Collaboration is at the heart of Liquid Music's 2015.16 season. Each show is unique and presents an avenue for unprecedented collaborations from rock meets contemporary classical to poetry and even puppetry. Nothing epitomizes the definition of collaboration more than Liquid Music's virtual residency with Poliça and s t a r g a z e. In order to enhance the collaborative nature of the residency, Liquid Music presents an interview series with the two ensembles. To kick it off, Poliça's lead singer Channy Leaneagh asks s t a r g a z e's founder André de Ridder a few questions about his favorite things, earliest influences, and the sounds he'd like to create with Poliça.
Read on and stay tuned for de Ridder's interview with Leaneagh in October!
In what space do you best form creative ideas?
In any space really, if it’s ideas coming up, but mostly in transit, on trains especially, or walking down a road, and often while talking to people/friends. I then have to stop and apologize for taking a moment out to write something down.
Do you consider yourself an extrovert or introvert?
An introvert personally, extrovert musically
If not in music, what other fields can you imagine yourself working in?
Producing radio plays. And if that's too close to music... photography. And if that's too arty... classics/humanities.
One of your top favorite movies?
Le Mépris, Jean-Luc Godard
One of your top favorite books?
Recently 1Q84, Murakami, as a younger person: Stiller by Max Frisch (identity crisis!!)
One of your top favorite records?
Dinosaur Jr You're Living All Over Me
Oooh... Basil... mint?
Since both of your parents were involved in opera; do you have a favorite piece of opera?
You started your musical career as a violinist. Do you play any other instruments besides the violin? How did you become interested in conducting?
Playing in youth orchestras, becoming frustrated with our conductors and becoming obsessed by the medium/phenomenon orchestra and the repertoire
I read in an interview with the Goethe Institute that your entrance into popular music came about from a frustrating experience with a new violin teacher you had as a teen. How did that experience lead you to make music outside the box of classical music?
I simply started composing, playing guitar, and founded a band, as other means of expressing myself musically
What were some of your earliest influences in your bands as a kid? Are there any current musicians that inspire you in the way they blend pop (or rock, electronic, folk) with classical elements?
My initiation was British New Wave, New Order, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Cure then, when I started a band, the reason were Dinosaur Jr, Hüsker Dü, The Lemonheads and Fugazi. The artists inspiring our work today are the likes of Julia Holter, Tyondai Braxton (with and without/after Battles).
You have said, “Music takes the listener from one place to another, changing them, which is the mark of great art.” I agree completely! It changes me to perform for people and the truth of a performance is the exchange of energy and ideas between the people on stage and the people in the audience. The back and forth. I am experimenting with being more focused on a taking the audience to a specific place and change. Do you ever write with an intentional place or subject you want to take people to? Do you ever try to control the feelings people leave with or do you let the music lead the way from the conception?
I haven't really 'written' as such creatively for a long time. But when I do, or when writing arrangements I am just trying to colour, to make audible what I hear as overtones, as resonances of the music. A kind of 3-D or 4-D version of what we're experiencing already (or what I am hearing walking down the street). Another dimension? And then, if people find themselves with me in that other dimension, wel.. anything can happen? Out of body experiences is what have glued me to music. No drugs involved I should add...
One of my hold quotes is from Ai Weiwei: “Everything is Art and everything is politics”. Do you have any thoughts on that in relation to your own work?
I agree! If Art and Music is a means of communication it is all, or can become political. I travelled to Bamako in October 2013 and it heightened my sense of that, in my senses in general, incredibly. Music is community art. Music clubs are a place of political discourse.
Do you have any visions for the sounds you’d like to make with Poliça? Fast and abrasive textures or slow and calm sounds, ect...? What sort of musical feelings or sounds are you drawn to these days?
Ah now we're talking!! Both!! I am interested in s t a r g a z e being a punk-noir version of the Ensemble Modern (contemporary classical, who play a lot of Zappa though as well), or a contemporary classical version of Godspeed! I am excited in the challenge and possibilities of playing with two drummers. I think if they play full-on (which I hope) we have to use a more broader, or harder brush stroke, but in the cracks or liminals there can be more lyrical calm and experimental sounds. I cannot wait, Channy!!!