With more and more musicians creating than ever and more and more of these creations being released, what does this mean for you as an artist in terms of originality? What are some of the areas where you currently see the greatest potential for originality and who are some of the artists and communities that you find inspiring in this regard?
There are a lot of things I can’t do very well, but I think I’m pretty damn good at making Peder records. And I have decided that that’s what I’m going to do. Make records that sound like me and not think too much about who is going to listen and what they may think of it. Like you say, there is so much noise and clutter out there and so many people doing average stuff, so all I can do is make my music and distil my sound.
Some of the people that I find interesting at the moment are Gonzales, John Grant, Timber Timbre, Sufjan Stevens, badbadnotgood.
How strictly do you separate improvising and composing?
I don’t know how to answer this other than I wish I was really good at improvising. My process is kinda controlled I guess.
How do you see the relationship between sound, space and composition and what are some of your strategies and approaches of working with them?
The more I learn about recording the more I understand how important space and air is when placing a mic and figuring out how to instrument and arrange a song. When you have a bunch of ideas and you record them all it becomes harder and harder to kill your darlings and suddenly the composition is cluttered. I’m trying to get better at cleaning out sounds and ideas so that the composition may breathe.
What's your perspective on the relationship between music and other forms of art – painting, video art and cinema, for example – and for you and your work, how does music relate to other senses than hearing alone?
It all relates I think. My debut music video “Ghost of a Smile” is an example of this. I love acting and the idea came to me in a flash about creating this dream-like gruesome ballet of violence and my acting, writing, singing and soundscapes all came together.
What's your view on the role and function of music as well as the (e.g. political/social/creative) tasks of artists today - and how do you try to meet these goals in your work?
I don’t see myself as a very political artist even though I have many thoughts about how society could improve. I don’t know. I don’t feel it's very natural for me to speak openly about these matters plus I’m not often approached about it I guess.
Listening is also an active, rather than just a passive process. How do you see the role of the listener in the musical communication process?
I actually try to not think too much about how the listeners might use and/or feel about my music. I find it to be quite cluttering for the process if I start to think about that. I always ask people that drop by the studio what they think and I really like when people respond well to what I do, but what I mean is that the music should, first and foremost, come from me and I shouldn’t be distracted by other people's needs.
Reaching audiences usually involves reaching out to the press and possibly working with a PR company. What's your perspective on the promo system? In which way do music journalism and PR companies change the way music is perceived by the public?
This is a tough one. As we spoke about earlier there’s a lot of noise already. I feel I need to turn off the computer and smartphone sometimes for days to be present for the creative process and my family. So I completely understand why it’s hard to get people's attention.
I have decided to just release my music and do some music videos and then let my body of work hopefully inspire and attract people. I hate networking and I think that stuff like sending out newsletters is just too much and more annoying for the receiver than good for me. I don’t know maybe I’m just nervous to be misinterpreted.
Do you have a musical vision that you haven't been able to realise for technical or financial reasons – or an idea of what music itself could be beyond its current form?
I am limited by my own limitations and fears obviously. But the first thing that springs to mind is that I would like to record with four guys with delivery like the Mills Brothers singing harmonies arranged by Asger Baden. I can’t find those guys and when you stack vocals (meaning record one person at a time) it doesn’t sound as good.
Other than that I have many ideas which involve a symphonic orchestra which is a little out of my league at the moment.
Peder's website can be found at pederandasgerbaden.com