SIP - SoundLAB Interview Project

Erkizia, Xabi

Xavier Erkizia
from Spain

  • artist biography
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    Interview: 10 questions

    1. When did you start making music, what is/was your motivation to do it?
    I started playing with music (not playing music) when i was a child, and later, doing so-called music at the age of 15. At the beginning, the main reason that pushed me to do what i was doing was simply, like every teenager, the fascination of the intensity of rock music. Some years later i noticed there was something else behind all that, something much more powerful and interesting than the rock music aesthetic that had stronger relations with the nature of sound and it’s multiple characteristics. The fascination of the listening experience.

    2. Tell me something about your living environment and the musical education.
    Practically i spend all my life living in small villages, in natural environments. My musical education was partly academicand partly not. I studied at the local music school until i started to learn percussion with a teacher (an old folk musician) that didn’t know how to play that instruments. He played flute but never percussion. So his teaching was more related to feelings than techniques. For that time i didn’t recognize how big would be that influence, that some years later became stronger and stronger until now.

    3.Is making music your profession? What is the context in which you practice music

    No. But fortunately i can say that my profession is centered around musical and sound practices. sometimes as a curator, organizing events, doing workshops, composing soundtracks for films, writing articles or producing my own soundworks. I try to open the context where i work as much as possible. I like to experiment with completely different situations, some well know and some not, trying to find new motivations and difficulties that become challenges.

    4. How do you compose or create music or sound? Have you certain principles, use certain
    styles etc?

    As i participate in a lot of different projects, i don’t have any proper method to compose. In fact I don’t like to have a very clear idea about what the result will be. Of course, there are always some details or some kind of trademarks, that everybody has, even if you don’t know them. But define, classify or detect them is not my job. When i work, it doesn’t matter wich project or situation is, i like to think in dynamics, sometimes sound related and sometimes in terms of personalities. The aim is to find the balance or create juxtapositions between or with all the elements involved.

    5. Tell me something about the instruments, technical equipment or tools you use?
    Depending on the projects or the working situations i use different equipment, objects and/or instruments, but i can say that a) microphones and b) laptop are my main tools. For instance, on this piece i use accordeon as a main instrument, recorded and processed in several ways.

    6. What are the chances of New Media for the music production in general and you personally?
    Simply, they give me the chance to don’t spend so much time thinking on technical issues, so i have a chance to think on different characteristics of the situation as: space, audience, reactions, resonances…

    7. How about producing and financing your musical productions?
    I supose i have the same problems that any experimental musican that wants to release records have. Now, with the net and cdr possibilities, the problem is not to produce and release music, but to distribute and show your works.

    8. Do you work individually as a musician/soundartist or in a group or collaborative?
    Both. I play in several bands or collaborative projects as: Billy Bao, café teatro, Ornitorrinkus…. In this case i present a solo piece that is part of a collection of compositions dedicated to the accordion (the instrument i learn to play when i was a child, but i left as soon as possible) called ESKU (means, hand in basque, accordion is called hand-sound in basque), that i’m working on during the last 5 years. For the piece i use a story (half-essay) called “Elogio sentimental de la acordeón” (sentimental elogy to accordion) written by spanish writer Pio Baroja (who was living in the same town that i live for some decades), part of his story compilation “Paradox rey” (1906).

    If you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?
    Both. Each situation has good things and bad things, as any situation in our lifes. Sometimes the miscommunication becomes a big problem when you work with a band, but sometimes also when you are playing or composing alone, and the second one probably is much more complicated. So, i try to learn different things, not only about working collaboratively but about myself in both situations. That’s the most important things always. To learn something.

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

    A lot! i listen to so much different kinds of music. Of course, there are always some references that really touch you and makes you think in a different way, in my case people or records from people like: Santiago Irigoien, Mattin, Alex Mendizabal and many more…

    10. What are your future plans or dreams as a soundartist or musician?
    to keep having chances to experience new creative situations, and… did you ask about dreams? ok, to have beautiful sound dreams…

    out of competition:
    Can works of yours experienced online besides on SoundLAB? Where?

    List some links & resources