Part 1

Name: Max Clementi aka Miraclis
Occupation: Producer, composer
Nationality: Chilean  
Recent release: Miraclis' Origin Of Truth is out July 29th via Secret Teachings.
Recommendations: The first one is a track from Marconi Union, called Weightless. It was composed with the help of music therapists, psychologists, and an important group of music designers, or that's what I heard. This with the purpose of making the most relaxing piece of music created until these days. It's a fascinating Ambient track that has almost the same result as taking an anxiolytic. It's magic!
And the second one should be giving a listen to the forthcoming LP of Miraclis, Origin of Truth that will be released on July 29 on the new label from Crosstown Rebels, called "Secret Teachings"! It's a very versatile and interesting album, which combines different styles of music and instruments, such as analog and electronic instruments and tools …

[Read our Marconi Union interview]
[Read Richard Talbot of Marconi Union talk about sound]

If you enjoyed this interview with Miraclis and would like to find out more about his work, visit him on Instagram  

When did you start writing/producing/playing music and what or who were your early passions and influences? What was it about music and/or sound that drew you to it?

I received my first electric guitar when I was twelve years old. Since then I have tried composing my own music, but for me it was a long journey to find my own sound and identity in music.

I started singing and playing analog instruments, such as guitar and bass. Then I got involved in the world of electronic music, and Miraclis is about fusing both worlds. I must say I'm very influenced by the music that my parents used to listen to. Vangelis, Pink Floyd, Supertramp, Genesis, Jean Michel Jarre are these are just a few of many. Those sounds were the first to make me curious. After that, I started listening to bands from the Bristol's trip hop movement, such as Massive Attack, Tricky, and others that were more bold in the sense that fusioned styles, such as Nine Inch Nails. These were the main bands that influenced the Miraclis project.

This project is about creating different kinds of sensations in people, through a cinematographic touch. For me, it's like listening to a movie's soundtrack. It has suspense and mystery in some tracks, and is more presumptuous in others. I wanted to explore different nuances in music. New sounds, new textures, etc.

When I listen to music, I see shapes, objects and colours. What happens in your body when you're listening and how does it influence your approach to creativity?

I think that everyone has a different way to perceive music. In a way, yes, I can associate music with different kinds of objects. Especially when I'm listening to synths ... You've got different kinds of waves in the oscillators. In some synths you find sounds that you can associate to more "crystalline" textures, for example. Celestial atmospheres that can teletransport you in a period of time, in complement with bells, and more organic textures. It's a whole galaxy of possibilities you have in creating music.

But there always has to exist a coherence between each element. They have to complement each other in the right way. And this takes time. I take my time, as long as it lasts, and choose every sound with tweezers. At the time of listening to my influences, I find melodies, harmonies, and a coherence between sounds. It happens the same at the time of creating my music.

How would you describe your development as an artist in terms of interests and challenges, searching for a personal voice, as well as breakthroughs?

It was during the pandemic when I started this project. In the beginning it was all confusion, uncertainty, lack of social contact ... I needed a way to express myself. Before that, I tried to develop myself as a musician, but sometimes I didn't have the time for doing this.

So, I could say that the pandemic was kind of a "benefit" in some way for me. I didn't have any social contact as I said before, but I felt the necessity to communicate, somehow. So I started playing my instruments, recording them, and it all started flowing in some way.

My mind was a rollercoaster at that time. But my musical creativity was working well. I didn't have an initial idea of anything before creating the album. But suddenly I was doing lots of tracks, which I liked and felt identified with the sound, the vibe, the feeling.

Tell me a bit about your sense of identity and how it influences both your preferences as a listener and your creativity as an artist, please.

For me, the identity of each artist's sound is very important. You may have lots of influences. But a music composer should always have "that" thing that makes a difference with other artists. And that's a big challenge.

Sometimes you don't even realize that you're sounding like a copy of your musical influences. But try to innovate instead of imitate!
What, would you say, are the key ideas behind your approach to music and art?

At least for me, each person is born with artistic talents, or not. It's about the essence of each person. You can't force someone to do something they don't have the gifts or talents for doing.

I always knew that I was talented as a musician, since I first held a guitar and started playing it, and playing songs that I could just learn by ear. It wasn't easy to convince everyone, especially my family. But little by little they started to get convinced that this was my way of life.

I must say that in these times it is hard to survive as an artist in my country, Chile. But my plans are to leave for another place where arts and culture are valued and appreciated.

How would you describe your views on topics like originality and innovation versus perfection and timelessness in music? Are you interested in a “music of the future” or “continuing a tradition”?

As said before, I will always be a supporter of creating original, innovative, music. With a personal identity. I would dare to create new sounds, techniques, fusions, etc.

By this I'm not saying to not have influences ... Quite the opposite ... There will always exist musical influences. Music has existed from the Paleolithic era ... And has been evolving since then! And we've had musical geniuses that have been leaving their mark, creating new styles, and even instruments ... We are able to be innovative in a certain way, but our ancestors have been leaving a whole world of elements that are used nowadays and will be used in the future.

On Origin Of Truth I tried to combine my musical roots, using my electric guitar, my electric bass, with electronic instruments, such as synthesizers, adding my voice, with some effects ... I wouldn't dare to say that I created a new category in music. And I don't think I'm even close to doing that. But there was an intention to fuse different styles.

I would describe it as a fusion of trip hop, classical rock, with a cinematographic touch that each time I listen to it, I feel that it could fit perfectly in a movie's soundtrack.

Over the course of your development, what have been your most important instruments and tools - and what are the most promising strategies for working with them?

I experimented with the analog bass as a primary element. And the result is just insane. In some tracks I used it as a protagonist. With a good equalization and using it with the correct dynamics, and a proper depth in the mix, you can get a killer result with it.

The mixing of electronic drum foundations, even used from Audio Units, with these analog instruments, such as the bass and guitar, really surprised me. But in my case, I always processed these sounds through other plugins to give them more warmth, color, and presence. I also used acoustic drum samples in some tracks, mixed with analog instruments, such as the bass, guitar, analog synths. And it's all about looking for a coherence between each sound. To find a complement between them in which you can feel a vibe, a sound that makes you feel something good.

About strategies, I have to say I have none. But yes I have been searching for the correct plugins and sounds with which I feel that mixing them together sounds great, and I get to feel this nice sensation. It takes time! Don't create your sounds randomly. Have patience, and do a delicate searching and choosing of sounds.

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