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MORPHEUS MUSIC INTERVIEW - JAZZ COMPUTER.ORG

06.03.10 - on release of Life - Unfolding

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Q: How did you originally get into music.
 

I had my first guitar when I was 14, prog rock and space music were eveywhere at this time. Of course I've played in rock and roll bands at high shool :). My interest for jazz came later; it's where I discovered a completely new world for improvising, and harmonies I'd never heard about.

  Q:  How did the Jazz Computer.org project get started and what was the original goal?
 

Some years ago, after a very long break, I decided to plug my guitar again and decided to get involved with electronic music, and going on improvising and using jazz chords and harmonies. It seemed to be actually possible to use just software and computers for electronic sounds and samples, without hardware synths. That's why I chose this name, which seemed also easy to remember and points clearly to an internet web site where the music is available.

   
             
Q:  You now have a string of albums under your belt - how would you say your music and vision has developed over the years?
 

More simplicity, less complex orchestrations, and many more atmospheres. One of my major concerns is to blend improvisation with the atmospheres and build something to be called "ambient", whatever it means regarding to people who listen to it.

  Q: What was the purpose when starting out on the Life - Unfolding album?
 

I've worked for a long time on sounds and the coherence of sounds between them, and also software automation to play quite live performances which involve a lot of software synths. So I improvised and recorded a lot of things during about one year, to finally select and improve the things that could fit together on an album. I took great care of the blending of the sounds and the progress of atmospheres and tensions throughout the whole album, which can be listened to as a single track.

             
Q:  How would you describe the style and content of the music on Life - Unfolding for new listeners?
 

Very calm and floating music with sparse melodies and rhythms, rich harmonies blending together for supporting melodic improvisations mainly played on the guitar.

  Q:  Where do you do your recording? What is your studio like?
 

I do everything at home :).
My studio is made up mostly of a computer and a guitar, with a high end soundcard. I play a Levinson Blade electric guitar (an uncommon fender jazzmaster-like model), a master keyboard with lots of buttons and knobs to pilot the synths inside the computer, a foot controller, and finally two very large screens with ambient background images of wide natural landscapes. I forgot : there are also two Yamaha speakers :).

             
 
   
 
Q:  Can you tell us something of your recording techniques, how you go about making your music?
 

More and more, I start with the sounds, the colors of pads or synth arpeggios to build an atmosphere. If I've learned something from listening to Steve Roach, it's his completely opened sense of structure and form, so once a pad is launched, with or without rhythm, I start improvising to see if I can play something cool on it. After that, it's sometimes hard to tell if the recording is worth reworking or not, to improve the construction, the progression of the atmosphere inside a track and between various other tracks that may fit together to build a coherent set of tracks. This supposes that the concept of an album as a whole remains relevant... I'm not sure that the people who download my music listen to a whole album as a continuity, I'm often quite sure of the opposite :).

  Q: You have been releasing your music as free downloads under the Creative Commons licence - what are the current advantages of that course for you?

 

About the licence, the most important thing remains that the music must be good - if the licence is also fine, that's better, but the most important thing is the music.
As I produce my music alone, and as I don't really belive that a label could improve its diffusion by selling CDs or mp3s, I think that giving up my freedom to distribute my work freely would just tremendously reduce the numbers of listeners, of people who can encounter this music, download it and maybe like it. The CC licence is fine because it keeps anyone from selling my work without my approval.
But maybe will I change my mind one of these days :).

             
Q:  What do you listen to or like to absorb from other areas of life that inspires your music?

 

Nature.
I remember having a walk through a bright snowy landscape, thinking of many technical things about writing music, tweaking synths, guitar sounds and so on. And suddenly I just realised that the music was here, in the interaction of the landscape, nature, and myself. I had to dig inside of me, in the quiet of winter, to find the music that maybe was already there, instead of wondering how the features of this version of this piece of software would help improve the bass or the pads on a particular track. This is very important to me, but also very easy to forget.
Of course I listen to lots of music, and more and more ambient music. The two greatest influences in making "Life - Unfolding" were Rudy Adrian's "Healing Lake" and most of all the records of Thom Brennan, "Signals in Moolight" especially.

  Q:  Do you have plans for future projects in mind? If so what?   

Another album :).
It's on its way, and it will surely look like the last one, with more guitar, and surely more rhythms.

 

Thanks to Yves aka Jazz Computer.org for allowing us that interview.

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