Sebastian Mullaert releases ‘No Words For A Beautiful World’ from his upcoming album ‘Natthall’
Electronic music producer and classically trained violinist, Sebastian Mullaert broke into the house and techno scene in the mid-nineties winning international acclaim with his work as a producer and live performer. Sebastian’s upcoming album, Natthall, in collaboration with musicians of the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, sees Mullaert returning to his roots as a classical musician but this time approached from the perspective of an electronic artist. The album seamlessly and intricately weaves the threads of electronic and classical music from composition down to execution. Natthall will be released via Neue Meister on the 18th of September 2020
Balance and improvisation deeply inform Natthall’s final single, ‘No Words For A Beautiful World’. There seems to be no thought-out arrangements and melodies here, as the track unfolds organically without a preset guide, much like a growing plant or changing landscape. Sparse electronic sounds create voids and environments of mystery that aren’t quite here nor there. In this absence, strings emerge, pulling the listener through. The journey is at times intense and beautiful, and at other times more ambiguous as to trying… searching. But it’s within this indescribable – no words – limbo that the track’s magic takes place. Lacking a precise direction or an obvious ‘next step’, listeners are invited to fill in the gaps themselves, listening, creating, and living in the present moment.
Ahead of the release, we spoke with Sebastian Mullaert about his new single:
Could you tell us more about the general mood of ‘No Words For A Beautiful World’?
To me, the song is a very emotional piece; beautiful but still holding a certain sadness. The same blend of feelings I often get when I’m out in nature. It’s so beautiful, it’s so perfect and I feel so much gratitude by sharing its presence and yet this sad feeling comes over me. A feeling of not actually being able to fully feel the greatness of it, not being able to take it in and feel one with it. For me, this also becomes a reminder about how we often distance ourselves from the things that really matter and spend our time moving away from the essence, even if it’s right here and waiting for us all the time.
Can you tell us a little bit more about the recording and production process?
A couple of months after the concert in Zurich, I returned to Tonhalle and recorded the ensemble I played and performed with during the concert. I took all the parts and worked with them in the studio in the same process as I do when I improvise music and perform music. My studio process is based around meditation, nature, and a mantric approach to how I work with the sounds and instruments.
In the first phase, I’m processing the sounds and letting patterns and rhythms come to life. The recordings from the original composition become doors or gates… stepping stones for me to travel into this very moment and investigate how it is always changing (that change being me).
I started working with the sounds… looping, playing, shaping… like a ceramist working with clay, a painter working with his brush and paint, or the baker working with dough. This process becomes a mantra; a meditation and my studio become filled with sounds and rhythms… echoes from the recordings, filtered by this very moment, temporary passing. The studio becomes a breathing, sonic organism full of life and potential musical moments. After this I take a break. Sometimes a few hours to walk in nature or a longer break from the studio for a couple of days. When I return to the studio I press record and then I improvise with all the sounds in the studio, letting arrangements and journeys take form in different jams.
Your album ‘Natthall’ is coming out soon and it sort of bridges two worlds: electronic and modern classical music. Why did you decide to take this path? Is there a particular message, which your album is bringing along?
It was such an amazing feeling to get invited by and to play with the ensemble in Zurich that it fuelled me with a strong desire and ambition to return to classical and acoustic music. Before I started my journey within electronic music my background was classical – the violin and piano specifically. Coming back to something that I love and have been longing for in my 25 years experience of electronic music production makes the composing and performing very exciting.
During my last 15 years in electronic music, I had been moving more and more towards an improvisational approach, both in the studio and on stage. My wish and ambition during the last few years have been to share the beauty of improvisation in my own music but also through different musical projects that explore improvisation and by inviting more people to try it and feel it. My project ‘Circle of Live’ is one example of this, and ‘Natthall is now taking a step away from the electronic world and inviting the classical and acoustic world to meet electronic music in an improvisational expression. My intention with the album ‘Natthall’ is to share the importance and beauty of improvisation and nature.
Sebastian Mullaert with musicians of the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich – No Words for a Beautiful World is out now // Buy/Listen