Interview: 10 questions
1) When did you start making music, what is / was your motivation to do it?
My first musical experiences were when I was around 3, going around records shops with my father and look at him playing guitar in the kitchen on an old prepared radio.
I started to « play « that guitar and turn the knobs of the amplifier/radio, creating those very loud drones.
I canʼt stay without doing music, if so I go in trouble.
2) Tell me something about your living environment and the musical
My first experiments with recordings started with an old tape recorder. I discovered some tricks with low battery recordings and play back with full.
The musical education started very early with a huge amount of records played around me. I was surrounded by 60ʼs rock, jazz, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese popular songs.
I started to DJ at 12, bass guitar at 16 and drum at 17. I attended courses on sound engineering, some private bass lessons and at jazz school and electro acoustic music courses.
From 2006 to 2007 I was a master student at SARC (Sonic Art Research Centre) of the Queens University of Belfast.
At the moment I am a PHD candidate at the MTI of Demonfort University, Leicester.
I worked as promoter and DJ in a concert venue called Bikini Test in Switzerland from 1992 to 2000. Some musicians who played there: Harold Budd, The Ramones, The Roots, Toots and the Maytals, Mushroom and Daddy G from Massive Attack, Howie B, Hermeto Pascoal, The Buzzcocks to name a few.
My musical experience on stage started with unknown punk and funk bands in the 80ʼs. I was a DJ for 20 years (a mix of reggae, dub, funk, soul hip-hop, electronic, breaks, etc.) sometimes on the national radio station, but mainly in clubs, festival and concert venues around Europe and Switzerland.
Around 1996, I started a band with turntables and poems called A-Poetik; I added later sampler, guitar and voices. The project went on the road for 5 years, was produced by Al Comet (from the band the Young Gods) and signed his first record on Universal music (released at the Montreux Jazz festival in 2001).
I decided to continue my experiments in duo with a San Franciscan poet (Whitman McGowan) with who I made tours in the USA and Europe. From this experience exist the album « Caught in the Act » with stories of dreams, aliens and love. In 2003, while I was touring in New Mexico (USA), I met an electronic cellist. This was an incredible collaboration (2 Humans & The Cosmos – album Alien Love Song);
we worked together on the textures from the cello and electronic sounds. I never
heard a cello sounding like him (Michael Kott).
Since 10 years, I tend to work on field recordings and textures leading to sound installations, acousmatic pieces and sound art, because listening to the environment gives me all I need for my music.
3) Is making music your profession? What is the context in which you practice music nowadays?
YES. Actually I am an artist in residence for the programme Swiss Artist in Lab. The lab where I work is called Brain Mind Institute at EPFL, Lausanne. I collaborate with scientists to explore ways to make music with EEG, explore emotions and mental imagery.
I work on projects for sound for digital environments, on field recordings and sound based compositions, sound art.
I gave sometimes workshops in Brazil and Europe on sound composition for sound for digital environments and I work in the University network, dark smelly underground clubs, theatres or any possible space having a PA.
4. How do you compose or create music or sound? Have you certain principles, use certain styles etc?
I try to not have too many habits, mainly finding new ways for each new project.
5.Tell me something about the instruments, technical equipment or tools you use?
I tend to be very light with my equipment, I like to have the basics: a laptop, a recorder, a
bass guitar and 2 monitors. The idea is to be able to move quickly somewhere else, because it stresses me to have too much material.
6. What are the chances of New Media for the music production in general
and you personally?
Well, New Media tend to become old these days, like digital arts. Itʼs a general concept. I
would like to investigate ways to make projects based on computer art, new media, etc without a single computer or cell phone in the room.
7. How about producing and financing your musical productions?
I use to work in the architectural field sometimes; it helped to pay the rent. On the other hand
Iʼve won some bursaries, awards and residencies the last 10 years.
8. Do you work individually as a musician/sound artist or in a group or collaborative?
If you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?
Itʼs a mix of both. Sometimes I like to collaborate with musicians Iʼve met around the world
during my trips.
But most of the time, I like to work alone.
9. Is there any group, composer, style or movement which has a lasting influence on making music?
People like the Italian Futurists, Pierre Schaffer, King Tubby, the birds outside, the whales, the music of the spheres
10. What are your future plans or dreams as a soundartist or musician?
Travel a lot.