Segmod is a non-standard sound synthesis that embraces the discrete nature of digital sound. All sounds created with Segmod result from the concatenation of simple periodic waveforms, such as sine, triangle, and square waves. The sixteen contributing composers have employed a vast array of different compositional, aesthetic, and technological strategies, ranging from inaudible sounds, to neural networks, chaotic functions, careful micro-montages, and analysis-resynthesis techniques. While the results differ widely in sound, all lead back to the idea that synthesis can be seen as a form of composition. A few of the contributing artists give their answers to our 11+3 interview:
1: Miriam Akkermann: Mountains rule.
Yota Morimoto: I was born in Brazil.
Lula Romero: Scientists in Australia discovered that fish also sing like birds do.
2: MA: Asking (usually) helps. (At least it could help)
YM: I studied music in Japan, the Netherlands and the UK.
3: MA: Coffee makes me happy.
YM: I made music for the airport in Singapore.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
MA: Moments/impressions that stay in my memory, which can be an amazing view, an unexpected sound combination or an impressing experience.
Martin Lorenz: Spending time, without time pressure.
YM: Nature, or some kind of organic process. Time.
Casper Schipper: Using computers to find new sounds and musical structures.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
MA: I started making music at a very young age, and it was always clear to me, that I will play flute, as soon as I was allowed to. I loved this sound. We also had this game that one of the kids would write a line of music and another had to play it. We tried to be as tricky as possible to fool each others. I think that was, when it became clear to me, that writing music would not be my main diction.
ML: I started with classical music – Violin, Piano – studied percussion – orchestral, théâtre musical, iranian Zarb – arrived at contemporary music, experimental electronics and composition.
YM: I started taking music lessons when I was a teenager.
LR: I started when I was eight years old with piano lessons.
CS: I accidentally walked into Konrad Boehmers office (Head of Sonology Institute at the time), when looking for a place to study sound engineering.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
MA: That is for me impossible to answer. I very much love live music, and I love very different musical genres. Any listing would
not meet my aspirations.
ML: There’s so much great music everywhere in the world – it won’t fit on five records plus some music even dies when pressed on record.
YM: Urubu – Antoni Carlos Jobim; Out to lunch – Eric Dolphy; Takemitsu: Asterism, Requiem, Green & Dorian Horizon; Bill Evans with symphony orchestra; Trois Poemes de Stephane Mallarme – Ravel/Boulez.
LR: Rain Dogs – Tom Waits; Beethoven Piano Sonatas – Barenboim; L’incoronazioni di Poppea, Monteverdi – (do not remember the
version); Luigi Nono Prometeo.
CS: John Coltrane – Love Supreme; James Holden – The Inheritors; Quartetto Italiano – Beethovens’ Late String Quartets;
Tony Allen (cannot choose); Colin Stetson – History of Warfare part II.
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
MA: Parks and vegan ice-cream.
ML & YM: Transmediale.
LR: Possibilities for developing my work and career, dirtiness, contemporary music scene.
CS: The amount of space and that culture is a little bit less regulated compared to the Netherlands.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
YM: celestial vault – James Turrel.
LR: Barrio de Santa Cruz.
CS: Blackbird Coffee, Utrecht.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
MA: Skiing or climbing.
ML: Graphics, photography, furniture restoration, something with less administrative work and more focus on doing.
YM: Make noise!
LR: Gardening, Architecture.
CS: I’d probably program something less fun.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
LR: A Peter Ablinger CD of music for organ and white noise.
YM: Async – Ryuichi Sakamoto
CS: John Coltrane – Interstellar Space
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
MA: I’d love to collaborate with live video artists. I wonder what possibilities open up when thinking about live interaction, maybe sharing the audio-visual material in a cross-use of data streams.
ML: I like to collaborate with people of diverse musical background. I’m happy that for our Segmod project so many artists came together giving diffrent, unexpected points of view.
YM: Nederlandse Bachvereniging.
CS: Hard question, since I probably would be too starstruck to play with the musicians I like.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
MA: One of the most impressing gigs I played was an improv performance at a festival in Spain. We were playing in/next to a stone water pond which was built as an old washing station for the village and which was directly filled with water from hot springs. There was water everywhere and high humidity, I was always anxiously waiting for the power to crash. At the same time, there was an amazing audience which actively responded to everything we did. Everybody was so supportive and happy. I cannot judge if this was one of the best gigs, but it was for sure one of the most intense ones.
ML: As spectator Annette Peacock ‘An Acrobat’s Heart’; Raimund Hoghe’s choreography of Stravinsky’s ‘Sacre – The Rite of Spring’; A solo performance (2014) by Taku Sugimoto at Kunstraum Walcheturm Zürich, Georges Aperghi’s ‘Le Corps à Corps’ performed by Jean-Pierre Drouet (1989). As performer the recreation of Bernard Parmegianis ‘Stries’ and Arthur Russell’s ‘Tower of Meaning’.
YM: Ivo Pogorelich played late Beethoven Sonatas in Rotterdam.
LR: As spectator the first concert of contemporary music that I heard Arditti Quartet playing Ligeti and Guerrero.
CS: Colin Stetson solo at November Music Festival 2014. It was only half an hour in a very small room with a few people, but I was completely blown away.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
MA: It’s a beloved necessity.
Luc Döberiner: Technology reflects political and social power and attitudes towards the control of the material world. My work reflects an understanding of technology as providing access to the materiality of sound and not as a means of impressing, overwhelming, or overpowering, or as a means of creating a functional realisation of a preconceived ideal. I generally try to use open, cheap, and easily accessible technology as a practical tool of investigation and thought. I try to understand technology as a way of connecting thought and material, as a way of materialising thought and letting concepts and ideas be ‘touched’ by material realities.
YM: It is definitely not the most important.
LR: The use of electronics are part of my music and compositional process.
CS: It is essential: I feel the naïvity of a computer (it just does what it is told) can help discover new and unusual ideas.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
YM: I’ve never asked my younger brother how he feels about it… I hope he’s ok.
LR: Yes, they support it although they do not always understand it.
CS: I have a brother and he voluntarily comes to my concerts sometimes, so I guess he can stomach it. He’s much better at building electronic circuits than I am, which is nice.
SEGMOD play on Friday 20th September for the latest instalment of experimental and avant-garde music series DUMPF Editions at KM28.