SIP - SoundLAB Interview Project

Kalff, Sibyll

Sibyll Kalff
int. artist (german origin)



Interview: 10 questions

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

well well well – the ealiest “official” way of making music was, being some few years old and finding myself in the evengelic churchchoir, singing and playing flute some 2 or 3 times a week for years, but we had a pretty musically anarchistic, open minded and wide horizoned teacher there, that was inspiring (and we had of course of church gigs, and touring all places for the elderly etx ) and i had some 10 years piano lessons, too – apart from all school music education going on later – my motivation allways, i plain loved music (>>> music junkie!) i was a music addict all my life either listening for 10000s of hours and i just plain love/d to play music, to jam, record, experiment, improvise, explore and work in that field…

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

due to various factors and a chainreaction of things on what i call “my 10 box odyssee” right now – you can find much additional information and text about all that on my homepage!

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

my main profession is being a freelance visual artist and musician since more then 20 years, but i work/ed in many other fields as well, like dance, video, theather, film, writing, as a tranlatress, and in many other fields, please consult my biography….

due to various projects being temporarily on ice for the time being (and having minus 15°C often nuff) and upcoming projects not yet realized, right now i am abit on “standby” – just practize and take care of the 20000 other things that are art and life and musicrelated – please stay tuned for all updates…

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

in 96 % it’s all improvised music that i play and record since decades with a variety of international musicians, i never wrote any song in my life so far, in some very few cases i practized “a song” – we allways loved and worked with the principle of first takes (ok, some 2nd and 3rd take do exist, but as well, very few ones…)

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

i am a singer and vocalist, my main instrument was bass for decades, but allways going , along with piano, cheap funky kid’s casios, various percussion instruments, i loved to work with old taperecorders, taperecorder-overdubs, fostex, various soundcollages, various old anologue time-tappers and very very oldschool analogue drummachines, lately i play mainly guitar, i allways loved to play rather lousy drums for fun …

i love old old old fenders precision basses most, though i played a di marsio for years, too, and a variety of no name copies, i allways had a second hand old old peavy combo bass amp, a variety of (sometimes rather lousy) other guitar amps inbetween, i play a crappy little great telcaster copy right now, but had a variety of basses and guitars in the last decades ( i love gretsch guitars and fender twin reverbs, but never had either of them) i played various acoustic guitars and basses inbetween, too – most of the time second hand, of friend’s instruments for more information please consult my pages for good!

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

i am still the total taperecorder lover and allways loved the analogue world for decades and ever will, of course, many things can be simplified and expanded by all new media options in the music production, and you are able to produce music on a rather high soundlevel in any homerecording studio, but alot of it is as well hype and electronic tupperware parties, that i am totally not interested in. and like with everything, it depends allways on who uses the means in what style and what outcome, and for me, often nuff, you can-t beat old grammophone crackling noises and the warm soundscapes of tube amps and the raw punky recordings made decades ago, i will allways love and prefer them to any clean (new media) productions with no soul and feelings. (shortversion!)

7. How about producing and financing your musical productions?

all my musical projects/tape editions/records were allways completly selffinanced and selfpublished (one exception, 3 songs on a sampler in ny).

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?

i have all experiences working individually and in various groups and musical collectives, and i prefer to work with musicians in my improvised collective style ever since – but of course you have to have the right chemistry between all bandmembers, musicians and guestmusicians involved when you work in that style. when you work individually you are in so far more independent – as you decide for yourself and have a different status and dynamics of autonomy. but i allways love/d to work in musical (and artistist-) collectives, where every musician had exactly the same equalized independence and autonomy, but within this improvised framework.

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

gazillions!!! and of course achanging through all the years. you can find many many references to them on all my various pages along with hommages, links, introductions, many references in all my visual artist work, writings, quotes and a variety of other musically related projects and occupations.

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

i allways have my personal very long (dream-) wishlist of musicians of all genres that i would love to play, jam and record with ever since…

out of competition:

Can works of yours experienced online besides on SoundLAB?
and for even more information and free mp3 soundfiles:

>>> 12 of my records for free download at: