers could too) 😄

What are your techniques? How do you go from primary draft to final piece?

Most of my illustrations are hand-drawn, scanned, and then digitally colored. However, I also started drawing digitally, which means I draw on the tablet and colorize them. Sometimes an idea just comes to my mind, and I immediately begin to draw. Usually, I like to do a little research before I draw – how things should look exactly, etc. – because I’m very detail-oriented when it comes to illustration. When the project is more complex, I make a little collage of whatever I find on the internet and use this as a base to start drawing.

“Most of my illustrations are hand-drawn, scanned, and then digitally colored.”

Tell us more about “Pangolin Color Swing”? What was your creative process, and how did Alex’s music inspire it?

I started listening to the mix, got a glass of wine, and began by picking up an illustration from my archive. The decision fell on a pangolin I had drawn about 3 years ago; A pangolin with many eyes, lots of botany and mushrooms, and a colorful environment. This was the starting scenario.

Alex’s set has something melancholic and surreal in it. The illustration seemed to fit perfectly. While listening to the mix, I started to work on it further: Changed colors, repeated patterns, took another sip of wine, shifted layers, and so on, until the final result you see was achieved.

I had seen your live act back in 2018. Are you still actively making music too?

I am a little bit, although not as much as I was back in 2018. I’m currently more focused on illustration, but I finished an EP this year which will be released on the 26th of April on Ukiyo music. I plan to do more in the future, somehow. I’m also planning a new live act!

 

 

Short, medium, and long-term goals?

Uff. Survive without getting mad! 

Pluie/Noir Interscapes 07

Pluie/Noir
Interscapes 07

“Ventilated & Reflected”

Sound mixed and compiled by Walrus
Visual interpretation by Max Binski

Welcome to the new Pluie/Noir podcast series. 8 years after our debut we decided to press the reboot button and return to our roots. With a new format and back to a regular monthly schedule, Pluie/Noir Interscapes will feature audio collages, mixes, live interviews, and live recordings from P/N artists, friends, and other collectives we admire.

 

For Interscapes 07 we welcome Walrus – Brussels-based DJ, promoter, producer and head honcho of the superlative Basic Moves label – to bring forth his very personal way of presenting ambient music. Abstract acrylic painting on film by Max Binski, the head-honcho of Pluie/Noir, also known as Cleymoore. We interview both for the occasion:

walrus pic

INTERVIEW — WALRUS

Hi Michiel, such a pleasure to have you at P/N. How have you been, all things considered?

Hey Bruno. I’m still rolling through life and feeling alright. Thank you.  

The current pandemic has proven quite challenging for the music business as a whole. Considering you are both a DJ and a promoter and record label owner, how did it affect your work? 

My head doesn’t stop pounding-out ideas, but my legs are in urgent need of dancing! 

I hear you’re good at woodwork? Was this one of your “hobbies turned business” activities during 2020?

So happy there has been a lot of demand in the last few years towards the furniture I design and produce for DJs and collectors. People who’re collecting records had some time to be with their collection and imagined new furniture and setup, so I’m making the Clauset & Dekeyser planning for 2021. It’s looking like a lot of fun with several versatile projects ahead of us. I limit myself to two furniture projects a month, like that I keep some free time for musical projects, Crevette Records, and my personal life. So the people reaching out to me for collectors or DJ furniture need to have some patience. Slowly but surely, we’re building together. 

“there’s been a lot of demand in the last few years towards the furniture I design and produce for DJs and collectors”

Your work for Crevette and Basic Moves has been going on since 2017 now. Do you also work on the distribution part of the store? What are your current plans for Basic Moves after Adi’s (stellar) release? 

I work one day a week for the shop, and I’m taking care of the second-hand records. I’m managing the backstock and looking out if the crates are filled up carefully with used records. My Wednesdays are the busiest days of the week – very blessed to be part of Pim Thomas‘s team (DJ Alfred Anders), where I can meet so many people from different generations and with so many other music styles and sharing the same love for vinyl. Even in these uncertain times, we still hang on to those black circles full of culture.

