A few weeks ago I was interviewed for the Dutch Thump magazine. Here is the English version that was then translated into Dutch. Thanks to Lisa for inviting me, she had the tough job of translating.
You are originally from Australia and have lived for a while in London, how did you come to the Netherlands ?
I found it difficult to stay focused during my studies in Melbourne, so I applied for a student exchange in London for three months. After London I traveled around Europe before returning to Australia to complete my studies. During these times I visited the Netherlands and really enjoyed my time here.
But it was not necessarily the love of the city that made you go back to Amsterdam?
Two years ago I met Tako, my partner who lives in Amsterdam.
I was more in love with a person rather than the city but since then the city has become very special to me. Melbourne is great but you can feel really isolated at times. The music scene is thriving there but for me Amsterdam is new and exciting. I love the possibility of traveling to Germany, Paris, Belgium or other European cities in a few hours.
In the music we hear on your label Lullabies For Insomniacs there are sounds we encounter in everyday life ...
A lot of music is inspired by what we hear everyday. Historically, musical movements have echoed the sounds of modernity. If we listen with focus to sounds then the intricacies appear, what is perceived as mundane becomes fascinating. The record we are listening to, Fridge Trax by General Magic and Pita is an example of this. It was made my hanging microphones inside of a fridge for hours and with post production you have an amazing record. How often do you find yourself listening to the sound of the fridge?
How would you describe the genre of the label?
The genre of my label is undefined. Genre is great for archiving and marketing purposes but is not important in regards to the creative direction of LFI. Artists featured on the label create the sound of the label and this doesn't need to be dictated by a genre.
The label evolved from a radio show you did...
Lullabies for Insomniacs aired during the graveyard slot on Melbourne community radio show PBS. Each show was a 4 hour segment where I tried to make some kind of a story out of what I had been listening to that week. During these times I discovered an incredible amount of music. I found myself digging more, connecting with artists and of course each week my mailbox at the station would be full of promos from emerging musicians or the latest releases.
Could you tell us something about your studies in Melbourne? What you did, what you've learned, etc...
My degree was in sound art, over the 3 years it opened up my world to many new practitioners that influenced me greatly and of course new skill sets. The course was split between a creative and technical application (not to imply these two are discrete). The best thing about the course was the cross-pollination that occurred in the electives. You had students from the design or science faculties coming across to the sound classes and bringing their knowledge and skills from different fields. This is were the magic happens.
I read that when you travel you always pack your recorder ?
When I travel I am inspired the most. You can become desensitized to a place after a while.
The sounds become less interesting. The first times I caught the subway here the sound made by the rotating shelter sign was intriguing, I really liked it. I had to record it, months later I pass it twice a day and no longer have the same connection.
You're also a photographer. What's your relationship with image and sound?
With a photograph you are taking a snapshot, a single frame at a time. Sound and music are time based so a narrative unfolds over a duration. I enjoy this time needed to explore sound, it's a more contemplative medium for me.