Saturday, July 26, 2008

Two and a Half Questions with Kettel

What do you imagine it would be like to hear Bach playing the organ for the first time in church?
What I have read about Bachs improvisational skills on organ, is that it was even better than his composed work. I don't know who said it, I have no source, but it's a famous quote so it may bear some kind truth. I want to believe it does, at least. I can't even imagine improvising a fugue, because for me it seems you have to have 4 different brains to do so. It is known that Bach improvised perfect fugues. What can I say? I know I would love it, I know it would be an amazing and miraculous thing.. I also know I'm not good enough at English to express the right superlatives at the right time in this matter. I'm such a great Bach-lover, I would seriously consider giving up an organ (HA!) to hear him improvise on it!

How much of your music is mathematical in nature?
Hard one. I don't go around calculating anything when I write music, but I think when a melody is "good" it has some kind of mathematical symmetry or 'truth'. If one is able to do it -have the scientific basis and knowledge to do so- can 'prove a melody'. If not equipped with math skills (like me, by the way), there is this way in which you can 'feel' good melodies go round. It's all about consistency I think when it comes to good music. Things have to sound intentional and consistent. I certainly believe that music is math in some way. I'm not sure if I want to find out how so.

How much do you participate in running of the label [Sending Orbs], and which tasks do you usually pick up?
It has always been my brother Wouter and my friend Kristian's label. My involvement in it is on and off. I'm usually part of the process of contemplating decisions tho.. Basically just someone that is not officially affiliated, but in the loop. Tasks.. I have helped out working the shop, done setting up some labelnights.

Do you recall the first electronic release that made you want to produce this kind of music?
I think it was a mixtape ridiculously called "Pfffff" my brother made for me with various electronic tracks on it that initially got me interested. Then I picked up a lot of Mouse On Mars and mid-90's Plaid, Autechre and Aphex. It wasn't really 1 release that turned the wheel for me, but I remember listening to Plaid's Not For Threes and wishing I made it. (But I kind of still do that). If you put a knife to my throat for this question I'd say Mouse on Mars was the first electronic love i had. Iahora Tahiti is still one of my most dear albums in the world.

I know that you're a 303-fiend, do you own a couple of teebees; and what other fun toys can we find in your studio?
I work the most basic and simplistic setup thinkable by a badger. All my music is based upon me playing keyboard; whether it's a synth or a 303. That is really the basis of everything I do; I can't make music if I can't jam/play. I find hardware toys hard to get into most of the times, merely because I think i find my roots in pianoplay; give me a few keys and I'm happy. But of course hardware synths can sound amazing, and they are amazing, and I'm even really into sound toys, I just don't own them. Let's just say I've never really gotten into knobtwiddling and experimenting with sounds. So far I've always found enough satisfaction and challenge in trying to write beautiful melodies. Different approach, I guess.

Who is Myam James and when are we going to hear Part 2?
Myam James is a viking a once dreamt of, throwing little blue balls at me. Part 2 is coming up, I'm actually working on it right now. It's supposed to come out in fall, so it will. It's a different album than Part 1; it's gonna have some more chilled out, soundtrackstyle, classical moments among more Myam1 acid stuff. That's the way it was all planend out and I still feel comfortable sticking to it. Showing a few different musical sides of myself; that's why it was a series in the first place. An album is always like a summary of the past year.

How different are your live shows from the album tracks?
Quite. They have been at least. The last year I have been doing a few Myam James tracks live, actually most of the Myam James tracks started as live tracks. But also during the releases of ambient albums my livesets would always been a little more upbeat and party, I think I just enjoy that the most myself.

Any memorable moments from your recent North American tour?
A lot. One memorable moment is this. We (Flashbulb, me, and a ..guest) had just travelled a long distance from Montana to Washington, somewhere. Note that during my tour the European Soccer Championships were on, and me being a big (Holland) soccerfan, upon arrival in the motel I instantly downloaded the match (that was already played back home, time difference). While I was getting loaded with Rolling Rock waiting till the download to finish, the Flashbulb was practicing his set and played some awesome guitar. I watched the match, we beat France 4-1 and I caused a beep in Flasbulbs ear screaming and yelling. By the time it finished I was nothing more or less than a drunken dutchman, far away from home, celebrating a party that was originally already over. Anyway, that night we took off to the festival to check out what it was like. It was already dark and the festival was up on a high mountain. Somehow we took a few detours, and although we were told the roads were gonna be unpaved and steep, the roads we drove on that night were life-threatening. We even were caught up in stream of sliding rocks that made it's way into the ravine, our brave SUV and SUV-driver (Benn) fighting with it. Anyway, all I can say is I'm glad I was drunk when that happened. |

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