Crevette Distribution is growing slowly. We’re searching and finding our position in “the industry” thanks to Jakob and Pim‘s hard work. They are real believers. Soon we’ll have a proper distribution website out of Brussels/Belgium, like back in the ’90s! Not 50.000 copies tho… haha… rather between 300 and 500 records, out of love for the music and the format for sure!  

“Crevette Distribution is growing slowly. We’re searching and finding our position in ‘the industry'”

 Oh, and great you dig the album from Adi! It has been a very fun journey to get this release together. Intuitive for sure. Raquel is an amazing artist with a bright future ahead. Basic Moves is continuing to release double maxis until catalog number 20. After that, we’re throwing ourselves into another adventure: artist compilations — In the vein of “K7 DJ Kicks,” etc. — a whole new world when it comes to licensing work and music rights clearance… we’re still looking for an internship lawyer specialized in artist rights. anyone who can help, don’t hesitate to get in touch. (contact@basicmoves.be).

Also brand new is the label that Raquel Rivera-Lys, aka Adi, and I, will start in 2021. Sporadically originated on an afternoon of music listening in Berlin, ‘For Playful Manners’ is based on friendship and a shared sense of what makes club music fun — pointing towards the tradition of dancing, clubbing, and of the future. New music is the message, each time delivered through split EPs and making sure there’s a healthy gender balance: male/female, robot/alien, or flower/tree. The artwork will become a crossword puzzle, where you will have to guess the tracks who own them.. fun! The kick-off is expected in April 2021, with tracks by Raquel and myself. The second EP will come just before the summer and will feature Ludovic from Lima/Peru, and Lisbon-based, French-native Penelope.. all very exciting. 🙂

“‘​Gems Under The Horizon’ is a new chill-out division of Basic Moves”

 
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I’ve read you had a particular desire to start an ambient label. Is this coming to reality any time soon? 

Yes! ‘Gems Under The Horizon‘ is a new chill-out division of Basic Moves inspired by the Sunday Afternoon events that we have sporadically hosted in Brussels in recent years. Artist Dieter Durinck has carte blanche for the complete design of each release. The logo is, just like that of Basic Moves, designed by Camiel Hermans.

The label will debut with 2 compilation EPs (vinyl + digital for the first time) from very different artists, from Lithuania to South Korea. Belgian Ambient wonder Bernard Zwijzen aka Sonmi451 will do the honours in a split release with Brussels deep-techno-cat Dylan Thomas Hays. More news soon! 

Why, when and how did you record this podcast? 

I recorded this mix at my new flat in Brussels, accompanied by two record players, one old skool hi-fi cd player, and a Rodec MX1800 mixer, somewhere during a rainy mid weeknight in November 2020. I wanted to demonstrate my way of approaching ambient music — no musical boundaries and a personal choice of sounds that make me feel grounded and at ease between my ears and through my veins. 

Your performance at CCINQ, based on the modern gestures Josef Albers produced sixty years ago, was quite remarkable. What exactly did you do? Do you intend on promoting further this kind of cultural interaction? 

Over three days I experimented with the possibilities offered by the ARP2600 synthesiser (an American instrument I had never played before) and imagined a sound drawing from it, freely inspired by Josef Albers’ squares and grid points. Each evening I presented a different performance, in which art was transformed by the links between artists. Through this research I managed to capture different ambiences, sequences and sounds, which were uploaded to the internet in the form of open-source samples, available on the CCINQ website.

It was a lot of fun to compose and perform at CINQ, especially in the context of a gallery and during several performance nights in a row. I will definitely continue to create music through artistic residencies and similar settings, but not always with public performances. Hopefully, the next one will be in Ghent experimenting on the EMS Synthi 100 at IPEM: Institute For Psychoacoustics and Electronic Music.

“Each evening I presented a different performance, in which art was transformed by the links between artists.”

