SIP - SoundLAB Interview Project

Mobin, Anton

Anton Mobin
French artist



Interview: 10 questions

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

It seems to me that it was towards the age of 10 years. My father musician (keys and clarinet) liked that we teach me the music, in particular the piano; matter which me displeased very fast, probably the music theory and the compulsory methods. Later, the urge to touch Music had not disappeared: it was necessary to me to find an approachable instrument quickly.

Then at about 13 years, me threw my craze on a guitar found in the attic of my aunt. The time of the discovery passed by the percussion on the box, then the frictions and the different scratches on strings. Then, came the time to learn to play within an inch towards a use totally hijacked, distorted, altered by the instrument, an intuitive approach by considering the instrument only as object.

Always in this idea of sound discovery and it in a self-taught way, instruments varied during the experiments; guitar, bass, percussions, by considering until this day in my installation, the microphone as the separate object.

And then it is on that my motivations to create some music, or rather to create of the sound, come mainly from the attentive listening of my environment and the sound phenomenon, the manipulation of devices, and the beauty of a vinyl !

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

So, the first contact with the music was made before the learning of any instrument.
Before, there’s Listening…

My parents passed a great deal of music at the house: rock, jazz, many guitar, and then very fast its cassettes and vinyl were accessible to me.
The music was very present during my childhood, and the post with cassette then the hi-fi system was successively those who told me histories… Rock not Roll!
Later, they became tools of recordings, then instruments to be manipulated…

In 90’s, bass player in different rock bands, and improvised music forms. Rejected very fast by the circle jazz for ” strange practices “…

The meeting in 2000 with the collective H.A.K was decisive for me. Opened on a new practice, done wonders for the self-confidence and extirpated by its scientific language, Music becomes the affair of all; spontaneous and intuitive.

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

Profession with a boss : no never !
My boss is very cool !

Rather, a way of thinking, a way of life, certainly little sets the margins on it …
For 10 years, I try to widen my field of investigation, so well, beautiful meetings allow me to work lucratively for the theater and the dance.

The axis of work privileged by the collective H.A.K on the improvisation offers numerous possibilities of public representations and artists’ residencies (Jan-may09: RME Chartres-France)
( )

But my main field of investigation is the radiophonic creation with the webradio Arteradio ( ).

Besides, Network activities hold an important place in my work:
I keep various connections on the web to develop a real sound activity in network: TraceLab, SoundCAST, Field Recordings Group, The Improvisators Network, the Internet community called Cannibal Caniche and the webradio associated KKWNE ( ), as well as different current projects proposed by various Net labels.

Also, I try to have several ropes in my bow! And it is exactly which is interesting in the sound universe: the great field of Possibilities.

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

For several years, I dedicate a real passion for the sound as the archives with the faculty(power), in the same way as a photo album, to wake or to maintain the memory. So, my sound works are mostly based on location recordings.

The first principle that I am imperative, and which becomes even the first constraint of my work, is to use only the sounds of which I am the author.

I maintenance a precise filing. When an absent sound is necessary for my creation, I try to record it, either if it is impossible; I try to create it. To do it, I record numerous sequences realized according to techniques of sound effects, used generally in the studio of post-production for the cinema.

With Arteradio I work to develop a sonic writing based on the recording with constraints: be imperative(lead) a constraint of recording at the time of the sound recording before even any work of creation. (Ex: Micro-Frottoir – OuRaPo / Rubbed microphones)

The principle of Rubbed microphones has to make numerous purists of the beautiful recording jump up, because it provokes the accident by the direct contact of the microphone on the object to record.

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

For the recording, I use mainly Nagra Ares M II – hq. Sometimes, a md associated with diverse capsules (microphones over-head, microphone collars, Microp switches and home-made microphone by Aide Auditive ( ).
Then, my work of editing and mixing appeals to classical techniques of the radio creation, discovered in a self-taught way, then cleared up according to the meetings ; in particular thanks to the team of the producers of Arteradio : Christophe Rault and Samuel Hirsch.

