With Niels Mori: an interview with the artist of "O."
You are an emerging artist but with different results already achieved, can you tell us briefly what artist you are?
Well, I guess it's always a strange thing to say about ourselves that we are an artist. It's not all about us, but about the audience, and concerning me, especially about the listener. It also depends on what you mean when you are talking about an artist : technically, theoretical, feelings ? I think an artist can be regarded as it when the creation is still living after his creator is gone. An artist is certainly the one who makes your feelings change, who can surprises you, who makes you wonder a lot of hidden things. I always consider as a good artist the one who is able to catch you at specific point, and who leads you to an other one, with few introspection and questions on the way. I guess this is the way I try to be an artist.
What are your influences and your musical references?
It really depends on the music I would like to compose or to play. However, I have a deep affection for the american minimalist musicians, like Steve Reich or Gavin Bryars, and in the same time, I really love the deepness and sincerity of twentieth century composers from east countries, like Rachmaninov, Gorecki, or Arvo Part. But this is more about the influences for the album « O. ». As a pianist, I really like french composers like Satie, Debussy, for example. Very often, I'm deeply touched by a piece of music, and I stake on it, making it growing up in my mind, taking different progressions, and then, I don't listen to it anymore, to compose something new, by myself. I always want to have my inner language, and I prefer to have my own way to talk than to repeat what somebody else already said centuries before me. About classical music the more I listen to it the more I'm interested by older composers, like Bach, and I really love the Palestrina's work too. Since few years, I'm especially interested by works and treatments of sounds, with artists like Basinsky.
How do you compose? Do you feel a musical theme in your mind or is it more based on creating from sensations?
Both. Sometimes, I have a theme in my mind, and it sounds so clear and precise that I first wonder if it doesn't already exist. So, I transpose it for piano, and I play it, again and again, adding rhythmic and melodic variations. In this case, the most difficult is to find the time to write all the ideas I have in mind, and very often, the result is different from the first idea. Sometimes, it's a good thing, sometimes it's not.
In other cases, a theme can born from a particular noise I've heard, and it really could be all kinds of sounds. When it happens, the work is more based on rythms than on melodies. I mean, if it's a regular sound, like an alarm, or anything else of the beeping things we know, I think to work on the rhythm is more instinctive than to try to create a theme on it, just to break the annoying and disappointing noise.
How was your latest album "O." born?
« O. » was born since a long time in my mind, and I started to write the score of Part I, meanwhile I was ending to compose Aftonland. I had to make a choice between the two, and I chose to work on piano, for many reasons. Today, I think it was the good choice, because I think I wasn't ready to compose « O. », psychologically and technically.
I remember I had a theme in my mind, theme from Part I, and some pictures of seas and oceans in my mind. I wanted a throbbing rhythm, repetitive, to draw the waves, moving side-by-side, but always with a little late from the previous one. In a way, it could be regarded as a monotone life passing on.
About the Part II, the idea was to be in the middle of a calm ocean, and let us go wherever the wind will bring us because in the end, we always find the shore.