 

Short, medium, and long term goals for 2021 and beyond? 

Focussing on Basic Moves (and its side labels), digging into the neverending universe of music & hopefully.. dancing again.. one day.

Tracklist: 

Franz Falckenhaus – No Morality (Strange Life Records, 2010)
Square Fauna – A Sense Of Meaning (Firecracker Recordings, 2020)
Michael William Gilbert – Other Voices / Other Rooms (Gibex, 1978)
Romano, Sclavis & Texier – Sur Le Lac (Label Bleu, 1999)
Mohammad Reza Mortazavi – Tears Of A Fakir/ opt1 (Latency, 2019)
Pretty Sneaky – C (Mana Records, 2020)
Masomenos & e/tape – The Sound Of The Earth Pt2 (Hôtel Costes, 2020)
Takagi Masakatsu – Re Pia 1 (Carpark Records, 2002)
Seungmin Cha – 지금은 우리가 (Now, We Are) (Tonal Unity, 2019)
Sonmi451 – Steady Drop (U-Cover Transparente, 2006)
Max Loderbauer– Prinzessinneneselfroschgänseteig (Bruchstuecke, 2003)

Buy the music you love — don’t stream your life away !

cleymoore pic

INTERVIEW — MAX BINSKI (aka CLEYMOORE)

Hi Bruno, welcome back to the P/N Interscapes series. How have you been, and how are things in Berlin?

Hello Denise! It’s nice to be back to the series. Always a peculiarly warm feeling — working for a series I curate myself and being interviewed after — it’s like, cooking for your own family while discussing your culinary ideas. 

I’ve been relatively ok. I feel somehow lucky to live in Berlin at a time like this; things were more or less under control, the government thinks responsibly and offers a lot of support for those in need. I also have a “normal job” with a permanent contract for a few years now, so it kept me grounded and secure; otherwise, living as a full-time musician, DJ, and label owner would be impossible. In the meantime, I put Pluie/Noir‘s releases more or less on hold last year and devoted my free time to new things and creativity: music, design, modular synths, photography, video and cooking.

You are a multi-talented artist, can you give us some more insight into what you do?  

Well, I do have a bachelor’s degree in Design, so at heart, I’m a graphic designer. I think I’ve been doing freelance design work since 2008. A couple of years after I finished my studies, I realized it was very tough for me to work for creative directors with a vision different from mine, so freelance was the only way, and that’s what I did. During this period, I also worked in the music industry through my Cleymoore moniker and the Pluie/Noir label management. I became particularly interested in working with Graphic Design for the music business, and it became second nature. Been doing visuals and design for record labels and event promoters ever since.

“I became particularly interested in working with Graphic Design for the music business, and it became second nature.”

When I moved to Berlin 5 years ago with my boyfriend, I decided to look for a job as freelancing can be quite exhausting – especially not knowing if you will score enough to pay your rent at the end of the month. Things changed a bit from there, but it grounded me, having a job. Berlin is exquisitely inspiring but quickly becomes a monumental trap if you don’t have a schedule and something steady in your life. Having a job gave me security and provided me with a reliable enough status to get a cozy and quite central flat fast in a city with an oversaturated real-estate situation. Today, I juggle my time between a full-time job, my private life, freelance design work I still do for friends, digging records, making music, managing Pluie/Noir, and now Rings of Neptune with you. I built a little office/studio space at home where I can be creative and productive; that’s where I’ve spent most of my “quarantine year.”

So did this pandemic influence you and the way you work?

I think it did, yes. I’ve tried to look at it as an opportunity to create and try new things, but especially to learn. Considering there are so many things I like and want to do, the quarantine boredom didn’t get to me. I needed some ergonomics, so I’ve turned a small room in my apartment into a place where I now can work during these successive lockdown periods — it’s tiny (about eight square meters), so I consider it as a sort of panic room for music and design.. I’ve made tons of music and many artworks during this period, re-discovered my entire record collection, and re-aligned both my music taste and my professional ambitions. Was deeply introspective, and optimistic. Together with you and our team we also created, developed, and expanded the Rings of Neptune project during 2020 (find out more about the project here); I guess in this sense, it kept both of us quite busy.

