SIP - SoundLAB Interview Project

Weille, Jan de

Jan de Weille
artist from Netherlands


Interview: 10 questions

1. When did you start making music, what is/was your motivation to do it?
I’ve started to make experimental and automated music only recently (as of 2004). A concert of two artists that I attended to triggered it. One of them was manipulating images on a video screen, while the other created sounds. Since it seems to be a human trait to recognise order in series of random events and find correlation where there is none, I too imagined that sound and image were mutually influenced. I learnt afterwards that the two were created completely independent of one another. Some deception! This experience however inspired me to make computer programs that transform images into sound in real time such that it might have some use in Vjing. From there on, I also explored other directions of computer-assisted music creation.

2. Tell me something about your living environment and the musical education.
My education in the practice of music is very limited. Even so, I play some guitar. Besides a lot of hard work, the creation of a musical piece is for a large part due to the application of rules of composition and harmonics. The almost scientific approach of composition has received a great boost during the baroque period and a few of the works of that period seem computer made. As I have some merits as a programmer, I had the computer create the melodies and the variations according to the rules that I found on the web. I find the results very stimulating and intend to continue developping creative algorithms.

3. Is making music your profession? What is the context in which you practice music nowadays?
No, music is not my profession. I collaborate with performers and video artists.

4. How do you compose or create music or sound? Have you certain principles, use certain styles etc?
I create music either by an entirely automated process or by manipulating visual objects on the computer desktop.

5. Tell me something about the instruments, technical equipment or tools you use?
I use a microphone and Borland C++ on a PC.

6. What are the chances of New Media for the music production in general and you personally?
The communicative aspect of new media furnishes a wonderful opportunity to share work with others at low cost. {SoundLab} would probably not have existed and I never would have found an audience without the net.

7. How about producing and financing your musical productions?
That is a hassle. I do not wish to spend time to go through the red tape hoping to get institutional money. But then again, I’ll remain independent and uncorrupted.

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 work often alone. Sometimes I work with others. The difference is obvious: If you work with others, then they impose limits on what form of sound work they are willing to accept. Both ways of working are OK with me.

9. Is there any group, composer, style or movement which has a lasting influence on making music?
I like many different expressions of music, but as it comes to creating it myself, I prefer a temperate minimalistic style. I love the works of Wim Mertens, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Henryck Gorecki, Arvo Pärt and Philip Glass.

10. What are your future plans or dreams as a soundartist or musician?
Some day I hope to carry out a project, that lies in my drawer for some time now, concerning an interactive sound-generating screen installation.

• Can works of yours experienced online besides on SoundLAB? Where?
TomTiPunk records: