Friday, July 2, 2010

Interview with IRUKANDJI: Beauty in Destruction

Lately I have been working on a video for a song from Irukandji's soon-to-be-released album: Beauty In Destruction. The video, You Are Calling, will be screened at the CD launch later in July.

My first collaboration with Irukandji took place last year when he contributed to my song Raindrops on Skin, which I half created in Toronto and half in Trinidad. Working with Irukandji is always a pleasure. In addition to totally trusting me and what I do creatively, as a person/artiste, he's cool, laid back, talented and serious about what he does, giving his best and stopping at nothing short of high quality.

Below is my interview with the man himself.

1. What's special about this new album, Beauty In Destruction?
It's special to me because it signifies a period of change in my life both artistically and personally. It is also special because electronic music and its creation hold a place in my heart like nothing else can.

2. What inspired the music?
The music is inspired by living. Living every day with the ups, downs, disappointments and wonderful experiences alike. As parts of us are destroyed, parts of us are newly created. The music came out of a lot of destruction and re-creation in my life. I believe this process in inherently beautiful.

3. Tell us a bit about the hardware and software you used to create the music.
Hardware and software: I use whatever sounds good and comes across the way I want it. Ableton Live is my main software platform along with too many software instruments to mention. And, there is always place for the electric bass and guitar in there, sometimes though not instantly recognizable due to severe electronic processing.

4. How do you see your work fitting into the Trinidad & Tobago musical landscape?
This question is an interesting one ... This type of music in T&T is in its infancy, if even. My goal is always to educate, to show people the possibilities of electronic music. Globally, electronic music is not only classified as "Techno", as it in known erroneously in T&T, but it is a valid form of art. This is where my music would probably fit into our landscape.. Art, pieces of sonic sculpture. I enjoy the club and dance style of electronic music (EDM), Dj'ing it brings me great pleasure, but that is not all what electronic music is about. To the artistic-minded, my music has a place here among all our other local creations.

5. Ideal scenario: what do you see happening for this album?
I would like to see this album touch people in the way it moved me during it's creation. To bring a smile to a face. Other than that, I think the music is well suited for film or other theatrical performances. I would also like to promote it abroad, where there is a market for this type of electronic music.

6. Where will the album be available for purchase?
The album will be available both in digital and physical CD formats, at the launch event (to be announced), and shortly after that, online at various online stores.

7. Any words of guidance from Irukandji to electronica hopefuls?
Create, Create, Create. Do not be discouraged. Do not be competitive. Create from your heart. Create with whatever you have. Electronic music has no parameters, use this to your advantage.

8. What is the process of music creation like for you?
It varies a lot, I may wake up at 3AM with a melody or rhythm in my head, and go into the studio and put it down. I may start with nothing at all and build a whole song around an ambient texture from a software instrument. Creating a song can take hours, or months, depending on how I feel or whatever else I'm doing. But I only work on one song at any point in time, that particular piece always gets my absolute focus. I master my own music, so that once I'm satisfied with the mix, the mastering then gets done.

9. How long did it take you to make this album?
Eight, probably nearly nine, months.

10. Tell us a bit about the video created for one of the tracks: "You Are Calling?" Why that song in particular?
"You are calling" came from a dream, and that song had something "special" to it. The decision to make a video for that song was mostly done by you! I thought it was a great idea, and everything happened from there. I think "You Are Calling" has a special significance to both of us.

11. Do you have a 'favourite' song on the album? If yes, which one and why?
If I have to pick my "favourite" then it would be "Petal". This was the first song written on the album, and the emotions associated with the song come across strongly. The album got its context from "Petal".

12. How did you go about naming the songs?
My songs have no "song" lyrics, so it's all about what I was feeling when they were being written. They could be about the beauty of nature : "Petal", the power of the Female : "Ribbons" or me just being light-hearted and whimsical : "Fluting Debris".

13. IRUKANDJI. What does it mean and what inspired you to choose it as your name?
The Irukandji is a tiny, transparent, jellyfish found off the coast of Australia. It's responsible for a few previously unexplainable deaths of swimmers. I saw it on a National Geographic Documentary and was intrigued by the fact that something so tiny and invisible could be so powerful. So that became my DJ name: DJ Irukandji. I'm not only a DJ though, so now I'm just Irukandji.

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