SIP - SoundLAB Interview Project

Walter, Yohann

Yohann Walter
French soundartist

  • artist biography
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    Interview: 10 questions

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

    I started to make music pretty young, as soon as I discovered the recorded medium, such as tapes and magnetophone. It was kind of game, in which you can play with the speeds and create amazing sounds. Then I started making music as a need in my art work (photography, video, installation), as a complementary and necessary language to develop. It could sound as providing mental pictures and feelings, like trying to imagine what s outside of the frames of my pictures.

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

    Like my parents are coming from, I moved often during my childhood, from Paris till the countryside. I’ve always been attracted by landscapes, forests and sea, so large places that I could fill with stories. Since I was really young, I grew with a pretty big interest for foreign and instrumental music, especially the ones I couldn’t understand the languages. My mother made me listening it and told me about our family and ancestors. Then I started to felt more meanings in these non-understood sings and focus on voices, melodies and instruments as a cultural heritage. Around ten years old, when I broke my first magnetic tapes, I sometimes misunderstood the way to repair it and I started to listen music in reverse.

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

    Let say that making music represents an important part in my profession. As I said before, I feel it as a need in my visual art practices. Plus, it allows me to stay connected with a lot of artists with other backgrounds and keep in touch with larger range of creative forms.

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

    Most of the time, I start from recording melodies out of voices or instruments. Then, when I fell free and interesting to evolve on, things just appear  Well, listening a large range of music (from polyphonies to baroque, traditional music to black metal and dream-related atmospheres, modern music to electronic and trip pop and the most current and experimental sounds) I’m focusing on the diversity and fullness that music can propose nowadays. I just don’t want to evolve between boundaries.

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

    I used to improve my instrumental practice by myself. I don’t know how to read or play a partition. I regard mostly about how tonalities can match together, where is the vibration. However, I mostly record instruments and voices directly to the input of a computer. Sometimes the sound is absolutely horrible, but it became part of my practice to do with. Nether the less, I used to work a bit in studio and to use midi programs, that allowed me to realise the song that I propose you.

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

    New media represent a very important part of what could be diversity in music production. I mean calling for creation not known by larger public and out of standards is not done by everyone ! It is, for me, a main example that major organisations should look at, and certainly one of the best way to promote some creative values.

    7. How about producing and financing your musical productions?

    It could be great to have easiest financial support dedicated to. I publish my music by myself, burning, printing, designing and packaging. Dedicated both to visual works and albums, I try to use different ways to present my musical work.

    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 currently work alone on my own projects but continue to practice with bands. Bands can give you the opportunity to explore some aspects of music that you could not think about at the same time you’re playing. It’s an important practice, with every single instrument. Collaborative work sounds better than band for me, in the way that it’s calling to the diversity and the differences of the people involved in. In a certain lap of time, some very amazing things can happen and transform the first ideas. So solo or collaborative are nice, depend your goal !

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

    Dead can dance, This mortal Coil, Cocteau Twins, Alan Stivell and celtic countries music, north European traditional musics, Lully, Purcell and the baroque music, death and black atmospheric metal, Tricky, Blonde Redhead, Hunters and Collector, Mary My Hope, Interpol, the Smiths, Kate Bush, Kraftværk, Fisherspooner, Robots in Disguised, and so long…

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

    Making my own performance and show , developing the space and using videos made for. To propose the listeners a the experience of space and time, that make them flying between different sensitive dimensions, having this question: Which kind of reality are we living in ?