Name: Robin Rimbaud
Occupation: Composer, Sound Artist
Current Release: Mass Observation (Expanded) on Room40
Recommendations: Works that currently inspire me:
Carl Stone: Electronic Music from the Eighties and Nineties (Unseen Worlds)
Stephan Mathieu: Radiance (Schwebung)
Alvin Lucier: Eight Lectures (Wesleyan)
Anthony Burgess: The Ink Trade (Carcanet)
Website / Contact: If you enjoyed this interview with Robin Rimbaud aka Scanner, visit his website and soundcloud page for insights, information and music.
When did you start writing/producing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences? What what is about music and/or sound that drew you to it?
I was born in the 1960s and so growing up in the 1970s offered a very different approach to life than it does today. Technology was not as abundant then as it is today, and the very idea of being able to maintain a relationship with the world further than your close friends and family was an impossible fantasy, and could only be achieved by finding a pen-pal on the other side of the globe to communicate with. Today at the swish of a thumb we can meet people, make sounds, discover new worlds.
Thankfully my family had an interest in acquiring the latest gadgets. Though reasonably poor, with much of our belongings, the TV, the video recorder, being only rented from a local company, I was fortunate to be able to play with these tools. One of these was a tape recorder. Nothing fancy, just an ordinary cassette recorder about the size of a large hardback cookery book, running on batteries. My brother and I would spend hours recording around the house, in the garden, in the street. It wasn’t with any intention or understanding of music or sound but because it was simply possible. There was a joy in capturing the world around us, much the same I suppose as people with their mobile phones do today.
I was also fortunate to have a very encouraging music teacher at school who played us, amongst many other things, John Cage’s Prepared Piano works when I was just 11 years old and that utterly blew my innocent little mind! I became truly obsessed with sound and music from that age. Please see the attached photograph I found from an early school book of the some of the (poorly spelt) music I was listening to then :-D