Lots to find out!
by Dave Skipper
DEPARTMENT PAGE FOR THIS SERIES: NOISE INTERVIEWS
NEXT ARTICLE IN THIS SERIES: pending
Introduction (edited March 2020)
I am fascinated by artists’ philosophy of their art. In particular, I am very interested in learning more about noise artists’ ideas/values/outlook on noise. In this series I will conduct interviews with hopefully many noise artists. I want to let them speak for themselves, so any editing will be minimal. All the questions I thought of are below. I will initially only be using the short set of questions, as the whole list is maybe too much for everybody. But if it makes sense to go more in-depth with some artists then I will have the long list to draw upon.
I will be prioritising interviews with Japanese noise artists to start with, because I live in Tokyo and most of the noise artists I know are Japanese. For that purpose I will have assistance translating interviews between Japanese and English as required. Interviewing and publishing schedule is not yet decided.
### THE QUESTIONS! ###
>>> SHORT SET OF QUESTIONS
About noise and noise music in general:
- Definition. What is noise?
- Purpose. Why does noise exist?
- Meaning. What is the meaning of noise?
- Boundaries. What are the limits of noise?
- Impact. How does noise affect you?
- Future. What is the future of noise (in 10, 100, 1000 years)?
About your own noise-making:
- Definition. How would you describe your noise/music?
- Purpose. Why do you make noise?
- Meaning. What does your noise mean or represent?
- Boundaries. What are the parameters of your noise-making (physical, conceptual, aesthetic, technical, technological)?
- Impact. What impact/impression do you want your noise to have on the listener
- Future. Do you have any dreams, plans, goals for your own future noise projects and legacy?
About influences and inspiration (no length limit!):
- Noise/Music. What musicians/bands/albums have influenced or inspired your noise? And list any other ‘must listen’ recommendations.
- Film/Art/Literature. What films/books/writers/thinkers/artists influence or inspire you? And list any other ‘must watch/read’ recommendations.
- Experiences. Anything else that you take inspiration from (experiences, places, people, your own ideas/personality, etc)?
Other topics. Tell me about noise and (pick out any of these topics that are meaningful to you in any way)…
- Silence, performance, collaboration, intentionality, improvisation, quality
- Power, control, transgression, subversion, confrontation, mystery, escape, desire, emotions, meditation, freedom
- Noise culture, sex, violence, pain, occult, religion, politics, society
- Chaos, creation, destruction, infinity, time, eternity, transcendence, death
- Sounds of nature, wind/fire/water, natural disasters, sounds of technology, industry, war, other human sounds
>>> LONG SET OF QUESTIONS
- What is noise?
- What is music?
- What is noise music?
- What is the relationship between noise and sound and music and silence?
- How do you describe your own noise/music?
- Do you describe yourself as a musician, noisician, noise-maker, sound artist, or another description?
Your outlook on noise
- How and why did you first get interested in noise?
- What does noise mean to you?
- Why do you love noise?
- What is it about noise that you are most passionate about?
- How does noise make you feel?
- Why do you make noise/music?
- What is the story/meaning behind your artist/project name(s)?
- Does noise express your feelings and outlook?
- How would you describe your personal aesthetic of noise?
- What is the purpose of noise?
- What is the purpose of art/music more generally?
- Does noise have objective meaning? Why, or why not?
- What can noise represent for you, if anything?
- What’s the most important thing about noise?
- What is the relationship of noise to words? Should noise stay beyond words?
- Do you think about noise in your everyday life, or only when you are engaged in noise-making as an art?
- Have your ideas or feelings about noise changed or developed over the years?
- What is the power of noise?
- What is the mystery of noise?
- Is noise for power or escape or both? How?
- What are the physical boundaries/parameters of noise/art?
- What are the technical boundaries/parameters of noise/art?
- What are the aesthetic boundaries/parameters of noise/art?
- What are the ethical boundaries/parameters of noise/art?
