nicolas jaar – process part 083 (deleuzes will)
The interval between concept and the materialization of that concept never existed for me. From the time I started making electronic music when I was 14, experimentation was the creation. The programs were too complex to allow me to think of an idea and materialize it. I would be in front of a synthesizer for hours, changing the knobs until I got something. At first, being blindfolded by innocence, experimentation allowed me to do some pretty crazy things like using 4 compressors in one audio track or long percussive gated reverb pieces. I had no conception of limitations. Maybe that is what I first liked about music.
Four years later, now that I have finally understood what a saturator actually does and why a “c” sounds so good with an “e” flat; the innocent blindfolded aspect of music has left me and it’s a nightmare. Simply “understanding” has been a difficult thing to overcome. For awhile, I listened to my “old” stuff and thought that I had something there that I would never be able to reach: a lost craziness, a natural avant-gardeness (for once). Creation now is going back to that time frame – no label, no making songs, just basically messing around – and putting it all into a digestible little box. It’s leaving music through music. Here, the interface between different stages of one’s creation is just as important as the actual process of making a track.
I have submitted two songs to the process series that show what I am talking about. One is from 4 or 5 years ago (unsigned and unmastered). The other I made more recently and will come out on Wolf + Lamb later this year. Hopefully these demonstrate the process between instants of creation and how that has affected my present understanding of interval and time.
The track “Deleuze’s Will”, made a few days ago, was done in a few hours and mastered the next day. A few things about it: The main piano melody was found while improvising. This is what made me want to make the song; it inspired me enough to want to adorn it. I instantly transcribed it to midi notes using my keyboard. For the beat; my dream is always to create one, big, fat wheel of sound, that churns as if it was one element and not separate hits (like kick, snare, hihat). That is, of course, extremely hard to do, so the closer I get to it, the happier I am. Something else that is important for me, in every song, is that it doesn’t sound electronic or organic. It has to be right in the middle. I feel that the hardest thing during the process of making music is not falling into a genre (like how a piano with a beat can quickly sound loungy) That is why the melody is extremely important. Melody has to be able to create its own present and be detached enough from the past so that it continues to move forward.
The song “New York” on the other hand, done 5 years ago, was the first song I ever made after buying Propellerhead Reason. I was at the time in Salzburg, Austria.