SIP - SoundLAB Interview Project

Palov, Rebekkah

Rebekkah Palov
US artist


Interview: 10 questions

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

I started by teaching myself bass guitar playing in punk bands, but odd time signature stuff. Motivation, I have always had rhythms in my head and body, it just seemed natural to continue to develop that.

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

I am in America where you kinda get shoved out the door at age 18 and you also have a lot of opportunity to make up your own life, I started university studying experimental film when I was 29. I am not traditionally trained. At my undergrad the chair of electronic composition, Dr. Jon Welstead was open and supportive to non-music majors taking the electronic courses so that is my training. Now I am in graduate school for a MFA in electronic arts, I do sound and video, now more video because I have access to good equipment.

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

Currently I am a student by profession. Funds and opportunity for many artists here are thin; I hope to teach with my degree as a good way to support my art and myself. My practice is a homegrown autonomous thing, I intend on working more collaboratively once I finish my degree.

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

That is a strange question, hard for me to say clearly, but I think there is a rhythm and relationship among all things in the world, because we exist in time. I feel clear on those rhythms and compose in understanding of them. As far as styles, Stockhausen commented that to become an expert in one thing is good for making a career not necessarily good for making music.

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

Generally I do mouse-music and work from field recordings, which are run through processors, oh, and I love a nice modular synth. Also I am learning MAX, who isn’t, for building synths.

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

New media as a term I find a bit hollow. I like a lot the Woody Vasulka idea of discovering a digital space, nothing really new, just that, the new technologies offer a lot for making work more like the wonder of being in the world – that I believe is very promising. And the sonic component I think it will become more prominent because it has so much of what relationships in space are about; sonic puts vertical to the image and intellectual emotional charge as well.

7. How about producing and financing your musical productions?

Ha! I have always been broke, but to make-work it’s o.k. In the States they say time is money. I rather have time to make work than no time to have money. Making sound arts is good, I have a small recorder + mic, some speakers, and I just bought RAM for the G4. When I’m done university I’ll likely get help from Andrew Deutsch on how, where and who to distribute my work. There is a loving international audience out there for this sort of work; it is great.

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?

For now by myself, but you know it ebbs and flows, ones work and who they work with. I am an anarchist by nature and rely on moments when affiliations come together, and when they dissipate.
The collaborations I have been in, bands mostly, have been great, it pushes and challenges you on the one level while it better articulates what it is that you do special. I prefer oscillating between the two, one informing the other.

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

This will sound silly, but you know, I am from a standard American background; my family didn’t listen to orchestral music, just Country Western (I love Johnny cash) pop and some Broadway musicals. So when I was just starting at high school I took out a recording of the Rite of Spring, Stravinsky and was truly blown away, the rhythms and dissonance. I had never heard any thing like that. Pretty simple, I still work mostly with alt tunings and rhythms. Of course Stockhausen and I love Jethro Tull, Slayer, Parliament…

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

Wow I have many dreams, figuring out getting with a label is big, also I want to try my hand at dance records, I always love that stuff, I grew up on American R&B- to shake it is joy! Yeah, and get to a regularity in my practice where improvisation feels right for a next element.