Collaborations can take on many forms. What role do they play in your approach and what are your preferred ways of engaging with other creatives through, for example, file sharing, jamming or just talking about ideas?
I like to work with others ... and sometimes I don't. But mainly I do.
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?
I get up and chant every morning. Then I eat breakfast and go for a coffee and then I go to the studio and work ... mix tunes, or make tunes ... or listen ... and then I go home, and listen to more music and do my evening chanting (I practice Nichiren Buddhism). On the weekends, I go to the country or swimming or partying :) I also eat out with friends a great deal ... actually I love seeing friends ... it is enlivening
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?
Listen to other amazing pieces of music.
Try to copy.
Go for a walk.
Then try something else...
A month later realise that actually that first idea was pretty good, mix it, add it to the album.
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?
When I chant earnestly in the morning and have a nice start to the day that is always a good mindset to begin with. Then I just have to turn the phone off and not feel guilty about the people who insist that I must be available to their every whim. Going for a walk is ALWAYS a good idea ... Always.
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?
I think improvisation is crucial. And actually electronic production can be very limiting in that regard. I find performing live can be so scary, but it is so energising when a gig comes off well. And there are always ideas that come out of it ... I intend to write at least three new pieces based on some random unexpected ideas that came out whilst performing live last weekend!
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?
I dunno. I just make it up as I go along. Sound design is really important I believe, but I am lazy so I often go with what I got and build something from that, then go back and completely tweak it out of all recognition. Maybe I need to be a bit more considered ...
I also like to record incongruous stuff and process the hell out of it, stretch it and fuck it up to create some sort of unexpected texture. I wish I was as amazing as Jon Hopkins though! Mad skillz!
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 our senses work? What happens to sound at its outermost borders?
I think I am insensitive. I never experience anything like that. I am deaf in one ear though ... did I mention that before? I just feel that techno is like the land and the air..
Art can be a purpose in its own right, but it can also directly feed back 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?
It is to articulate the inarticulate. It is to please the muses, and it is to feel whole again.
I think by doing this one can engage with others and we remember that we are all part of the same universe. It is to promote peace through dialogue. Artistic dialog is so important between all humans.
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?
Music is eternal ...