This period also made me more politically and socially concerned, so I intend my audio-visual art to carry a political voice of some sort from now on. I’ve started questioning many things about myself and the people I share my life or work with and ultimately re-evaluated my pre-conception of what humans are and how they behave during unprecedented times. But I guess this mental and emotional drift happened collectively, on a global scale.

“being away from clubs and DJ trends also helped, and today I feel utterly unbounded by club-music and its setting’s expectedness”

What kind of projects kept you busy so far?

I have a recent obsession with modular synths and started studying music theory, which ultimately led me to create music in totally distinct ways. Being away from clubs and DJ trends also helped, and today I feel utterly unbounded by club-music and its setting’s expectedness. I’m ever more interested in music’s left-field side, growing closer and closer to new-age and proto-synth music and, quite inevitably, closer to the so-called Ambient genre in all its forms. I believe it can be a ‘metaphysical transportation’ tool rather than a simple musical backdrop — and viscerally cinematic. That’s the world I want to explore under the Max Binski alias; it’s no longer only about visual art. 

And now I have two full-length albums almost ready to release — which will hopefully happen soon on Pluie/Noir and Klangstudie (a new label I’m starting only for my music). I’m also composing a film score for a project I can’t disclose yet, but excitement is an understatement. And because modular synths are now an integral part of my creative process, I’ve taken the challenge of a good friend, and I’m designing his module’s faceplate in euro-rack format.

Oh, and painting! I’m finally back to canvases and inks after several years! I think it’s mostly because of David Surman. We became friends last year after I invited him to do the artwork for Rubi‘s podcast. Following his work weekly re-kindled my will to paint again. His painting style is, to me, both an inspiration and a delight.

“I believe ambient music can be a metaphysical transportation tool rather than a simple musical backdrop”

Why did you decide to end the P/N Podcast and start this Interscapes series?

Pluie/Noir is a long-running project, and long-running projects require some changes at times to keep the boat afloat. The original series ran for nine years, and 84 podcasts later, I felt I lost control over the series. I wanted to provide an expressive platform for all the talented people I encountered on my artistic path, but in the end, it longer had the format I wanted. I got an increasingly absurd number of podcasts and not enough visual artists to cater to the project’s needs. And because I curate and manage the imprint on my own, it was becoming very tough to schedule, interview, gather visuals, and plan the podcasts as I envisioned them in the first years while simultaneously working for a company full-time. I stopped interviewing the artists, and I also stopped making the teaser videos, and the series slowly lost its strong primary identity. My digital persona isn’t as methodic as it used to be when working as a freelancer. I’m increasingly phobic of social media’s algorithms and nuances — one of the biggest and most challenging paradoxes of my life.

Precisely one year ago, I had a great podcast from Evano and CP-AK for P/N in my hands, and because the original series started with Evano, I decided to press the reset button and return to my roots. Created new design templates and a video format for the Instagram age and started doing in-depth interviews with the artists I invited to the series. My original intention was to go back to a regular monthly schedule, but the whole pandemic got in the way. The core idea is still the same but slightly expanded: feature audio collages, mixes, live interviews, and live recordings from P/N artists, friends, and other collectives I admire, all personally invited so that the curation would be absolute. Unfortunately, I closed the door to mixes sent by fans, but it’s the price I had to pay to regain some control over the project. It’s hard for me to say “no, thank you” sometimes, and it got me in trouble on several occasions throughout my life.

And because less is more, instead of the usual triptych format, this series now features only a single visual interpretation by a graphic artist. I intend the artwork to be available to purchase in a limited printed poster format on our rebooted Bandcamp after episode ten, in a pack together with the mixes recorded in tape. Rings of Neptune became the “parent” label for Pluie/Noir, so having a website to properly present the Interscapes series is also something I always wanted, and that’s why you are reading this here! 

