Take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your work, please. 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 normally get up early if there are no shows. On a performing day, I’ll try and sleep more. I’m not able to schedule things because I think I have a little bit of ADHD, so I’m not trying to always focus on one thing. In the morning, I just play instruments one by one, I have many. I usually start with drums, then piano, then something else, then I reply to some emails. I do 15 minutes of this, then I’ll do 15 minutes of that.
In the afternoon, I’ll probably go meet someone or record or edit something on the computer. Night time is for yoga and some other exercises. It’s hard for me to separate music from other aspects of life as I’m always looking for a rhythm that makes our life pulse. I’m always trying to find inspiration from all aspects of life.
Can you talk about a breakthrough work, event or performance in your career? Why does it feel special to you? When, why and how did you start working on it, what were some of the motivations and ideas behind it?
I started this AV show with my partner Teom Chen around 2017 or so. It’s very important for me to play live shows as an electronic musician. But I found it difficult to express in the form of electronic music. Sometimes it felt disconnected because the sound it generates can be very ghostly. It’s not like a simple acoustic instrument where you play and it sounds.
For this project, we play this interesting audio-visual work where he and I try to play very simple stuff. He controls some avatars made out of Unreal engine, then we interact with the audience just like an acoustic player. It’s very interesting to develop something that’s full of dynamic. I guess to embrace some simplicity is a very important thing to us.
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?
I guess the more you try to enter the ideal state of mind, the more it will elude you. My own experience is to embrace your own nature. And to me being simple is the key, like breathing. I’ve learned a lot from yoga practices. If I have a good air flow then I can focus very easily. As I said I’m a bit ADHD so it’s difficult for me to focus on something too long.
A good state of mind connects with a good state of body. They are not separated. If you work well with your body, then the body will tell you everything.
Music and sounds can heal, but they can also hurt. Do you personally have experiences with either or both of these? Where do you personally see the biggest need and potential for music as a tool for healing?
We are surrounded by this consumerist world; a lot of noise all the time. Relaxing music can be healing, but extreme noises can be healing too. It’s very complicated how our ears and mind works but music and sounds are very different thing. To me the healing is really to forget about the music. We made be guided by the rhythm of the music to go into this vast emptiness, but once we are there, we have to rely on our own mind.
There is a fine line between cultural exchange and appropriation. What are your thoughts on the limits of copying, using cultural signs and symbols and the cultural/social/gender specificity of art?
There are a lot of cultural symbols being used in my previous works. I did this fun edit of socialists’ dance music and stuff. Some people found it provocative. I guess for art, it’s difficult to put a limitation, because if something is not making someone angry, it means it isn’t asking the right questions. I guess it’s all about the individual artist’s mental state. If they want to make a radical piece, they must face the opponents they’re trying to provoke psychologically. If they break down, then they have to face failure.
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?
My goal is not to reveal sound as a sensational impulse, but rather to expose a pattern of life as a rhythmic movement. In this aspect, there are no differences in all art forms.
Sometimes I go to lay down on the sea surface. I know a lot of people know how to do it. You inhale and exhale so your abdomen becomes your floating chamber. Then you’ll start feel the waves. It’s so dense and full of energy and it’s all various in form, touch and sound. But overall, it’s an interesting pattern and if you’re able to adapt to it, you’ll be able to float and you’ll feel great.
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?
Art is so called art and that’s what it is. I am art and I am also not art. I’m not trying to find exactly what it is. I’m just keen on doing what I do. It’s more about finding a balanced mental status. If I’m mentally healthy then I won’t care if I’m doing music or not, I’ll be happy if I’m pretending I’m a leaf.
What can music express about life and death which words alone may not?
Music is raw frequencies. It is the parent of our mind. It is a cycle of rhythm and I believe our universe is a pattern of rhythm. And words and languages were born out of music. They come from those primal screams. And to me, music is not to express but to vibrate with other frequencies surrounding you. Then the words will come out as they wish. They have their own will.