Name: Billy Roiz aka Bettina Roisz
Occupation: Musician, filmmaker, performer, sound artist
Nationality: Austrian
Current event: Billy Roisz, alongside Marta Zapparoli and Sarah Davachi, is featured in the current edition of the Kontraklang performance series. The event will take place Sunday October 17th 2021, 8pm, Emmaus-Kirche, Berlin-Kreuzberg. Get tickets here.

[Read our Sarah Davachi interview]
[Read our Marta Zapparoli interview]

If you enjoyed this interview with Billy Roiz  and would like to stay up to date on her output and activities, visit her official homepage.

Where does the impulse to create something come from for you? What role do often-quoted sources of inspiration like dreams, other forms of art, personal relationships, politics etc play?

Input and triggers for ideas often come from science, like physics, psychology, biology, chemistry. But also from all kind of art forms, like cinema, literature, music, visual art, architecture.

Just having my mind and senses open and adapting my personal filters to interesting inputs ...

For you to get started, do there need to be concrete ideas – or what some have called a 'visualisation' of the finished work? What does the balance between planning and chance look like for you?

It's a mixture of concrete ideas and chance. The working process itself often leads to other, new, different outputs, that are not planned from the beginning.

Is there a preparation phase for your process? Do you require your tools to be laid out in a particular way, for example, do you need to do 'research' or create 'early versions'?

There has to be some state of lazyness and contemplation to get the process started.

So for example the hypnagogic phase before falling asleep can be very fruitful for ideas. Therefore I always have a pen and a little notebook close to my bed.

Also travelling on trains, listening to beautiful but bit boring concerts can evoke this kind of mind trips.

Many writers have claimed that as soon as they enter into the process, certain aspects of the narrative are out of their hands. Do you like to keep strict control over the process or is there a sense of following things where they lead you?

No – loosing control leads to unplannable paths. So that's always a main player in the game.

Especially in the digital age, the writing and production process tends towards the infinite. What marks the end of the process? How do you finish a work?

Usually it's very clear to me. Also, some works can also be left unfinished ... even better sometimes. And then again, sometimes it just has to be finished, because something new is waiting already...

After finishing a piece or album and releasing something into the world, there can be a sense of emptiness. Can you relate to this – and how do you return to the state of creativity after experiencing it?

No usually I am happy to release the work, and usually other ideas are already waiting. And as I mentioned before, the state of lazyness, contemplation is essentially to let new ideas emerge.

Creativity can reach many different corners of our lives. Do you personally feel as though writing a piece of music is inherently different from something like making a great cup of coffee? What do you express through music that you couldn't or wouldn't in more 'mundane' tasks?

I like to cook – and particularly I like to improvise with the ingredients that I find in the fridge and cupboard. I have something in mind when I then start to cook, but more of an idea where I want to go then a certain result.

Playing a live gig can be quite the same experience. I don't like fixed recipes (laughs).