“the original series ran for nine years, and 84 podcasts later, I felt I lost control over the series”

How did you make the artwork for this episode of the Interscapes series?

I developed a series of acrylic paint techniques in transparent film layers with visually striking results about six years ago. The possibilities for visual deconstruction are quite outstanding. I started using acrylic like I use photoshop: bit by bit, adding or removing textures according to my intentions.

Over the past six years, I did about 15 of them, took very high-resolution photos of each (including close-ups), and I’ve been using those textures and paintings in tons of my artworks ever since. I created this artwork for Walrus out of digitally manipulated and heavily layered close-up photos of one of these paintings. The original was a thick, transparent film-based painting in white, red, and blue I did four years ago. I intended it to be as mellow, organic, and fluid as Walrus’s music selection and mixing are. Opted to manipulate the original colors into a warmer and fuller palette, giving vibrant life to brutally abstract shapes. That’s the beauty of abstract art — it’s purely subjective. Let your imagination fly.

“I’ve also re-started reading comics, concretely mangas, which I always liked to do but never did enough”

What are your favorite sources of audio-visual inspiration?

Films, series, and video-games are still my favorite sources of inspiration. Avidly collecting music in physical formats like vinyl or tape is also inspiring because I get bombarded by audio-visual ideas. I’m not only buying a record; I’m also acquiring a physical product with a unique design and artwork that I’m supposed to experience in full. Labels like Light In The Attic or Music From Memory understand and truly explore this very well: music as a complete sensory experience. 

I’ve also re-started reading comics, concretely mangas, which I always liked to do but never did enough. I appreciate the medium even more now than I did when I was younger, especially Japanese manga artists like Inio Asano, Junji Ito, or Makoto Yukimura, or the American author Neil Gaiman (creator of the fantastic Sandman series). I lacked the maturity needed to understand their depth fully. They inspire me deeply, not just visually but also intelectualy.

And modular systems, of course. They opened a pandora’s box I didn’t know I had inside me. There’s nothing quite like it: they’re complicated and at times unpredictable, frankly temperamental but infinitely inspirational. I fell in love with Make Noise after trying it at Orbe‘s studio in Madrid. I studied and learned all I could learn about modular systems for an entire year before taking the lunge. I wanted to be sure about it and use my money responsibly. A year later, I built a customized Black & Gold Shared System, and I’m now expanding my system to an Intellijel 7U Stealth Case. All things modular are my primary source of musical creation, together with Ableton’s underestimated Wavetable engine and Max MSP instruments and effects. But that’s a long story for another time.

“modular systems opened a pandora’s box I didn’t know I had inside me.. they’re complicated, frankly temperamental but infinitely inspirational.”

Short, medium and long-term goals? 

My shortest term goal was to get a cat, which is already a reality today. I had cats in the past, but unfortunately, I had to give one away. The other stayed with my sister, and I can’t take him anymore as they bonded deeply. I adopted a cat through the MJM Dogs Foundation of the Netherlands (thanks, Masha). He’s a cross-breed between common-euro and Russian Blue, has emerald green eyes, he’s super cute, and seems to like my music. 

Medium to long-term plans: reboot Pluie/Noir‘s label side as I currently have four releases on hold, finally finish my first solo Pluie/Noir club-driven release, start Rings of Neptune‘s label and sub-labels, explore some artistic residencies around the globe to culturally activate the cities in the circuit, and much more I can’t disclose right now. And hopefully, dance in a club, as soon as possible? (..) What’s a club? 

Remember to donate if you can during these trying times, not only to your favorite clubs and music promoters, but also to social and health organizations that stand for the things you believe. Some countries also need external help due to oppressive regimes. If you can’t donate, spread the word, activate their voices if you use social media — it’s the best use you can give it. And don’t forget our planet.

