SIP - SoundLAB Interview Project

Fages, Feran

Feran Fages
from Spain

artist biography


Interview 10 Questions

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

I started very young. My first approach was to use a tape-recorder to have fun and make jokes recording my voice and my family. I was 16-17 when I realised that I wanted to play music seriously. My motivation was just curiosity and pleasure as a listener. Nobody in my family was a musician.

2. Tell me something about your living environment and the musical education.

My musical education was basically “self-taught”. The only instrument I’ve learnt to play is guitar, but my way of learning about music was mainly listening, reading and playing. When I was 21, I studied for 2 years but I quited it.

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

Still I have some problems to say “profession”. It’s my main activity which means that my working-time and free-time turns around my life as musician.
The context in which I practice my music is mainly projects I take part in. Normally I don’t work for others. This situation allows me to stop whenever I want, which is my perfect context as an artist.

4. How do you compose or create music or sound? Have you certain principles, use certain styles etc?
Each situation is different. Basically I’m improvisor and I keep this practice at the center of my musical life. But also I’m critical about the limitations of improvising. Lately I’m more interested in finding a way between improvisational methods and fixed structural ideas.

Every project demands a specific way:
With electronics I work with feedback in a chaotic system where I need to develop tools to interact and react with it.
With my guitar compositions I work on specific harmonic and resonant principles.
With the acoustic turntable my goal is to explore the resonant possibilities of simple objects such as wood, paper, iron…

Also when I decide to make a piece, first I work the idea and after I chose which instrument, process or style I need for developing the idea.

5. Tell me something about the instruments, technical equipment or tools you use?

Analog thinking!
-Acoustic or electric guitar.
-Mixing board, tape recorders.
-Turntables without records.
-Contact mics, microphones
-Objects: spring, metal pieces, wood, paper

Each musical project is different. As I play different instruments I tend not to mix them in the same project.
Also very important is portability, bringing the minimum to play the maximum.
The act of travelling helps me to decide the number and the importance of the elements I taking with me; this simple and practical, but poetic, concept helps me to develop and use my instruments in live situations.

6. What are the chances of New Media for the music production in general
and you personally?

I’m quite skeptical about new technologies. What is relevant is a strong idea.
My biggest problem with new media is how image is used and perverted in order to create big emotional impact, covering the lack of information and ideas… In our daily life Newmedia structures are used against us (publicity, surveillance, political speech). New media belongs to power, or is at least their intrument of choice. New media becomes the way and the way becomes the message.

I’m curious about new media, but more as a “voyeaur” . I keep some curiosity but it’s not my path right now.

7. How about producing and financing your musical productions?

In terms of grants, until now I’m not working with them.

8. Do you work individually as a musician/soundartist or in a group or collaborative? If you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?

Music is one of the few artistic fields where the individuals need to share and work together. I really need this feedback situation, I’m constantly learning from it.
I work individually in specific projects but they are few. Since I’m a musician I see my trajectory as a constant collaboration with others.

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

Giving names to describe your work can be misunderstood… But I can see how important it was to be in an AMM concert in 95, which I couldn’t understand at the time but completely changed my life. After this, everything was a normal consequence. (I guess)

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

Nowadays I’m in a critical moment in which I’m deciding what to do with my music, and mainly with my life – I can’t separate my personal life from my artistic life. Maybe it sounds dramatic but it’s a very intense moment which I can enjoy without any artistic pressure, and it brings the possibility to take a different direction without fear.
After 10 intense years now I feel the need to stop for a while to ask myself what my motivation is to make art.