SIP - SoundLAB Interview Project

Messinezis, Luc

Luc Messinezis
Greek artist



Interview: 10 questions

1) When did you start making music, what is/was your motivation to do it?
(Once upon a time there was a little boy. He received his first Christmas present; a drum. He started making noise. It felt good making noise. He was being actually there)

As a teenager I started composing songs following my influences but soon enough I developed an interest in ways sound may be used as the structuring material to deliver a concept and challenge the perception of the individual. My motivation focuses in discovering new forms of composition and expression, always experimenting and researching/investigating the use of sound as a creative medium within several different contexts.

2) Tell me something about your living environment and the musical education.
(He grew up in the city. He enjoyed sitting at the balcony. One day the sound of the leaves of a tree cross-faded with the hiss of a distant car and succeeded by the horn of a ship: The perfect finale of an imaginary symphony.)

I grew up in an urban environment living in a notorious neighborhood of Athens, Greece, which may have affected my artistic practice. I have now relocated to London, UK living in a shared flat. Coming from a scientific background (chemical engineering), in parallel I studied classical harmony and composition. Drawn by my interest in the aural environment and the acousmatic experience, I changed my direction by attending with success an MA course in sound arts at the University of the Arts, London and have now engaged with sound and the audible, in a more professional way.

3) Is making music your profession? What is the context in which you practice music nowadays?
(How could he fit a car, the wind and a ship, or even a whole harbor within a room? If they can fit in his mind, a room should be easy.)

Sound and music are the main driving forces in my life and I have been practicing sound arts professionally. My work focuses in the use of sound in galleries in a sound installation format delivering concepts within the context of contemporary art, yet the audio-visual relationship and sound/musical composition continue to constitute ways of expression and experimentation.

4) How do you compose or create music or sound? Have you certain principles, use certain styles etc?
(He started gathering his sounds just like when he was young he used to collect shells while walking along the seashore. He closed his eyes, and listened.)

Making art and the way one practices it, depends a lot on the given state of his life, experiences, interests and emotions. I could not say that there are unchanging principles that I follow, but at the current stage I am focusing on the use of sonorous objects, by the means a visual artist uses tangible objects in order to deliver a concept. Electro-acoustic music, film sound design and phonography are also forms of expression I have engaged and continue to practice. The acousmatic experience and the reduced mode of listening are principles that my work currently relates to.

5) Tell me something about the instruments, technical equipment or tools you use?
(His dreams, his thoughts and his senses reached out and the objects changed form and were repositioned, dancing around him narrating a story like the one grandma was saying just before bed time)

The tools I am using depend much on the project I am working on. As recently my work focuses on the use of concrete sound material, I collect it by using a portable recorder and/or a laptop/soundcard/microphone system. The editing and processing of sound, as well as the composition process, is done using commercial or custom made software tools, again depending on the compositional strategy that is followed.

6) What are the chances of New Media for the music production in general and you personally?
(He felt the urge to share himself. To talk to friends that he loved and those that did not know him. So he broke himself to bits sometimes 16, sometimes 24)

In each era new media have been introduced and have influenced the art world. Nowadays more than ever, the means of expression, creativity and communication are vast. In regards to music and sound, one is given the possibility to produce, broadcast himself for free, develop cross platform artworks and promote his work. Except for an energy point of view, there are no more excuses in not being creative for someone who would like to be.

7) How about producing and financing your musical productions?
(One day someone told him; “you have to grow up”, but he was skeptical about it.)

The new technologies that have been introduced the last few decades provide the artist the opportunity to produce his work with a low budget and high quality at the same time. Yet to realize a project and inspiration to be converted into a final product, financing is needed. Modern life unfortunately does not allow the artist to fully dedicate himself on his practice. He needs to survive within a demanding social environment and a lot of his energy is consumed in processes that have nothing to do with his creativity, thus his full potential is never revealed.

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?
(Sometimes he was alone, and yet was not. Sometimes he was never alone, and yet he was)

At the moment I practice my work as an individual but in the past I have collaborated with other artists, musicians or performers. I do not have a preference as each situation serves different purposes and is interesting in a different way. When working alone the project becomes personal and the communication with the audience is a direct dialogue. The experience is different working as or within a group of people. In that case communication between the people that work together reflects to the audience, who in their turn do not experience a personal statement, but the energy of unified efforts.

9) Is there any group, composer, style or movement which has a lasting influence on making music?
(And his muse touched him like a mistress would. The following evening he was expecting her again. But another one came)

There are many influences in my work. Artists and musicians have inspired me while others have shown me a way that I should not follow. Due to my recent work I will just mention John Cage for the way he was always been researching terms of composing and communication and Pierre Schaeffer as his statements and work with the acousmatic experience and the definition of the sound object inspired my research and practice.

10) What are your future plans or dreams as a soundartist or musician?
(So he walked to the bank of the river and rejoiced at the sound of the splash a stone would make if he chose to throw it)

I just want to have the opportunity to work, express myself and communicate. My aim is to create the conditions through which I will be able to reach my full potential in developing and delivering my ideas.