Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Two and a Half Questions with Bryan Konietzko

You seem to drift further into digital sound. Do you incorporate any "organic" elements in your production?
This new album is definitely the most "digital" of my three, but I still used a lot relatively organic source elements. I think every track started as a recording of one of my stringed instruments, lots of acoustic and electric guitars that were subsequently edited and processed, a kalimba, frame drums, a metallophone... But even though the tracks were born the same, I intentionally embraced a more synthetic sound overall. I picked the title "At Night, Under Artificial Light" very early on in the process and tailored the tracks to suit that aesthetic.

Some artists absolutely despise the umbrella term "IDM". How do you usually explain your music to your relatives?
Yeah, I feel no connection between the term IDM and my music. I certainly like some music that falls under that category, but I don't think it applies to Ginormous. I just focus on emotional content over heady "intelligence." As for describing it to my relatives, I gave up on that years ago! I just give them the CD if they are interested. My sister thinks ice skaters should perform to it, which I take as a compliment. I usually describe it as emotive, dynamic, cinematic, instrumental, industrialized electronic music. Or something...

What is the relationship between your work as an electronic musician and your production and character design for animated television series?
For the last 6 years, my music has worked as the counterbalance to my animation career. Making "Avatar" was great, but a very slow, collaborative process. Making music alone at home is a very immediate, intimate form of expression. Having the two was a good mix for me – it satisfied the polar aspects of my creative needs. Now the show is finished and I am sort of experimenting with a new musical direction. I guess I'm looking for a new balance.

Tell us about your next album on Hymen.
My next record is "The Sound of Love Impermanent." It started as a score for a contemporary dance piece by Maria Gillespie of Oni Dance. In that regard, it is the most collaborative album I've done yet, since the music was made with someone else's purposes in mind. It was a fun project and it got me to work in a different way that ended up influencing "At Night, Under Artificial Light," since I made them both at the same time. It is a more spacious, ambient collection than my first three records.

myspace.com/ginormousmusic | thisisginormous.com

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