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MORPHEUS MUSIC INTERVIEW - JULIO DE BENEDETTO

08.06.09 - on release of Living At A Higher Frequency

    JULIO DI BENEDETTO - LIVING AT A HIGHER FREQUENCY  JULIO DI BENEDETTO - LIVING AT A HIGHER FREQUENCY JULIO DI BENEDETTO - LIVING AT A HIGHER FREQUENCY JULIO DI BENEDETTO - LIVING AT A HIGHER FREQUENCY  
 

JULIO DI BENEDETTO - LIVING AT A HIGHER FREQUENCY  JULIO DI BENEDETTO - LIVING AT A HIGHER FREQUENCY JULIO DI BENEDETTO - LIVING AT A HIGHER FREQUENCY JULIO DI BENEDETTO - LIVING AT A HIGHER FREQUENCY

Q: Can you tell us how you initially came to be a musician.
  I think I have to go way back to school to the age of 8 or so when music was a mandatory part of the curriculum and I remember playing violin and clarinet. I would not say that it was then that I became a musician, it was some of the foundation. For me it was when I started playing the drums at age of 15. I was in a school concert with the lead clarinet part and I was not doing it well so I was relegated to keeping time on a ride cymbal. A simple and not as glamourous part but it was the beginning of my musical journey.As far as being an electronic musician, well that goes back to when I was about 12 yrs old and I permanently borrowed Jean Michel Jarre's "Oxygen" and Wendy Carlos's "Switched on Bach" from my mother's record collection.....those sounds! I recall being fascinated by the black boxes and all those knobs on a thing called a Moog on the Switched on Bach record cover. Years later the name Moog would have much more significance for me than it did then. Even as a younger drummer I was always checking out what synthesizers were being played, wether it was a live concert, a television music show or record sleeve. In a music shop I would always head straight to the keyboard department, still do to this day. Anyway all of this was the foundations of what would come some 20 yrs later, when I sat down with a computer, recording software and a keyboard.
  Q:  What is it that interests you about making music?
  It's the musical journey which in itself is many things......firstly its the sounds. A simple chord played on a piano can be quiet beautiful, that same chord played on a synthesizer.....well its hard to put into words, let's say it can take you as far as you can dream, and beyond. Secondly the structure of the music, the actual composition, how say that simple chord or single note can be the foundation of the entire piece of music. It's really a process of discovery where each section of music suggests a way to move forward without really showing you the way and its these moment(s) that the magic happens.

 

   
             
Q:  Your album Living At A Higher Frequency is a five year project – how did the idea to release this album come about?
  I started composing electronic music around 1998 and never stopped until the end of 2006. Thats a lot of music. I took a bit of a break from playing, but I would go back and audition the music from time to time. There was a lot of good music and some not so. The time away from composing gave me a much better perspective. Then my friend and co-producer Remy Gravel and I were talking about living a better and healthier life and he said those words "Living at a higher frequency." That put the idea into my head which would eventually become the compilation of tracks taken from this large source of music I had created. The actual music was taken from 2001-2006 period, the early music did not make it.   Q: How do you feel about the album now that it is complete – what satisfies you most, what responses are you getting?
 

I am very happy with it.....there is a good representation of my music on the album and the production and design came together really well. What satisfied me the most is that the CD actual came into existence and how it did. Response wise......people are saying that as a debut CD the quality of music is very impressive. Generally people like the combined atmospheres, melody and rhythms. I'm getting feedback that the music is relaxing and calming to listen to too

             
Q:  What goals do you have when you write/record and what inspires you?
 

When I write I do not have specific goals and I rarely sit down to write say an ambient piece of music because it usually ends up being anything but ambient, so I approach a composition completely open, then I play and see what comes. If I have any goals per se it would be to write music that moves me, that I enjoy writing and that my compositional skills continually improve. A new piece of equipment can be very inspirational, obviously a new keyboard with sounds to be discovered is a great source, it can be another person's music or a newly created patch on a synth or an older favorite patch or a new chord progression...... but really I try to approach each day as a source of inspiration and whatever that day may contain, it may not always be good and enlightening, nevertheless it still is part of the source.

  Q:  How do you tend to make your recordings – what comes first, what takes most time, how do you know when to stop?   I think the first thing I do is play, I'm searching for a chord or sequence or sound, perhaps all three and I know when I find it I press record. That will be the foundation that the rest of the composition will be built upon. Recording music into a computer using software like Apple's Logic pro which I do gives a composition such a tangible aspect, its like painting with sound. Each sound or sequence is graphically represent on the screen so any part can be moved and manipulated or simply deleted. One part of the music can be placed with another section and so on without having to record it again, simply drag and drop. and new parts are created and sonic surprises abound.What takes the most time would be the arranging and auditioning once the actual recording is done, though this can happen simultaneously also. Perhaps its just thinking about the music that takes the most time....maybe. It's time to stop after I've thrown everything and the kitchen sink at the piece of music, taken it all away again only to find it was fine to begin with, but just to be certain I will throw it all again. If nothing sticks I'm done. Then there are the tracks that just gracefully come to an end without any effort.
             
 
     
Q:  What else goes on in your life besides music?   A good portion of my waking time is spent in a kitchen as a chef, which works well as that gives me the mornings to write music, or surf if there are waves, and if Im not doing those things I will be building surfboards.   Q:  Do you have any plans for future projects at this point?   I do, I've just begun to record again!
             
Q:  What would you say are the most exciting developments in the current world of music?
  Certainly one is the fact that with a small investment someone like myself can release a quality CD. It's a wonderful time to be a musician / independent artist. As a Serge Modular Synthesizer owner it's an exciting time for Modular Synthesizers in general. It's a Modular renaissance or rebirth right now. Not too long ago most modular synth makers called it quits now there are quite a few manufacturers....2 good ones in the UK , Analogue Solutions & Analogue Systems, Doepfer in germany and here in the US we have Serge, Buchla, Synthesizers.com, Synthesis Technology, Blacet and Wiard to name a few. Technology also is giving musicians the ability to make much better recordings outside of the traditional recording studio.
       

 

           

Thanks to Julio De Benedetto for allowing us that interview.

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