SIP - SoundLAB Interview Project

Burn, Sean

Sean Burn
UK artist



Interview: 10 questions

1. when did yu start making music, what is / was your motivation to do it?

i have always listened to music, have always admired musicians, worked with them for 15+ years, then 10years or so ago i got the opportunity to experiment with making sound

2. tell me something about your living environment and the music education

i live in council housing (on stilts) on an inner city estate in the north-east of england, the river is close, as are parks, birds, trees etc. i have no music education, am self-taught

3. is making music yr profession? what is the context in which yu practice music?

i make all kinds of work – mostly interdisciplinary – sometimes installation, sometimes theatre, sometimes poetry plus soundscape, sometimes wee films and so on, always playing, always experimenting, always learning

4. how do y compose or create music or sound? have yu certain principles, use certain styles etc?

v interested in psychogeographies, soundmapping etc – then layering text/s over this and frequently adding visuals too.

5. tell me something about the instruments, technical equipment or tools yu use?

i sample sounds ‘out there’ in the environment (natural or human-made), very lo-tech, stereo microphone into a minidisc recorder, then manipulate / layer / process these in cooledit pro and frequently then writer/layer my own texts over the top.

6. what are the chances of new media for the music production in general and you personally?

to me new media means a lot – its the convergence of visuals / text / sound, even performance into that wee box and layering ’em all up.

7. how about producing and financing yr musical productions?

after my last major hospitalisation i gave up worrying about the financing of projects and just got on and made them happen, somehow, anyhow.

8. do yu work individually as a musician / soundartist or in a group or collective? if you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?
mostly – outof necessity – illness and distance from others its been working alone as sound-artist, but i do love those rare collaborations. conversations in art are important.

9. is there any group, composer, style or movement which has a lasting influence on making music?

– no, but there are many i admire including sainkho namchylak, anne-james chaton, zeitkratzer, annea lockwood, mauricio kagel, miya masaoke, yannis kyriakides, bob cobbing, maggie o’sullivan, mieko shiomi, kurt schwitters, linder, myra davies … and also my thanks to gareth mitchell and thomas kumlehn who have taught me so much

10. what are your future plans or dreams as a soundartist?

to continue to dream!