Could you take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your work? Do you have a fixed schedule? How do music and other aspects of your life feed back into each other - do you separate them or instead try to make them blend seamlessly?
My routine (except school holiday) is getting up, sending kids to school, do some administrative work for a few hours, house chores, then I will make some music before I pick up children from school. If I have a deadline, I will make more time to work on music. When kids are around, it is all over the place.
Could you describe your creative process on the basis of a piece or album that's particularly dear to you, please? Where did the ideas come from, how were they transformed in your mind, what did you start with and how do you refine these beginnings into the finished work of art?
Recent works tend to have a theme and I work around that. For instance, my recent work Pan De Sonic – ISO had a direction and concept. It was all about ISO life (life in isolation) from morning till night and I thought my loopy isolation life could be documented with my music loops to maintain my sanity. Once I had an initial idea, I mapped the flow of a day with sourced sounds from morning till night like an alarm, kettle, toaster, house chore, remote learning and working, physical activities, fire sounds, cat purr etc. Then I composed tracks based on my routine life. These tracks are quite visual.
There are many descriptions of the ideal state of mind for being creative. What is it like for you? What supports this ideal state of mind and what are distractions? Are there strategies to enter into this state more easily?
There are so many states of mind for being creative for me. I often feel out of place. This makes me melancholy and nostalgic about my family back home which makes me emotional and this emotion brings strength to my music. My good friend who is a very talented composer said to me once that having the right attitude is important to progress and get better. Since then, when I tend to get distracted or agitated, I think back to this advice and reset.
How is playing live and writing music in the studio connected? What do you achieve and draw from each experience personally? How do you see the relationship between improvisation and composition in this regard?
It is hard to answer. focus on writing music more than playing live. In fact, playing live is the last thing I think about when I compose music. Improvisation is great when it works and it is the best thing to witness but my ears are prone to pay attention to composition.
How do you see the relationship between the 'sound' aspects of music and the 'composition' aspects? How do you work with sound and timbre to meet certain production ideas and in which way can certain sounds already take on compositional qualities?
When sounds become entertaining, I see or hear 'music' there. I like collecting sounds and turning them into music composition. Matthew Herbert and Cornelius are the masters of this technique. I can only work around the way I know but I am getting better with mixing to balance those different sounds. Our sense of hearing shares intriguing connections to other senses.
From your experience, what are some of the most inspiring overlaps between different senses - and what do they tell us about the way your senses work? What happens to sound at its outermost borders?
For me, sounds/music can trigger memories. This is intricately linked to emotional responses. Sounds can create a pathway to past experiences and help to create future ones.
Art can be a purpose in its own right, but it can also directly feedback into everyday life, take on a social and political role and lead to more engagement. Can you describe your approach to art and being an artist?
Art can be anything. Everyone becomes an artist when they start solidifying their ideas and thoughts into something. I just respond to sounds and music which allows me to time travel and heal. Music can heal and lighten our feelings. If my music can bring some smiles, I would be very happy and honoured.
It is remarkable, in a way, that we have arrived in the 21st century with the basic concept of music still intact. Do you have a vision of music, an idea of what music could be beyond its current form?
Some music never ages and will be loved and heard for many centuries. Maybe there are patterns and forms we are programmed to hear and enjoy. I would say mathematical music may be beyond its current form? Music can be more physical and visual.