What instruments, effects and technologies do you use in your music-making, and how?
I have a small, basic setup. I have a Roland HP-2 that I use as a MIDI controller for piano-based music. I still use Propellerhead’s Reason for all my pianos; it’s the first DAW I had and I’ve come to identify with the few piano patches I used in the beginning. They’re a part of my voice. The Zoom H4n for collecting field recordings and other samples. Lately, though, I’ve been using my live set-up for composing, so my voice has been changing for the last year. I use a microKorg, TC Electronics Ditto, Line6 M13 stompbox modeler and loop station, Fairfield Electronics Shallow Water, and a Shure SM57.
Effects-wise I love time-stretching, delays in series, convolution reverb, and fuzz distortion. The first two bring me and my sounds that sense of stillness or suspension. The fuzz distortion is really physical for me.
How does sound affect your mental state? Do you use sound to modulate your mood, if so how?
Sound is everything for me. I’m easily distracted by sound and get very overwhelmed in loud or noisy environments, so I love silence as much as I love sound; I think they go hand in hand. I’m not religious but I love this quote from Arvo Pärt: “Silence is the pause in me when I am near to God. ”
If I’m listening to something, then that’s probably the only thing I’m listening to for a good week or two, because I want to stay in that mood and observe it in detail rather than accept its transience. I want to let it filter everything, overcome my body, and either support or challenge my thoughts and emotions.
When I’m playing or recording is when I’m most at peace. I’m completely focused and present, and everything slows down in the most exhilarating way. It’s mindfulness and escape at the same time. It’s my way of communicating and of controlling my sonic environment.
If I’m feeling particularly anxious, I like to listen to things really loud. So loud I can’t think anymore. It brings me out of my head and into my body.
What is your relationship to your audience, how to relate to them when you perform?
I don’t see myself as a performer and don’t want myself, personally, to be the audience’s focus. My hope is always that the listener will accept my invitation to that moment of stillness and have their own experiences either personally or collectively.