Different Purpose _ Interview with Gerard Hanson [Convextion / E.R.P]
What sort of settings/worlds have you imagined? I have come across some controversy re the definition of what timbre is, one states that it is ‘everything about a sound that is not loudness and pitch’. Would you explain it differently?
I guess I’d call it anything other than pitch. It’s the other frequencies of the sound that aren’t describing the note being played. It’s the difference in the sound between a C# on a piano vs. a C# on a synth. I can hear the same music played by two different instruments but get a different feeling because of this. Maybe this is the part that attracted me to electronic instruments.
I’m a crappy artist. I can’t draw, sketch or paint anything well. When I was young I was given a book with art similar to something you might see by Chris Foss. I don’t have the book now and I have no way of knowing who the artist or artists actually were. I used to study those images for hours and I would imagine my own ships, worlds and machines. But I could never express them visually. So now I try to do that with sounds. Lots of the sounds I like are more about a near future that might have happened, but it didn’t. I think of beautiful machines often antiquated or that have lost popular interest. Sometimes they would have had at one time a practical use but they have become timeless by serving a different purpose.
That’s a very interesting answer and leads well into what I was going to ask next. I read an article lately about how we as humans haven’t really realised that we are in fact living in the future, a future perhaps different to those envisioned in the past. Would you still categorize techno as being futuristic?
I guess we’re living in someone’s future, near or distant depending on how far back you go. I don’t think I would have been able to imagine things as they are now when I first started buying techno. I thought more of future things in a mechanical way and less in the way of communication and information exchange. Is techno still futuristic? I’m not sure what the general opinion would be on that one. And the answer might depend if the question is asking if techno still inspires thought about the future, or is the music still new and innovative. Personally, I think it’s futuristic in both ways. I still think of future things when I hear the old records but also I hear it in new records. I don’t know if that is the intention of the artist, but that’s how I hear it. As for the sound itself being innovative there seems to be some new ideas coming from artists that cut their teeth in other styles of music. Some of the ideas I don’t really care for, but then I’ve also been hearing some really great things. What is the measure of innovation anyway? Is it as big as a new genre? Can innovation be as small as an original melody?
Some very interesting questions for us all to mull over there Ger, that’s for sure! How would you describe the escapist nature of music?
Maybe feeling discontent drives the need to find a momentary escape. It does for me. Music is a wonderful way to be transported. I prefer music that I can listen to no matter what mood i’m in, good or bad. I’m a bit of a push over for ethereal melancholy music. I don’t know why… maybe It’s a way to also look inside. As long as people are unhappy maybe we’ll keep looking for some means of escape.