Thanks, Denise, for helping me talk about myself.

Links:

www.basicmoves.be
contact@basicmoves.be
www.maxbinski.com


Whttps://pluienoir.tumblr.com
M: info (at) pluienoir.com

Pluie/Noir Interscapes 02

Pluie/Noir 
Interscapes 02

“Interior Design”


Sound mixed and compiled by Rubi
Visual interpretation by David Surman

Welcome to the new Pluie/Noir podcast series, Interscapes. 8 years after our debut we decided to press the reboot button and return to our roots. With a new format and back to a regular monthly schedule, Pluie/Noir Interscapes will feature audio collages, mixes, live interviews and live recordings from P/N artists, friends, and other collectives we admire.

Because less is more, instead of the usual triptych format, this series will feature one single visual interpretation of the music by a graphic artist. The artwork will be available to purchase in poster format on our rebooted Bandcamp page very soon, with cassettes or CD-r of the mixes as a bonus.

World events have taken the series out of its planned monthly schedule, but priority was on the safety and functional structure of the private lives of everyone involved in the project during these unprecedented times. 

For Interscapes 02 we welcome Rubi, a versatile german artist based in Myanmar, with a visual interpretation by english painter David Surman. You can learn more about them right here:

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INTERVIEW — RUBI

Hi Christina, welcome to the P/N Interscapes series. How have you been?

Hi there, and thank you so much for having me on your wonderful series! <3 I’m good, I’m enjoying what I can from the comfort of my own home together with my little kitty, currently working online and otherwise painting and reading a lot or watching movies!

Why did you move to Southeast Asia? Was it mere chance or a long-term goal?

A little bit of both, but I’d say it was intentional I moved here initially only for a short-term gig of three months early 2017 which I found really quite randomly but was very intrigued by. And honestly, I just liked it so much that I felt like I needed to come back and spend more time! 

I moved back to Yangon, Myanmar in August 2018 and have been here since, and I deeply love it – there’s a different energy in the air in Southeast Asia, people are kind and positive everywhere around you and there is still so much space on an economic and artistic level that it’s a very fulfilling place to be!

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“there’s a different energy in the air in Southeast Asia, people are kind and positive everywhere around you and there is still so much space on an economic and artistic level that it’s a very fulfilling place to be!”

 

Your endeavours seem pretty vast. What did you study, what do you do for a living, and how do you entangle it with music?

Ha, I’m an economist and data scientist during the day. I’ve always been listening to and surrounding myself with music, but actually got deeper into DJing when I started my PhD in Barcelona in 2013 – I just felt like at the end of a long, mentally draining day I needed to use a very different part of my brain to really relax and let go, and getting creative with the music perfectly hit the spot. I’m currently teaching at a Liberal Arts and Sciences Institute here in Myanmar, which has the goal of bringing quality education to students from different walks of life, particularly those from ethnic minorities and less privileged backgrounds.

I finally got to combine my two worlds by teaching a class in music psychology this term, where we are exploring the role of music in everyone’s life from early childhood, how it is used as a social identifier and its connection to politics and conflict. My students are in their early 20s, and I’ve put them on the guestlist for several of the club nights I’ve organized here and they think it’s the coolest thing ever to see their professor behind the decks haha!

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How is the audio-visual arts scene in Myanmar and the surrounding Nations? Are you helping activate it somehow and what are you working on nowadays?

I’d say the scene particularly in this part of Asia is at an early stage compared to Europe, but driven by a lot of passion and daring, forward-thinking people. In most of the major cities, you’ll find a beautiful venue and a small dedicated crew of people behind it – some of my favourite places I’ve played at in the area are Savage and Observatory in Vietnam, the Resonant crew at B1 in Taipei and Club Kowloon in Hong Kong. Also, the early-stage vibe brings the liberating attitude that as a DJ it’s really just about making people dance, and there’s no ego yet about the tracks you play or how you achieve this – if you can manage a dance floor, you get a stamp of approval. 

