Crash Course In Science
What is your definition of “experimental”?
Answer: To me it means working in a non- traditional way. The act of assembling elements in unusual combinations and the rejection of norms in order to create something new is one way of arriving at something that could be considered experimental.
Describe you own approach towards experimentation within your own work?
When composing lyrics I like to keep the meaning of what’s being evoked open to interpretation, I see being too literal as a limitation if I’m going for a more broad meaning. In this way the lyrics can have different meanings to different people. Musically speaking we compose much of our music using homemade synthesizers that have their own vocabulary and they can be a bit surprising. Embracing what happens at any given time can certainly be an exciting part of the process, but also being open to not settling too soon is important. There are times however when evoking something that one has a vision of is important as well.
Where do the lines of experimentation begin/end? Do they end?
Answer: Depending on the piece the answer can be a bit different. Creating a vocabulary for a soundscape can include both order and chaos. Is it visceral or calm? Are they underlying elements to evoke a certain mood? It can depend on what’s being depicted. During our creative process I believe experimentation is always present even when creating songs with lyrics. Elements can get fine-tuned of course but I usually go for an over all gesture and then see what sticks.
Describe your own personal creative path and how it led you to the place, and with the approach to music, you have now?
From an early age I have been a visual artist and my work then and now has to do with visualizing the imagination. Much of my work is angular and embraces color and texture in a cubistic sense. I feel the music I write shares similar sensibilities. A lot of my artwork is used in the video backdrop that is projected during our performances.
Along with the visual art I have always written poems many of which have open-ended meaning. When I started making music I used toy instruments out of necessity. The recording technique at the time utilized a series of small cassette recorders. This technique ended up proving to be quite rich with possibilities. In addition to creating songs I also created the soundtracks to the abstract animated films I was making at the time. I learned to embrace the unexpected.
What are some vital aspects of maintaining an experimental approach to art?
I feel that it’s important be aware of your creative process and to introduce ways of keeping things fresh. Using different elements can help, making sure you take time to loosen up and don’t feel rushed to have a finished product because there is much to discover.
How do you reconcile with the marketing and branding aspect of the creative industry?
We have designed most of out album covers and those that we didn’t design we at least had input into them. It’s a visual representation of what’s inside. We have fun with the artwork and realize it’s a reflection of the music.
Is an experimental approach to creativity conducive towards financial benefit?
I believe it has the possibility to be. The work one puts into something brings about the results.
Featured Image: Yannick van de Wijngaert