The Volume

Alexander Chikmakov (KZ), Denis Kolokol (UA)



Interview: 10 questions

1. When did you start making music, what is/was your motivation to do it?

We both started to make music quite long ago, but decided to play together only in the beginning of 2006. The motivation to make music?.. Definitely, passion to it, pleasure of “give-and-take” style of work, and wish to tell about obvious things in non-obvious way.

2. Tell me something about your living environment and the musical education.

Living environment: at the moment Denis divides his life between Kiev, where he has a lot of friends, and Krakow, where he works as a composer for the contemporary theater piece. Alexander lives in Almaty and teaches in the musical school. Apart from the_volume he spends a lot of time on his project Sambuka (the live band which plays beat, cubano, latina rock).
We both have no finished formal musical education (we both got technical instead). Alexander decided to quit musical colledge after the first year of studies, and self-education in music in the several directions (such as classic guitar, jazz harmony, improvisation). Denis had a half a year course in the Electroacoustic Studio of the Academy of Music in Krakow (in the course of Gaude Polonia program), but the course was rather close to what is called “intermedia”, than to music.

3.Is making music your profession? What is the context in which you practice music nowadays?

Actually yes, it’s true for both of us. Alexander works as a teacher of classical guitar, and Denis writes music for theater. Although both of those involvements are quite far from what we are trying to do in the_volume project.

4. How do you compose or create music or sound? Have you certain principles, use certain styles etc?

It’s rather difficult to name a style when the music is completely abstract. We usually start from some idea, and then develop it to the state of a piece. Although even this kind of work is quite new for us – we were kind of forced to start working that way after Denis moved from Almaty to Krakow. Previously we were purely free-improvising duo. But the one special principle that was always valid for us is to erase any difference between electronics and acoustic instrument ― ideologically, seman as well as sonically. We give both guitar and computer equal space, and we always try to push listener to forget about the approach “who is playing at the moment” – instead of this we want to create some artificial environment that would give the oportunity to “experience” music, not just to “listen to it” (And yes! We like POWERFULL soundsystems 🙂 ).

5. Tell me something about the instruments, technical equipment or tools you use?

Alexander plays 6 strings acoustic guitar and volume pedal, no filters, no effects. Denis Kolokol uses SuperCollider 3 (mainly for granular and FM synthesis, but also for some interactive models), and Cubase for mastering recordings. Nothing else at the moment.

6. What are the chances of New Media for the music production in general and you personally?

We are particularly interested in the idea of New Media which can be used in the way that acoustic instruments are used ― just imagine some computer program which gererates sound one can easily recognize and control, but there is still something new appears in it every other time the program is being started. In fact we are interested in reversed situation as well ― try to push guitar to sound like a complicated synthesizer written in Max/MSP or SuperCollider.

7. How about producing and financing your musical productions?

We are preparing the material for the CD-R release at the moment. If it goes well, we would probably apply to some grant to record a CD.

8. Do you work individually as a musician/soundartist or in a group or collaborative?
If you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?

the_volume is a duo. Of course, apart from it we have a lot of other things, including our solo projects. But our work in the_volume is about feeling of some kind of protuberance emerging from each of us, sharing the energy with each other.

9.Is there any group, composer, style or movement which has a lasting influence on making music?

A lot, but probably their names would hardly give any idea about our music.

10. What are your future plans or dreams as a soundartist or musician?

As we are distanted more than 5000km from each other, our main dream is to get a chance to play together at least twice a year.

out of competition: .

Can works of yours experienced online besides on SoundLAB? Where?
List some links & resources

Deadline for submitting: ongoing

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subject: SIP – interview project

Thanks in advance,
Wilfried Agricola de Cologne
SoundLAB –