Tag Archives: interviews

INTERVIEW // PROPHESY SUN

FOR THE POLYPHONIC PIXEL

prOphesy sun is a a multidisciplinary performance artist and musician who lives in East Vancouver. Her latest offering, Bird Curious, is a collection of songs that weave together elements of vocal improvisation, organic room noises and environmental vibrations to create emotive spaces, exploring the fleeting realm of the time. The kicker? It was recorded entirely on an iPhone. Over the past few years she’s built herself up as one of the main creatives of the vibrant East Side scene, performing with Tyranahorse, Spell and Her Jazz Noise Collective, to name a few. Haunting and surreal, Bird Curious was released May 1, 2012.

The Polyphonic Pixel: What made you decide to record your album on an iPhone?

prOphesy sun: First and foremost, music for me is immediate. In my art, my performance tends to be in the moment. Recording on the iPhone was just another style of working in the moment. I’ll have a tune in my head, and then I’ll just record it. For me, another reason why I chose to use this medium is that something that has that feeling of immediacy has limitations too – sometimes my phone will run out of memory space so I have to make room. Another thing is that if I’m biking, or hearing the rain falling, I can record the space I’m in. In the past I have used soundscapes from recordings with a hand recorder, to capture the space I was in at that moment in time.

PP: You’ve told people you tend to do things in “one go.” Why?

ps: I am an improvisor so it’s really in the moment; its just right there, it’s what comes out of me. There’s a vision in some ways, aspects of altering something, but it would lose some of its originality and I’m interested in the source of things. When I go with that emotion or feeling, it will take me somewhere.

PP: How do you feel about people describing your work? Do you feel like people are constantly missing the mark?

ps: It can be awkward or disconcerting sometimes. I feel lucky that anyone would listen to me because it’s a very personal practice that I’m sharing with the world. It’s interesting to hear people clarify things for me, like when I’m doing things in the moment, I have no sense of how it fits with things. It’s like a reality check. I come back down to reality and have others put it into everyday culture.

PP: Bird Curious is your third album. Were there events, ideas or things you felt especially inspired by?

ps: Things for me tend to run along three angles. I love serenades, in not only present and the past, but potential serenades where I could explore if I loved another person, and how I would love them. My second is a real fantasy; I start to push my limitations on what I feel what my voice can do, and how it can evolve. It’s cool to make sounds I had no idea I could make. Finally, I like being open to just being. I sometimes find where these sounds come from, that it’s like a meditative process. The sooner I work within something, I can transport it somewhere else, like fantasy reality, chaotic ethereal space where I can create a soundscape.

PP: Tell me about your music video, for “Moments Pass.”

ps: The music video was not done by myself; I worked with designer Kendra Patton. Her and I got together and I told her I was putting together some work. Her and I were in contact with another mutual friend who was renting space in an apartment building that was to be condemned a week later, so I lined up everything with one crew and used that same space for the video.

PP: Do you find your style of making music to shift, or change since your first album?

ps: I’m moving more into using text or words; in the past I was so focused on finding the melody but now that’s evolving a lot more into language. I’ve really focused on the voice. In my second album, I was shifting a lot between the instruments I work with: a broken harmonica, a kazoo and some broken electronics and sound samples. My first album used a lot more sound samples and my voice, but this album is really just my voice. The evolution of my music now is really about me really pushing my voice more and more, learning about how it’s an innate tool with endless possibilities.

Check out the music video for prOphesy sun’s “Moment’s pass”:

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VIDEO // THE MAKING OF BIDO LITO! MAGAZINE

Bido Lito! Magazine is a new arts and music publication, representing the local talents of Liverpool’s finest. I made this video to showcase the vision behind the publication, in time with the soft launch of the new website.

As the Online Editor at Bido Lito!, I made some sound friends and had a wonderful time learning about the music scene in Merseyside over the past year.

These pink pages will be sorely missed.

Interview with Trentemoller

For Exclaim!

In 2006, Anders Trentemøller established himself as one of the greatest electronic musicians in Europe with The Last Resort, his ground-breaking debut. Hailing from Copenhagen, Denmark, the multi-instrumentalist producer has been successful on the international scene with his remixes and original work, whose sonic formula is rich, complex and hauntingly beautiful. At the same time, Trentemøller doesn’t get caught up in the stereotype of the brooding Scandinavian artist, as his obscure appetite for remix materials spans the gamut of America’s last four decades in rock and pop music, making his collective sound the ultimate mixtape. His forthcoming album Into the Great Wide Yonder, is a layered soundscape as existentially profound as its title alludes to, dominating the interplay between dark industrial production, melody-rich shadows, and estrangement from reality.

You’re quite the master of contradiction. Some of your work is very dark, industrial, and dubby, but other tunes are very mellow and chill. How do you reconcile these different creative forces in your music?


For me, this has always been a challenge, but music is the best way to work with those connections and moods. To make something beautiful, you need to put something in that surfaces the second time you listen to it. If you sense something more spooky, or if you recognize spooky layers lying underneath, that is something that has always inspired me. It’s hard to just make a happy-go-lucky sound and concentrate on one layer, so it’s always a challenge to mix moods and styles, but it’s something I need to do.

Are there criteria for what you choose to remix?


For the last two years I have only said yes to a small amount of remix requests, because I was pretty sure I didn’t want to end up like a remix artist only, so generally, I was only saying yes to artists who have something special about them. But the most important thing I look for is uniqueness either in the melody or the vocals.

Tell me about the music video for the single, “Sycamore Feeling.” The music is very haunting, and the video carries that through. How did it come to be?


It was made by a Danish video artist named Jesper Just, who has been doing some amazing work in and out of Denmark. I saw his work and was very inspired by the way he creates a Hollywood look but then he mixes the whole gender issue and it’s really interesting. Actually, the way he works with visuals reminded me of David Lynch, that kind of strangeness. He doesn’t normally make music videos, so I just gave him free reign to do whatever he wanted.

Does that visual style reflect your music in any way?


What I like about Lynch is the many layers in his movies, the multiple stories that are going on at the same time. That is what I’m trying to put into my music. Hopefully people will go back to the album and hear that, find small details that weren’t so noticeable on the first listen. When I listen to albums myself, I like discovering new things in the music you didn’t hear upon the first listen, like multiple stories.

Do you find a difference between electronic artists from the States opposed to European ones?


There’s a more clear difference between musicians from Scandinavia because there’s something of a dark, blue, melancholic vibe. If you listen to artists like Sigur Rós, they have this melancholic hue to them. It goes back to folk music, from 200 or 300 years ago. You can hear that special, melancholic vibe, which is actually really beautiful, more than sad, and it still has a dark vibe. It’s in our blood, in our veins, to make music in these tones. You can really feel the dramatic, Nordic nature of their music and the big open places there. Music creates like nothing else can.

What’s your biggest challenge as an electronic musician?


You have to kill your darlings and don’t complicate things too much. You can do so much with a computer and I work a lot on my own. It’s a very lonely process, and finding the right place to stop is very hard to find.

If you could have any superpower in the world, what would it be?


If there was a superpower that could transform the music in your head out to a CD right away that would be fun, but maybe a bit boring (laughter). But I would like constant, creative flow.