Jessica Ekomane’s practice unfolds around music and sound art. Her compositions seek a physical and cathartic effect alternating between noise and melody, and playing with our perception of rhythmical structures. Her latest project consists in a quadraphonic performance exploring the way our perception of rhythms is affected by the surrounding space, thereby introducing elements of psychoacoustics and gestalt theory. She is one of the Berlin Community Radio [INCUBATOR] residents for their 2017 edition, and her work has been presented in various institutions across Japan, Australia and Europe.
1: In July 2012, a live adult giant squid was first filmed in its natural habitat.
2: There’s this part of Switzerland where women have only been legally able to vote on local issues since 1991.
3: Rimbaud had done what is his major works and stopped writing before he was 20 years old.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Mostly life experiences, images I encounter. I remember I had this primary school teacher that once said I was like a « parabolic antenna » if I remember well, and nowadays I guess still tend to absorb and filter whatever comes near me in a similar way.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I took some piano lessons when I was younger, but I really started properly experimenting and making my own music once I moved to Berlin and started studying sound.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
This is so hard to choose, here are the first that come to mind:
Suicide – Suicide
Gyorgy Ligeti / Pierre-Laurent Aimard – Works For Piano: Études & Musica Ricercata
Mark Fell – Multistability
Jorge Ben Jor – Samba Esquema Novo
Meredith Monk – Book of Days
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
Random surrealistic street scenes, freedom and non-conformism, teenage angst.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
In Berlin, maybe the Naturkundemuseum.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
I always wanted to be a “Nose” (an expert in composing perfumes), an astronaut, a marine biologist, an anthropologist and a writer. I still haven’t given up on those ideas.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
I generally bought physical releases of albums that are still sticking with me after a while. The last one was the vinyl edition of Alva Noto’s Xerrox vol. 2.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Werner Herzog / David Lynch, Björk, Missy Elliott.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Diamanda Galas at Cité de la Musique, and then about 10 years later at Funkhaus. I really had an out of body experience.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Technology is essential as a tool to realize and perform my music, but there’s much more involved during the creative process I believe. Also I’m generally not a fan of gear fetishism.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
I have two half-brothers who I hold very dear but they live in Cameroun so unfortunately I don’t see them really often. I guess what I do is a bit obscure for my family but they let me be.
Jessica Ekomane will perform at the oqko showcase on Saturday, 14th July 2018 at OHM Berlin.
Photo © Camille Blake