SIP - SoundLAB Interview Project

Rose, Neil

Neil Rose
is a UK based soundartist.

  • artist biography
  • —>
    Interview:10 questions

    When did you start making music, what is/was your motivation to do it?
    I started on an Amiga 500 in 1994, trying to make techno/trance that was the thing at the time.
    I taught myself how to use a very basic tracker program (Octamed) that I got free on the front of a magazine.
    As I realised the possibilities available to me through using this program my work became more and more abstract, essentially because of what I could do and not what I previously felt I should.
    I realised I wasn’t making techno when someone told me the piece I was working on sounded like a painting.
    I am motivated by technical possibilities, trying to mimic real world occurrences and attempting to quantify and organise random processes.

    Tell me something about your living environment and the musical education.
    I am currently resident in Plymouth. I like living by the sea but it has never inspired my work – I just really enjoy the smell of it, the light it causes and the (sometimes vicious) wind.
    I studied sonic art at Middlesex University, where I developed my compositional and programming skills,
    and have never looked back.

    Is making music your profession? What is the context in which you practice music nowadays?
    Yes and no. I am a lecturer that is my main income and work self-employed as an artist; mainly as a sound designer for art house/Avant garde films, I also perform, compose/produce and, mould plaster models of Zorro.

    How do you compose or create music or sound? Have you certain principles, use certain styles etc?
    I am fascinated by finding patterns within real world events; IE desire paths, urinal usage, chaos ETC. As well as more traditional electroacoustic principles, IE Timbre.
    I generally build (virtual) models based on these situations and allow the computer to compose under these conditions, through chance decisions and random events.

    Tell me something about the instruments, technical equipment or tools you use?
    My good old Mac and Max/MSP generally serve me well, although Reason has been playing a large part when I just want to get stuck straight in.
    I used to play the recorder at primary school,
    I was good at it too.

    What are the chances of New Media for the music production in general and you personally?
    Tough question, I am seeing a lot of really interesting performances based on sound and image as well as the many opportunities the internet ETC affords to us as artists and as human beings.
    Only four years ago these things were relatively new and used in quite a naive way. Now we are starting to see new media blossom into an art form of its own.
    I am ashamed to say that I (as most people now) use these media forms as a distribution method, that is clearly extremely democratic, but it could be so much more than an easy way to get a recording to someone or faster than a phone call. And thankfully, I think it is becoming more…

    How about producing and financing your musical productions?
    I am EXTREMELY low tech so I often don’t need funding to realise a project, and honestly haven’t come up with anything of a large enough scale to warrant seeking funding.

    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 in whichever way suits the piece. Generally on my own but if a performance needs a guitar, then I will get a guitarist.
    I am also working collaboratively with people I’ve never met remotely on the net.
    Am finding it quite tough keeping up momentum when it feels like there is no one there. I think anyway of working is worth a go, becoming stagnant will harm your creative process.

    Is there any group, composer, style or movement which has a lasting influence on making music?
    Only really the usual suspects: IE John Cage, Schaeffer, Denis Smalley ETC.
    But also: World music, particularly flamenco and South Korean percussion music, Squarepusher, Willie Nelson, Sun-Ra, Gil Scot heron – it is turning into a list…
    Oh, and the sound of the X38 bus from Plymouth to Exeter.

    What are your future plans or dreams as a sound artist or musician?
    I am quite happy where I am now, would like to live in Cornwall or somewhere and work entirely remotely over the internet, or maybe win lots of millions on the lottery?
    No, work from home because I dislike getting out of bed in the morning, and if I won the lottery I’d NEVER get out of bed.

  • Can works of yours experienced online besides on SoundLAB?

    List some links & resources

    The sonic arts network:
    Middlesex Sonic Arts:
    Sound Toys:
    Resonance FM:
    Ill FM:
    Lo Recordings:
    Max object database: