Felix Kubin foto by Evelyna Domnitch
06: A definition of yourself.
I am an early reflection.
06: If we don't act with immediacy, capitalism will become our executioner?
It’s the other way round. Capitalism forces us to act faster than we can think and consume more than we can swallow. It compresses time so much that there is no contemplation in work, no time to let the particles settle that were thrown on the surface of the water. Life needs time. Art needs time. Love needs time. We have to claim back time and public space. Also, capitalism doesn’t judge the inner quality of things, it only judges their immediate sales value. In its most perverted (or maybe purest) form, capitalism means earning money with money. This is incest and it leads nowhere.
06: Free time is something we have to work for?
We have to buy free time, unless we decide to drop out of the (working) society and become hermits. Some people do that, and they are courageous. I am not a hippie, though. I like taxis, modern buildings, vacuum cleaners and elevators. I want to live in a modern world but detached from ist daily rhythm, more like a ghost.
06: Why did Orpheus turn and look at Euridice just before the exit?
In my radio play version „Orphée Mécanique“ he didn’t look back. Actually, he entered the underworld without finding Eura (he only found her projection). And after he left Hades, he forgot where he was, so he entered again. But in the original version he turned around because he heard no sound behind him. We need sound for evidence. When I saw my dead father lying on the floor, his silence was much more horrifying than the way he looked.
06: How do you perceive the rise of extreme right wing parties in Europe, that is accompanied by a corresponding rise of extreme right wing parties in Greece?
When the economy gets bad and people have to struggle with poverty, right wing (or extremist) parties always get strong. That seems to be a phenomenon of history. Of course, the situation in Hungary and Greece worries me. But most of all I am worried about Russia. It seems that they are light years away from Glasnost and Perestroika.
06: Are radio transmissions today as important as they were in the past? In which ways?
Transmissions are always important! Let’s just forget about commercial radio for a second. I think that the ideal of radio has become more important than ever. For me, radio can be a synonym for quality journalism, in-depth features, radio plays, alternative music programmes and experimentation with transmission in general. Of course, hardly anyone listens to radio by antenna nowadays, only people in cars do that. We mostly listen by internet and usually turn on the radio randomly. We don’t care about the programme schedule. There are some decent radio programmes on internet but most of them lack something that public radio has: money. At the end of the day, you need to pay a radio maker, so (s)he can take time to make a good research. You need to pay the staff of a radio play production: the author, the director, the musician, the actors and so forth. And you need to pay the moderator, so he can prepare for the programme. All of these paid people shall not be controlled by a private company that is only interested in sales figures. They shall be paid for work that is serving public interest, education and a free spirit of culture. Having said that, the democratization of internet has produced a lot of blogs and mini radio stations with some brilliant perls amongst them. But on the long run I really believe that it’s necessary to be paid for quality work, at least if you want to keep a sustainability. This counts for artists and musicians, too. Otherwise it stays a hobby.
06: What has been your experience working with Christoph Schlingensief like?
I had met him few times 10 years ago. Back then, I only compiled some classical music for his theatre play „Atta Atta“, so I wasn’t involved too much in the creation of the play. Few years ago, he wanted me to compose music for his play „Eine Kirche der Angst vor dem Fremden in mir“ („a church of fear of the alien in me“ – actually, the title is hard to translate). But his request came too short in advance of the rehearsals, I couldn’t do it. I think, one year later he died. I always liked his ability to bring people together and create a riot or protest. I liked his interfering with public spaces. He wasn’t afraid of any confrontation. However, I didn’t like his aesthetics very much. He was more an instigator than an artist to me.
06: Can you describe what has been in your life your relationship with the dancefloor.
I have no special relation to dancefloors. Dancefloors mostly create reproduction. They are as much overrated as DJs. I like the idea of a club that creates world, surprising, surreal and independent from the outer world. It needs a lot of creative audience to achieve that, no consumers. I don’t like DJs who play only one style of music and only care about how they can please the crowd. They should rather go into politics then. Parliaments should be dancefloors, DJs should be conductors, dancefloors should be auditoriums.
06: What would you like to do in the future?
I want to work with foley artists and create a composition for a cursing choir.
06: Can you send us a picture of you, of a place or of something else that best illustrates your current state of mind?
I attached a foto that Evelyna Domnitch took of me in Amsterdam in her sci-fi lab.
06: What is your parents profession? Can you describe the environment in which you grew up?
My mother is a travel agent and my father is a computer programmer who later became a farmer. I grew up with my mother and sister around the southern suburbs of Athens.Very close to the sea, so that I could always get the big picture just by looking at the waves. I went to a public school, and every Sunday we would gather at my classmate’s house and watch all episodes of Nightmare On Elm Str in a row.
I was also a boyscout. I guess I still am since one is always put under the oath.
06: Had you ever wished that you had invented something massive like the blue jeans?
I always wished I had composed Springsteen’s 'Thunder Road' which kind of answers your question.
06: Has your music influenced your parents?
No, I don’t think so .
06: Where do you like to usually walk your dog?
I take Daria almost everywhere I go if it’s in a walking distance. She likes the park close to our house cause all her dogfriends are there.
I like mt Penteli but only on sunny days.
06: What book(s) are you currently reading?
I am re-visiting Brian Michael Bendis’ “POWERS” series, just started Hillel Schwartz’s “THE CULTURE OF THE COPY” and finishing “EVERYBODY LOVES OUR TOWN” by Mark Yarm.
06: Why do you thank Kariofyllia Karambeti in the credits section of your new album Feathers as KU?
Because she taught me that everyone should get paid for their work, and proved it in action and on her own private expense. Plus she gave me some more great piece of advice.
06: Tell us about your new album.
My new album was released on 12’’ + free CD via Inner Ear Records on the 26th of March. The name is Feathers and it consists of 9 songs. The duration is almost 38 minutes. The music and lyrics are mine except where specified on the liner notes. It was recorded on the summer of 2012. It was produced by Prins Obi. My wife is on the cover.
[RUBICON video directed by Corinna Triantafyllidis]
06: Do you identify with any art movement(s)?
I identify with every art movement there was, is and will be, except action painting.
It makes me sick in the stomach.
06: Reveal a secret of yours.
I have a secret Mimi Parker obsession.
06: What is beauty for you?
A neck ready to be kissed.
06: Do you consider yourself to be talented?
Yes, of course. My greatest talent is memorizing telephone numbers.
06: If you owned a billboard what would you have on it?
It would be a Felix Gonzales Torres.
06: Do you believe that love can overthrow everything?
I do. It should.
06: Would you ever decide to go on an island where all your desires could be fulfilled with the risk that you might never ever be able to return?
Why would I want to leave in the first place if I knew I would want to return? So yes.
My father left for an island and he never returned to the city. I envy him.
06: What features of contemporary Greeks quiet you the most?
If you mean what leaves me speechless, I have to go with the fact that greek society keeps repeating old mistakes and does that in the worst possible ways.
06: If the world is both overpopulated and underfed why are we opposed to cannibalism?
Because the mind is a terrible thing to taste, according to Al Yourgensen at least. Never say never though.
06: What was the most significant encounter in your life?
Meeting my wife definitely. She made me look at the world in its real proportions and this was the most important gift life had to give me.
06: Do you believe that if someone wants to make out with a lady should take her to see "Dracula"? What do you think is there in horror movies that could be stimulating in that sense?
FF:To conquer a woman there may be many systems. I, for example, prefer to make her laugh, have fun. But surely the charm of mystery and fear can help. And then today the community of lovers of fantasy and horror has expanded enormously. Anyway, as Freud says, adopting Heraclitus, Eros & Thanatos have a deep relationship.
06:What is creativity for you?
FF: Creativity is a magic moment. Actually happens. And that makes you feel like Gods. You have an idea in mind, a simple idea that looks like so many other thoughts. And like many thoughts could disappear at any moment and be forgotten. But you do not let her get away this time. You stand in front of a sheet of paper next to a piano and turn it into something different. You look, you feel, you listen to it. It 's always an idea, but now it is coming out and if you really like it, you can begin to give it a shape. The musician, like all artists is a craftsman who must work for a long time to get a convincing result. Much later, when someone is singing or whistling the theme finished, it will be difficult also for you, who created it, to remember all the composition process. Something magic.
FF: Spencer Hickman is a young record producer distributor in London, young but with a great experience and with very clear ideas. He knows that the modern discography has a target other than the one of 30 years ago, and realized that back bravely to vinyl (as many do some time now in London, New York and many other places in the world) could be a good choice. He is a good fan of my soundtracks, particularly those '70s and '80s. He contacted my agent and publisher here in Roma, Daniele De Gemini of Beat Records, who told me about the project. I found it brilliant and I immediately supported. Spencer probably will be the promoter of a concert that we're going to do in London next Halloween. Strictly on the music of Fulci films. Frizzi 2 Fulci the title.
06: Do you vote? What is your opinion about the current sociopolitical situation of Europe?
FF: For many years I did not vote, disgusted by the political reality, especially the Italian one. Recently I returned to vote, as a act of responsibility for the terrible situation we are facing. I think that since some years there has been a paradoxical situation, a kind of third world war, an economic war that has sanctioned the crisis of the so-called West economy. I believe a lot in Europe, social and cultural development of all our people, who certainly many common roots. But it is a long and treacherous period that will still need a lot of time. I am a big fan of Greece, have been there many times in my life and I have great respect and admiration for its ancient civilization from which we all come. And I really hope that the mechanisms of the European Union allow Greece to regain soon the serenity and perspective it deserves.
06: What is your favorite synthesizer and which is your favorite sound effect?
FF : When I started working in the early 70's, first synthesizers began to come out. I think I've used them all, each of them had a special charm and characteristics. After so many years, there are two elements that still fascinate me like the first time (apart from my TR808 and Jupiter 8 that are still in my studio since then): I speak of the Moog and Mellotron. Mellotron took me in the story of the mysterious paranormal appearances in the films of Fulci. The Moog is a masterpiece that still has a ductility and, I would say, a soul waiting to be discovered. Their sofware versions are extraordinary, but the originals do not fight.
Photo by Peter Anderson
06: I'd like to start with some introductory information. Who are you, where are you living?
Farmer Glitch: “Farmer Glitch. In the depths of rural Somerset in the UK.”
Kek-w: “Kek. Yeah, ditto. I’m based in Yeovil, a small, slightly generic market-town surrounded by fields and hills…”
06: Who decided the name and what is the story behind ?
FG: “From my memory, it was the idea of starting an Hacker Space type thing in Yeovil for like-minded builders and we joked about hosting it somewhere appropriate like a farm... although I seem to recall we tried to originally label the band “Junk Crunch” as in the group Hacker Farm present the noise-unit Junk Crunch…”
K: “Yeah, the band was supposed to be Junkcrunch or Junk Crunch or something similar, and Hacker Farm was supposed to be the local Makr type organization behind it, a bit like the difference between Heaven 17 and the British Electric Foundation, I guess. But it got confusing trying to explain the difference to people (laughs), so we quickly drifted into just being Hacker Farm…”
06: How do you compose? In your music it seems to me there are different kinds of influences, from minimalism to improvised, passing through the industrial scene... is there any group or musician that influenced you in a special way?
FG: “Two distinct ways, I seem to think: one is the idea of jamming and then cutting up chunks of that work and using them… the other is where one of us will improvise a drone/noise-piece and then we bounce it back and forwards between ourselves until it reaches a finished (?) track...
“The closest group/person (although sounding absolutely nothing like us!) who worked in very similar ways would be Miles Davis during the On The Corner / Bitches Brew period where they basically jammed for hundreds of hours before getting an edit down to more concise hour or so.”
K: “Yeah, definitely that Miles thing ! Also, Can had a similar set-up: a studio-space where they played, recorded endlessly and then distilled it down.”
06: Can you introduce us to your "UHF" release?
K: “Most of the material on UHF dates back 20, 21 months or more now. It was recorded during what I would call our ‘Shortwave Period’. We got into playing around with and investigating Shortwave Radio – a medium that we hadn’t listened to since our childhoods. It was something that we were curious about and ended up getting very enthusiastic about for a couple of months. We even announced the release of our first album Poundland on Shortwave, even though no one was listening! (laughs). We ended up eavesdropping on and recording radio conversations between people from all round the world – and also in our own backyard.
“Not all the tracks on UHF use shortwave sounds, but they mostly date back to that period and are infused with that darkish, slightly claustrophobic radio vibe: hiss and modulated sounds, carrier-waves, voices talking to one another in the dark…radio has a wonderful atmosphere; it’s mysterious and intimate; unstable, analogue, alive… the complete opposite of the internet.
“There are elements of Eighties Industrial, Noise, Improv, Kosmische and Old School Rave on the album… but I think that maybe the track “One, Six Nein” sits at its moral and emotional heart: it takes an oppositional stance to a lot of the stuff that’s going on right now, economically and culturally. It lists a few things that any decent, sensible human-being would naturally stand against; it says what’s-what and quietly draws a line in the sand. It felt right to have a woman’s voice intoning it, and for it to be a bit bland and matter-of-fact and not aggressively confrontational. Just someone quietly saying, “enough’s enough’’, while the music seethes beneath it.