Generally, I am an actor in each of my pieces. Not necessarily with the voice, but in movement; use the body as instrument or as object: before, I evoked the recording of sound effects’ sequences, that is a main element of my compositions. In the style of a sound-effects engineer of cinema, I collect materials, build situations, I write and create by sequence, precise actions that I record in.

My love for the sound effects comes from numerous sessions to the M-studio (Paris) sound effects post-production.
I had the privilege to see for a long time working Julien Naudin and Vincent Maloumian on various films. Vincent Maloumian offered me my first steps to the image !

And, to playing live, I use micro-switches’ set with diverse objects and a kit of microphones has to rub on diverse textures : textile, metallic tube and a home-made instrument designed by AxDelbor ( ) …
Even there very printed in the sound effects, my interventions sometimes noisy, sometimes atmospheric are improvised, abandoned in the intuition of moment …

“Necktar on 2017” a recent project of Earsheltering brought me to combine environmental sound recordings, sound effects and electro acoustic manipulation ( ).
A way to be investigated, even if numerous rushed there: I like listening to this music by moment but I don’t want to compose it.
I hope that my work is more similar to the art radio, of the field recording or the raw and simple sound archives.

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

Difficult question…
This question reminds me an interview of David Gilmour about the use of its machines: he said something like that: “the machine is nothing without the human intervention and the creative act is not the fact of the machine”. I agree with that !
So, most important is creativity !
Of course i use new technologies to produce my sounds but for me New Media is important for the diffusion of my work and to collaborate with others artists ; I’m sure there is a great collaborative potential for sound art project by New Media.

7. How about producing and financing your musical productions?

I don’t receive any founding or financing for creation.
I publish my own sounds: burning, printing, designing and packaging. D.I.Y. !
I try to use different ways to present my musical work : physical and virtual support.
I use Creatives Commons licences for Internet diffusion.
I am a director and a producer of all my sound creations, with the exception of the sound creations realized for Arteradio and the OuRaPo, which produces.

8. Do you work individually as a musician/sound artist or in a group or collaborative?
If you have experience in both

what is the difference, what do you prefer?

I work individually as a sound artist and also as a musician with the H.A.K. collective.

Both aspects of my work are additional, and it would be totally impossible to me to choose or to privilege a space of creation more than the other one … I like both practices.
The work in collective is necessary, it confronts the ideas, diversifies the know-how: a very enriching experience for a musician.
In fact, the collective meetings allow an evolution in my installation, according to the events, the artists who play and according the thema of the creation.

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

Band : Pink Floyd
Movement : Dada
Composer : Pierre Bastien
Label : Gruenrekorder

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

-Maintain the network weaved over the years on the web and provoke of new collaborations.
-Honoring the proposal of two netlabels publish my work on their catalog:
*Collaboration with JMCharcot (FinalCut) for La P’tite Maison netlabel (France)
*A field recording Project with constraints for Earsheltering netlabel (France-Belgium)

-Co-Edition of « Micro-Climat » : cd-r on H.A.K. Lo-Fi Record (France) and net release on Konkretourist netlabel ( )

-to work the radio fiction: formation ACSR – July 09 (Belgium)
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-installation and performance with the engraver MicTorn (at the end of 2009 – Paris)
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– Elastique
– Micro-Frottoir 3
– Micro-Frottoir 4
– La belle absente


Phono-Photo :
collection #3 (april 2008) with Jean-François Rauzier
collection #4 (november 2008)
collection #5 (february 2009) with Locace


-October, 27th 2008, Konkretourist netlabel in Cologne released the soundwork “Paris-Plage” by Anton Mobin –


-December 17th 2008, selected with various artists for “the Insects’ Project” , released by La P’tite maison netlabel (France)
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* January 17th 2009, Earsheltering netlabel released NECKTAR 2017 vol.1 , where a collaboration between Anton Mobin and The Ghost between the Strings take part.
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* January 24th 2009, Clinical Archives netlabel in Russia released an intuitive improvisation by Ayato & Anton Mobin : QUASARS 8 (The Quasi Stellar Radio Source of Octopus).
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