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I didn't start playing instruments, or being interested in music till I was fifteen or so. My sisters both had piano lessons, and various other musical interests, but I was more interested in football! I've had no formal musical training of any sort, ever. I started playing bass, and then guitar. Somebody gave me the violin I still use now, and I taught myself to play it. I formed a band, at school (we were terrible!) and then eventually got into recording and then producing.
And,moreover,it's not a secret that at first time overwhelming "listening"majority heard your name owing to joint with Tony Wakeford creative activity.What did you do before Sol Invictus'Cupid & Dearth?
I did lots! I originally had a band called Pigsix 4, we did an album, and around fifty or sixty other songs in a studio in which I worked, when there was free time there. We did around three hundred gigs all round Britain, in small local venues, and got nowhere; but learnt a lot.
What is status "absolutely freedom" for you now?So what does creative independence mean for you?
I think I truly found creative independence when I wrote Intimate & Obstinate. I decided to just let the music seep out of me, not try and force it. I was amazed by how quickly it came out. Part of my desire was to free myself up from the endless working and re-working of the songs I was writing. I tried not to make the music stale, because I had got into the habit of being too obsessive, spending too long on a piece and working the freshness out of the music. I did still work hard on I&O, but it was on the arrangements, and the production. I let the music flow.
What does inspire you during creative processes & ,besides,(as reflection of the main points of music's creation )what is difference between natural & electro sound for you and if it's so important to give the most exact & sharp feeling of sound?
I find that visual stimuli really help my music. (And people
are always telling me that my music is filmic). Whilst writing Voyager (think
Holst's planets for the new millennium) I've been studying lots of space
documentaries, and some of the pictures taken by the Voyager I & II probes.
They really inspire me to write, and to part answer your next question, what
inspired me about my Voyager project was the fact that this was a man-made
mechanical device that was designed to show us the beauty of the natural world,
our Solar System. As a parallel, I use technology to enhance the beauty of
natural sounds, classical instruments, and any sound I can lay my hands
But: why Voyager? I will say that space fascinates me, and that the Voyager probes I &II were great man-made feats that were sent out into the natural glory of our Solar System. When I gaze at the pictures that Voyager sent back I cannot help but be moved to write music. I tried to capture the wonder, and (as Voyager moves further from Earth) to move with it, more and more ignoring the conventions of instruments, time signatures and keys.
As for Barb, there is no Barb, I have too many projects, too many names. Barb is now Sieben (MKII) and the album I am working on, called "The Line And The Hook" will have some new songs, some re-workings of "Anubis" and "Hell on Earth", and "Second Witchwords" from the first Sieben album. I am just writing another, from a poem by my father about the First World War, which I will sing the chorus in German. See how the German nation falls about laughing at my poor pronunciation!!
What do you think also about ancient,archaic-esotheric force in music/sound,about compositions as embodiment of so called modern shamanism? Moreover,what's about influence & significance of traditions for you & how do you appreciate the role of modern technologies?What are your own & more correct attributes for your music in general?What is according to your point of view the meaning of music in modern society?
I don't know what its meaning is. I just feel compelled to write it. Sometimes I feel that it is not me writing the music, I am just chanelling it. My attitude to art and life in general has opened up since I started being less anal(!) and methodical about music. I don't want to come across like an old hippy, but I do tend to just relax into the music now, and I seem to have a clearer idea of what the music needs to make it work. Some of this is due to becoming more experienced at music as a craft (I have more techniques at my disposal now) but some of it is due to opening myself up more, to new perspectives on music, to the vibrancy of the idea of what I am trying to get across.
And in general does outside world influence on your creative activity or it's result of development of your own inner and deeply individual universe (or may be there are influences of different people which you love and respect) ?
Yes and no.What happens in your life does develop you as an artist,I think but its not (for me) a direct correlation,I doesn't write music about my life.I think with the abstract nature of music (like I&O) emotions and ideas flow out,and they are emotions and ideas that are developed in your life,but they are given a different medium,a different expression.For example,my children stir emotions and feeling in me,and I'm sure they add to a pool that flows out when I write music.
In your interview to Compulsion among other things you told you loved "the mathematics of music"Sorry if you meant smth other but what do you think about different math theories in music for instance so called principle Fibonacci-Elliot Sharp used in his "new music" works?
Generally speaking (in other words, I'm going to side-step your direct question like a skilled politician!) I think that mathematical theories are interesting and have a place in music, but like any 'ideology' if it is too closely adhered to it can become purely an exercise, or at worst anoose to hang yourself with. I thrive on writing music that through repetition sparks off small changes that contort and twist, and lead you far from the original, gradually. I also love the crossover and the oscillations that maths give, say for example when you run two disparate time signatures or tempos together. I never let principles like this rule the piece of music though, they are a part of the creative whole.