“Sometimes you can get your point across better musically by reining-in the anger and frustration, and letting it lurk beneath the surface. I think chunks of UHF are pretty good at hinting at that hidden anger without constantly snarling and chest beating; instead, it’s presented as a set of tensions – a series of dark surfaces that are stretched thin, constantly threatening to rip open and reveal the truths within.”
06: Do you play gigs? What are your plans for the future?
FG: “Yep, we play gigs and are lining up art-galleries / pubs / theatre / festivals for this year...”
06: What is your idea of happiness?
FG: “A hot soldering-iron and a flask of scrumpy…”
K: “Writing, making art and music. Stuff that other people might think of as working.”
06: Had you ever wished that you had invented something massive like the blue jeans?
FG: “We don’t need massive blue jeans due to being rather trim!! (laughs)”
K: “I’d like to invent More Free Time. An open-source, hackable day with its own API…(laughs)”
06: When was the first time you remember really enjoying music?
FG: “20thCentury Boy on 7 inch by T-Rex.”
K: “Yeah, definitely. The Electric Warrior LP by T-Rex, on cassette.”
06: Who do you still love listening to now who you enjoyed hearing as a child?
FG: “T-Rex / Tangerine Dream…”
K: “Yep, me too. T-Rex, Bowie, The Sweet, The Monkees…”
06: Free time is something we have to work for ?
K: “Yeah. But I also quite like the idea of turning work into a game or a fun-thing-to-do. Some of the things that I find relaxing, other people might think of as hard work… so I quite like the idea of blurring the boundaries between them, finding ways of making work and mundane chores or activities ‘interesting’. I think mobile devices are starting to break down the differences between Work and Play anyway. I’m sure my kids will probably be doing things that my own parents wouldn’t even recognize as work…”
06: We're all damaged by noise pollution?
K: “Not all noise is pollution, is it? I find certain frequencies of road-drills, forexample, to be oddly relaxing when they’re a reasonable distance away. I remember sitting in a library once, years ago, and hearing a distant road-drill somewhere outside and instead of being annoying, it made me want to go to sleep.”
06: Can you send us a picture of you and a picture of something or some place that best illustrates your current state of mind to post along with your answers ?
06: How did you get related with music (in your early years, perhaps, or later) and which was the first record that you played?
I didn't get involved directly with music until later in life. I remember when I was about five or six asking my mother to get a record player and we joined the Columbia Record and Tape Club. My mum wasn't very up on what was popular at the time so she went through and selected records based entirely on whether she thought the band names and titles sounded interesting, so we ended up with a lot of random things like ZZ Top's Fandango (did not love) and some things that became lifelong favorites like Sergio Mendes' Foursider. I mostly liked sound effects records as a kid, though - was sort of obsessed with them, which makes a lot of sense now.
06: Can you describe certain types of "overlooked narratives" that you are interested in exposing through your visual and sound works? Is there a specific quality in these narratives that you are most driven towards exploring?
Via field recording, I capture unfolding real time narratives and try to reconstruct their essence into new narratives in a compositional framework. By virtue, the quotidian is often overlooked in favor of that deemed more exceptional. I try and uncover the exceptional qualities of the seemingly ordinary, the depth of the everyday. The act of recording focuses one's ears, allowing the overlooked to be heard.
06: If we might ask: how was the environment during the first years of your life?
I was a very solitary child, and that remains my nature now.
06: Are there metaphors in your sound making and painting that are omnipresent?
Probably but they're very individual and personal so I don't expect a lot of listeners would pick up on them. I would not want to be too obvious!
06: Breathing, organic matter, sounds of animals, continuous flow of things appearing to be in process of becoming something, overexposed warm colors, layering forms -random words that come up while experiencing your work. Is there a clear voice or pattern or element that has to emerge through these "compositions"?
I'm not sure. I suppose over time patterns will emerge but it's hard to see them while inside the process of making things. In art school we were told to not fret over finding one's voice or style and that it was through the practice of work that that would develop, most likely unbeknownst to us as it was happening. Any conscious attempt at creating that can lead to mannered gestures.
06: Is there a person that has influenced you very much?
Personally, my mum and grandmother. Musically, Luc Ferrari.
06: Why do you think people come experience your shows?
I think they're usually there to see someone else on the bill!
06: What is happiness for you?
Being left alone to work in some semblance of peace.
06: What is finally a composer?
To me just an organizer of sounds.
06: How do you decide which sounds that you create with instruments are to be blended in with your recordings? Or, how is this process really like and what is the motivation behind it?
