SIP - SoundLAB Interview Project

Jokinen, Sirpa

Sirpa Jokinen
from Finland

artist biography


1. When did you start making music, what is/was your motivation to do it?
Making music is not at all what I consider myself doing. It is rather just sounds and stories.
I have always been quite clumsy with technology and as I had an exhibition coming up in a small gallery on a back street of Helsinki 2003 I had a plan to hire someone to do the sound for my video. I did find a sound designer student who said she would do it. The thing collapsed as I learned that she wanted money because the project was not so interesting for her that she could make it for free. The feeling was that these moving images did need some kind of sound or that the images were of their nature such that they could generate some interesting sounds. So I participated on a weekend sound workshop and there gained skills to make a technically simple sound solution for my video. It did work for me and afterwards especially the sounds got good feedback.

2. Tell me something about your living environment and the musical education.
I live in the part of Helsinki that is on an island. The environment is determined by the sea even if you don’t see it from your window: the wind and the sounds of the seagulls for example.
I did take piano lessons from the age of 6 and later played guitar.

3.Is making music your profession? What is the context in which you practice music nowadays?
As said, making music is not my profession at all. I started to work with sounds because after having made a sound for a video, I realized that the sounds in themselves give birth to unique images in the listener’s mind. The video images were actually not needed at all or at least I wanted to consider the relationship of the image-image and the image-born-of-sound ( image that has no physical form).

4. How do you compose or create music or sound? Have you certain principles, use certain styles etc?
I often connect the sound with an object or something physical and work with that concept. The story is physical to me. It is not pure sound. It is described action and history. The story just uses the sound as its medium. The true sound is undescribable.

5. Tell me something about the instruments, technical equipment or tools you use?
Technical equipment is a challenge for me always, I like to use as simple as possible equipment that fits the purpose. Flea markets are places where I like to go finding usable equipment that come with a story of their own history.

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

The chances are endless as long as the artists learn to be creative with the digital tools and not just follow the guidebooks. It is also necessary to have a point of philosophy behind what one does to be able to call one’s work art.
The world of the new media for me is a danger of becoming lost in a jungle but the aim is to keep one’s head clear and understand what one really needs for one’s artwork.

7. How about producing and financing your musical productions?

My interest is to be in the marginal zone of the arts. Occasionally there are opportunities to make something that actually costs money but mostly my work is in the low-budget category.

8. Do you work individually as a musician/soundartist or in a group or collaborative?
I have greatly enjoyed making collaborations with other artists but most of the time I work alone.
If you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?
Making a collaboration teaches you new skills technically and you become aware of new philosophies. Working alone deepens your self-knowledge and clarifies the direction of your art.

9. Is there any group, composer, style or movement which has a lasting influence on making music?
As I rather like to talk about just sounds, I like for example the work of Zoe Irvine and Jem Finer

10. What are your future plans or dreams as a soundartist or musician?
Just keep working with my own stuff no matter how untrendy it is in the public eye or in terms of the art scene.

Can works of yours experienced online besides on SoundLAB? Where?
List some links & resources click on taiteilijat and then my name remote presence life stream performance video