radia_logo1501113‘alarmist plot’ by Maxime Blanpain
from Radio Panik, Brussels

Some people say there are only 609 days left for human kind (according to the Maya calendar). Others pretend the Last Judgment is ongoing. Then that is little time to read again Mathew (24-25) or the Book of Revelations.

This work started with the will to use the words of a preacher i recorded few years ago in Basel (CH).

Not that i wanted to discuss the relevance/rightness of an apocalyptic preach, but something in that speech had to be pursued. That led me to associate the vehemence of the first part with a second one more breathing and rather speechless. Now, that breath of air could either sketch an interpretation of the Noah’s journey on his arch (mentioned by the preacher), or be a response to the alarmists passion, or be a free space of no-response needed.

produced by Maxime Blanpain
mixed by Yann Leguay

There are two main approaches to my artistic output. One is based on ideas. Thinking, considering, rejecting, building, destroying – everything inside my head. Mostly without notes, definitely without interim results. And then sooner or later the whole „product“ comes out like a chicken egg, ready to be published, staged….. or thrown away. The other approach is based on experiment. I simply throw myself into a situation with no ideas how to deal with them and work from there. It’s a bit like blindfolding myself and slowly removing the blindfold by running into things with my head.

For „Epic fail No. 9 mit Paukenschlag“ I followed the second approach. I had old but never published material on my computer. Mostly short notes (loops) of noise and beats. So I used chance operations to determine the length of every single track to be used („track“ as in multi-track-recording) and to determine when in time it would appear in my piece. There were over 130 tracks of lengths from a few seconds to several minutes. It all made no sense.

Up to this point I hadn’t used my ears to compose the piece. Then I listened to this first „result“ and it was…… well…… interesting. So I listened again and again and each time shortened some tracks or changed their volume. It was like tidying up a room where „a bomb had exploded“. At first I didn’t allow myself to delete any tracks at all but later changed that rule. My work here could be compared to having a sheet of paper full of random characters and then deleting some to build words of the remaining ones. Without the possibility to get them back after deletion. You have to be very careful not to destroy better possibilities for not so great ones. And you must be very careful not to lose the overview of the whole piece. Often my mind zoomed into the music to work on details and I had to force myself to regularly zoom out again for that overview.

The result is something that I first made just to entertain myself (very much me and my tastes) then „destroyed“ by chance operations (nature and not caring about whoever’s taste it may be) and finally broke down to….. have a tidy room where I could sleep and dream of sheep.

Actually I (and I guess you too) do that many times every day in real life. And usually am  as unsuccesful at it as I was with „Epic Fail No. 9 mit Paukenschlag“.