Over the course of making things, timbral and textural needs arise that I address with the addition of instrumentation. The process is long and deliberate. I am interested in the line between discovered and intentional sounds.
06: What is good music?
I don't know that there is any one answer to that that would be true for everyone.
06: Who is your favorite painter?
As far as people working nowadays, I'm pretty fond of Lance Austin Olsen's work http://lanceolsen.tumblr.com/
06: Where do you live now? Do you go out often?
I live in Austin now. I go out extremely infrequently.
06: Would you like to be as famous as the Beatles?
Like the Beatles, I would like to make a film with screaming teenage girls chasing me through the streets. They would all be myself as a teenage girl, though, and I suspect they would be trying to catch me and take me to task for my poor decision-making.
06: Is there a person that you are glad you have met through this work?
Many, and if I started naming names it would just turn into a huge list. I have some degree of confidence that those people are aware of it.
06: What is the importance of criticism, what is its role? How do you use the reviews on your work?
Critique during the creative process is extremely important and I'm fortunate to have trusted friends to bounce things off of who will be honest with me. As far as reviews, good ones are far more dangerous to believe than any bad ones.
06: What do you think is going on in the field of female art making within the frame of the current art world as it is?
I try not to think more about the current art world than I have to.
06: Could you do something other than what you do in your life? Is there something you would very much like to do but have not?
Well, I didn't start doing this until later than a lot of people do, so I must have been doing something else other than this in all that time but much like people describing an intense love affair in which they can't remember what they did before it, I can't imagine doing anything else now. I would like to get out of the States and play and record in some other parts of the world, though.
06: Do you like to wake up early in the morning?
Yes, it's quiet and there are already not enough hours in the day to spend any sleeping late.
06: Do you think that everything has been said and that we are just simply rediscovering?
While I think people should concern themselves more with trying to do something good than with something no one else has done, I also believe that not everything has been said. The pursuit of the new for its own sake is like a dog chasing its tail.
06: What is so nice about collaborating that you cannot enjoy while working alone and what is so nice about working alone that you cannot get while collaborating? (Examples of collaborations you have enjoyed are very welcome)
Collaborating is nice because you're not so much in a vacuum. Working alone can be solipsistic which has its ups and downs. My collaboration with Lee Patterson due out soon from Another Timbre is a good example of collaboration partners helping to balance one another out.
06: Can you send us an example, a picture that best illustrates for you the significance of art in our lives?
see attached photo "clarissa.jpg"
06: Can you describe your work for the people that haven't experienced it?
G: We try to make music you would like to hear both on the dance-floor and in your living room...mixing up various musical influences/genres and not sticking to formula's even though often the result is quite dark and psychedelic
J: it's the sound of falling between two chairs
06: Is there a person that has secretly influenced you more than anyone and anything in the world?
G: from people i met in person,maybe my guitar teacher as a teenager
J: not secretly… Udi Kazmirski
06: In your opinion, what makes us undisciplined?
G: laziness and too many options to choose from
J: not really wanting to be disciplined
06: What is perversion?
06: What is revolution for you?
J: I have no idea.
06: What is the role of art?
G: to take you to places you never imagined before, or give you new perspective of ones you already know
J: art has no role.. food has a role.
06: Have you finally understood what defines your way of thinking?
G: still working on that...
J: crappy childhood
06: What is/was your parents profession?
G: mother was a teacher , father a banker
J: father academic mother worked in an office
06: What is your opinion about the work and the ideas of Sun Ra?
G: I'm a huge fan of his music, and it has inspired me a lot
J: I love sun ra. one of the 20th century's greatest.
06: Do you consider yourself talented?
G: on some days (kinda) yes , on others not enough
J: I got some skills and wish I had more
06: Which book (books) are you reading these days? Any specific line that has been stuck in your mind from this reading?
G: A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace.
06: Does your family have any relation with music?
G: not really
J: father and grandfather played some piano when they were young. both gave up when reality set in.
06: Which is your guilty pleasure in music?
G: I love me some country steel guitar based music...
J: I don't feel guilty about any of the 'crap' I listen to
06: What does one loses when growing up?
J: family members, friends.
06: Do you do what you want to do in life?
J: more so than I ever imagined possible.
06: What do you perceive to be the major political/social/economic issues of today, nationally and internationally?
06: Do you vote?
G: I'd like to, but cannot vote abroad as an Israeli
J: sometimes. when I can.
06: How would you describe your politics?
J: choosing the lesser of two (or more) evils
(click on image for fuuuull view)