- What are the conceptual boundaries/parameters of noise/art?
Process and performance
- How do you approach creating a new noise track?
- What motivates or inspires you to make noise?
- How do you prepare for a live performance (routines, practices, ideas, plan, etc)?
- What is the role of improvisation in your noise?
- How do you balance intentionality and improvisation?
- What, if anything, is in your mind and your heart when you perform live?
- How do you feel when you make noise?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of collaborating with others in noise-making?
- What are the differences for you between making noise at home or in the studio, compared to playing noise live at a show?
- What is noise culture, or the noise scene (if there is such a thing)?
- What similarities and differences have you noticed between noise in different countries?
- Do you think that there any distinguishing characteristics of noise music from your own country that are influenced by your culture?
- What should be celebrated in noise culture?
- What could change for the better in noise culture?
- Noise often has a very DIY aesthetic. How does this play against craftsmanship and the refining of noise-making as a craft? How do you distinguish quality in noise music, and does it matter?
- A lot of noise has imagery and themes about sex, perversion, the occult, violence, religion, politics, etc. A lot seems to be deliberately shocking or anti-establishment, anti-conservative morality etc. Why do you think this is? How do you feel about this general representation of noise culture? In what way do these themes find a place in your own thinking and your own music/art?
- What is the relationship of noise culture to hierarchy, ego, and competition?
- How do you feel about the role of the internet in noise culture (online releases, free distribution, downloading, spread of information)?
Noise is sometimes related to the following concepts; what do you think about these themes in relation to noise?
- Creation & Destruction
- Decay, disease, depression, and death
- Emotion (e.g. hatred, anger, despair)
- Politics or philosophy (e.g. anarchy, socialism, veganism, dystopia, social systems, injustice)
- Shock value (e.g. taboo or obscene content, sex, pornography, violence, torture, murder, blasphemy)
- Infinity, eternity, and transcendence
- The human condition
- Science, technology, and science fiction
- Abstraction or pure sound
- Are there themes not listed above that are important to you, or that are part of noise culture that you have observed?
Listening to sound and noise and music
- Do you think you listen to the world around you differently because you are a noise artist? For example:
– sounds of nature (creatures, wind, waves, rain, etc);
– the noise of natural disasters (tsunami, thunderstorms, floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, etc);
– city noise;
– sounds of technology;
– the noise of industry (machines, vehicles, factories, etc);
– the noise of war (bombs, military vehicles, guns, swords, etc);
– other man-made sounds (screaming, hitting, scraping, etc).
- Describe some of the sounds and noises that you like (e.g. nature, man-made, specific gear/FX), and why (e.g. timbre, memory/association, emotion)
- Describe some of the sounds and noises that you don’t like, and why.
- Noise music is often very loud. What are your thoughts about the possibilities of hearing loss/damage?
- If you were completely deaf, what role could noise still play in your life?
- What elements give you pleasure or satisfaction in other artists’ noise?
- Who are the artists and albums who have shaped, influenced, and inspired your own noise journey? Choose 5, 10, 20, any number! Specifically related to noise in some way.
- What other kinds of music do you enjoy listening to? What are some of your favourite albums/artists who are not noise-related?
- Who or what has influenced or inspired your understanding/philosophy/approach to/appreciation of noise/art/life (musicians, writers, film-makers, philosophers, books, experiences, your personality, other)?
The history and future of noise
- Who in your opinion were some of the key people in the roots, origins, and development of noise in the 20th century?
- What is the future of noise/music/art in the coming years and decades?
- What new horizons in sound are yet to be explored?
- What is your vision of noise/music/art after 1,000 years?
- Is there anything else you want to say?
(Thanks to Chris Goudreau (SICKNESS) for sending me this!)
DEPARTMENT PAGE FOR THIS SERIES: NOISE INTERVIEWS
NEXT ARTICLE IN THIS SERIES: pending