Myanmar I’d say is the youngest scene by yet another margin, particularly because of its very recent coming-out of a military dictatorship. There’s a small number of local DJs and very few venues that dare to program (non-EDM) electronic music, and I was lucky to get a residency in my favourite club in town within the first month of arriving! I started my Out Of Sight events here, a monthly series which gained a very regular following and is the only one with international bookings in the whole country. Upon coming here, I didn’t really think I’d get to start another series of my own, especially inviting over so many DJ friends to come to visit and also contribute and explore the country while they’re here. Honestly, part of my joy in doing this has purely been getting inspired myself by seeing people play, bringing together a community of friends to dance through the night and just have a really great time.

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“it’s really just about making people dance, and there’s no ego yet about the tracks you play or how you achieve this – if you can manage a dance floor, you get a stamp of approval. “

 
It’s been a very gratifying journey, not least because it received appreciation from people in town – many of the local DJs became loyal followers and very excited to see artists from different countries play here in Yangon. Over the past couple of months, I’ve had Adam Collins here, Exos (twice!), TC80, Avos & Moses Mawila, Max Davis and many more. So yes, I feel like I’ve made a small contribution to the scene in one particular place – and honestly, there is still so much space here for people doing things that it’s very fun and easy to create something impactful!
 

Tell us more about “Interior Design”: How, why, when?

I’ve recorded this podcast at home in Yangon, on a chill midweek evening when I felt a little spark of inspiration. I honestly take forever to record podcasts, as you already know from me submitting this so late. I get deeply into overthinking mode and since I don’t publish many mixes I want them to have a specific theme and vision behind instead of just putting tracks together – which usually ends up with me procrastinating for months until it finally clicks and I know exactly what I want to do. There are quite a few tempo changes inside as I tried to create an arch from very slow ambient tracks to something I’d play in the middle of a night and then back down again. But somehow all of the tracks I put feel deeply me and representative of the style I like, so I identify with it. 

The name was a last-minute hunch, but seemed fitting with the current phase of everyone spending time inside their homes and through this discovering maybe not just their furniture but also the building blocks of their inside world.

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And music-making? Is it something you want to explore?

I’ve actually gotten into playing acoustic music here with friends in recent months, and that’s been a really fun journey! I have a bunch of instruments at my home, and hosting small jam sessions has been one of my favourite pastimes. All of them are much more talented and experienced than me but have graciously taken me in so I’m constantly learning a lot. 

On the electronic music side, I feel most compelled by making more experimental and ambient things as it feels like there is a larger range of freedom for exploration. I’ve been sampling some of the sounds in my surroundings for a while as the hustle and bustle here sounds so different from what I’m used to in Europe, so we’ll see what comes out of it!

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“The name was a last-minute hunch, but seemed fitting with the current phase of everyone spending time inside their homes and through this discovering maybe not just their furniture but also the building blocks of their inside world.”

 

Short, medium and long term goals?

Honestly, I’m a pretty chill person, so my overall goal in life is just to spend my time in an interesting and creative way, surround myself with people I love and somehow leave a positive trace with what I do. If I manage to keep combining all of these things I’ll consider myself a lucky and successful human!

— X —

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INTERVIEW — DAVID SURMAN

Hi David, such a pleasure to have you at P/N. How are you, all things considered?

Thank you for asking, I’m very good right now. The pandemic has shifted my reality in all sorts of unexpected ways. I had coronavirus after taking a trip to Madrid, then New York. I came back to London and got sick immediately. I’m so glad to have fully recovered. I’m enjoying the empty London.

Have you lived abroad and explored different artistic fields apart from painting, or has it always been about England and canvases?

I was introduced to painting when I was a teenager by an artist Rob Fairley who my dad knew. I had always drawn a lot, but I didn’t consider being a painter until much later. I actually trained to be an animation film director, which seems so ridiculous to me now. I thought of it as a pragmatic choice – the kind of profession which is somewhere between a reliable job and artistic freedom. Little did I know that hand-drawn animation would all but disappear. 