Of course I can't avoid the discussion of your first solo album "I&O",that's why...From your words I understood that you wasn't satisfied with final result of "I&O" in smth nevetheless.Sorry if I'm wrong,what would you like to change there now?
Far from it, it's the work I'm most proud of to date, after my new album "Hellfires". I'm never completely satisfied with anything, by the time I've finished it I've developed new skills or ideas that make me think my last piece is inadequate, and I start all over again. It used to bother me, but now I see it is necessary:but you know "Hellfires":give it time ,I'm really happy with it,its energy,directness and soul.The instruments I played on are snares,bass drum,cymbals,bass,violin and my voice,that is more or less all.
In your interview you told that for recording you used everything that sounded right from the body of different sourses,including the cat who had got recorded.Can you tell me more details about it-how did it happen & how did you get that experience' idea,who was that cat?..
The cat was Scratty, my black and white fat excuse for a
cat. (I love her really). I time-stretched a me-ow until it started to sound
like some kind of strange minaret call, quarter tone melody. I think there is
some purring on I&O also, making a rhythm. I used all sorts of domestic
appliances, such as the hoover, hairspray, and Tupperware! Sometimes I just
needed a particular sound and would wander round my house banging things until I
Why the violin is the most favorite ?What is the mystery of it?
I love the expression it allows you. (And its portable!)
And at last,
What is the key to understanding of your music for listeners in your opinion?Why so often during the conversation you talk that listeners' is not too important for you?
Repeated listenings! I think my music is sometimes not immediately accessible, and needs time to sink into its intricacies. Listeners are important, I write music that I want people to listen to and enjoy. What I mean is that I don't sit down and write what I think people will like. I have to be true to myself and the music, and do it exactly how I want it, how it must be. If I do this, I think this will transmit in the music.
O'k,Matt,and how is situation in musical sphere in England?
With music it's strange.If I played in my home town nobody would be interested to see me.Yet people get me to play throughout the rest of Europe and seem to enjoy it.I just don't know.
Now "in the time of platitude and darkness"there are various theories of the way of European culture's development and one of it is built on the base of Danilevsky's theory,work by O.Spengler "Der Untergang des Abendlandes" and then so loved Berdaevian point of view -"the crise of art"(finita la comrdia:hihihi)So,what's your opinion about it and does it find how do you think,the reflection and confirmation in modern society in general?
Art in modern society,eh?I'm sure it's been the same throughout time,that artists who attempt to write intelligently and intricately feel ignored or outside of mainstream.This is because most people don't want to be bothered with such stuff,and many artists take "the path of least resistance"I don't think that now is particularly worse than any other time in history,not spiralling down;I think that it has probably always felt like that to artists who attempt to rederfine borders of experiment and are misunderstood or ignored.
Do you rank your music among so called academic creative as an artifact of "elite culture"and does such formation as elite culture exist in the rage of European culture and what it means for you?
No,I just write music!As stated earlier,I sometimes feel that it is not me writing the music,I just let it flow out.I don't write for elite culture either;I think my music probably appeals to those interested in that,as it is complex and intricate,but really try to make my music open and accessible on different levels.
What is the most vivid embodiment of bond between traditions and high-tech?Besides,what do you think about Internet as mucrocultural reality and how can you analize the phrase of C.Paglia:"People must understand that this culture can be better realized by means of metaphors,born by Internet and multimedia computer technology"?
I must admit I ignored Internet for many years,thinking that all it would give me was conversation with some new-age hippy in California about his impending divorce!I must admit now to being a real convert,especially to email.I'm private person and don't particularly like using the telephone,whereas the convinience,speed and hassle-free aspects of emaling someone are great.I can type to someone,any time of day or night without disturbing them unless they want to be disturbed and log on.There is also a lot of scrap on the Internet,that needs to be waded through.Never the less.for on artist the Internet is godsend,I would probably never have been talking to you without it,would not meet people who understand and appreciate what I am trying to do.
The most typical features of modern culture now are total commercialisation and ideological colour,vanishing of such term as "L'art pour l'art".What can you say about it or "pure art'' is belonged to fossil kinds(or moreover fiction),every artifact of human skill has to realize the profit's potencial?
It's fine balancing act sometimes.I love art for art's sake,and could write obscure music and novels for the rest of my life quite happily without the world knowing about them.But there is something inside me that wants people to enjoy my work.Then comes the crunch.I'm not rich and need to eat!To do this your work has to be accessible,has to have hooks that hold the audience's attention.This changes the way that your art is written,and not just for the bad.It makes artist analyse what he does,and how he must make himself understood.
Igor Vaganov vs Matt Howden
Rostov-on -Don-Sheffield ,2000-2001
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