I absolutely loved good quality animation, films like Akira and Ghost in the Shell, and the Studio Ghibli films. I wanted to make them, and I also wanted to disappear into them. I started seriously painting again in my early 30s after a decade of working in animation and videogames in the UK and Australia. The timing has been perfect for me, as I started to paint really when I was ready. Australia changed my work, it made me think about colour and light and scale. I made films and animations and games there with my partner Ian Gouldstone before we came back to the UK and I started to paint full time around 2013.

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“I absolutely loved good quality animation, films like Akira and Ghost in the Shell, and the Studio Ghibli films. I wanted to make them, and I also wanted to disappear into them.”

 

I’d discovered your work through Sound Of Vast’s “5th Anniversary Series”. It featured a series of paintings from your “Paintings for the Cat Dimension” exhibition/installation. What was it about?

That was such a wonderful collaboration, and the team at Sound of Vast are brilliant. My exhibition was a series of 12 paintings of the same cat motif, a mother with two kittens, interpreted in 12 different ways. I wanted to make a statement on what it means to paint in the post-internet era, without giving in to the impulse to simply paint or reproduce imagery directly from online culture. So I created a cat motif in response to the prevalence of cats online from the beginning. The real statement though was the stylistic shifting around. I wanted to say “we are playing with identity all the time, why should an artist be an authentic singular identity?” I wanted to show that an artist can wear many masks, and they’re all authentic in representing artistic action.  

Do you consider the internet, social media and contemporary sub-cultures the biggest influences of your work?

I don’t believe you get to choose your influences so much in art. By the time you’re 8 years old or so, your plastic little brain has been shaped by certain formative things. For me, there are two fascinations, first the natural world, which nourishes the animal side of me. The second is the artificial human world of images, electronic media, videogames, movies, art. 

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“we are playing with identity all the time, why should an artist be an authentic singular identity?”

 

As much as I would like to be integrated into nature like a romantic dreamer I firmly believe humans are stuck outside of nature, so we have to make a new nature for ourselves to comfort and distract ourselves. This is art, and it takes many shapes, from youtube to painting to music. I see all these things as fundamentally the same, art is doing something with love. I see a lot of love in internet cultural activity and so it influences me. Though I have no idea how visible all this is in the work.

My approach is also calculated, I am interested in having an impact followed by a slowly shifting understanding, and you need to push colour to achieve that. Also as I have gotten older and become more and more conscious of art history I feel a sort of obligation to have courage with colour and put out my ideas in a clear way.

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Do you listen to music while painting? Does music have an impact on you while you paint?

I absolutely listen to music when I paint, and I am totally repetitive in my choices. I listen to David Bowie’s discography on repeat, and Kate Bush too. If I need to go to a particular mindset I will listen to Bach, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Glass. Bowie and Bush are just always there, timeless, every aspect of it is totally known and listening to them while painting just greases everything along nicely. I would like to be a curious listener and search for different music, but I think I’ve become extremely focused on the experiences of the eye, and perhaps not so much the other senses.  

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“I firmly believe humans are stuck outside of nature, so we have to make a new nature for ourselves to comfort and distract ourselves.”

 

Raucous Bird” is your visual interpretation of Rubi’s podcast. Why did you choose this particular work?

Listening to Rubi’s work I was thinking a lot about the space of music, and the way we lose a sense of direction. It becomes spatial, but there isn’t necessarily a top or bottom. This is very different from visual art, which relies a lot on a structure of top, bottom, and so on. It made me think of the paintings of cockatoos I’ve made, who I saw often in Australia, playing fun games in the trees. They appear weightless and live to enjoy the space and their own free bodily movement. For me, the music creates a wonderful association with this memory.

Short, medium and long term goals?

To make exciting paintings that have an impact, and to bring the work to new places. That’s the priority for me at any given time. Thanks so much for asking such great questions. 

 

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