I spend a lot of time playing with techniques, just messing around and building up a whole range of different melodies and chords and ideas into a palette that becomes my tool box. There has to be some time just working on the those fundamental building blocks of music and just having a whole load of that stuff ready to go, because one of the difficulties is that writing music can take a long time – especially if using a new piece of software or a new technique. Sometimes if you’ve got a concept in your mind you can get distracted by the fact that you’re spending hours and days trying actually trying to figure out this new technique.
Really its best to have those two different phases – one where you’re working on the techniques and your palette, and the other where you’re tying in these bigger ideas and how you can build those ideas from the types of sound and palette that you like.
Thinking about how these concepts integrate with your music – what role does scientific data play in the composition of your music?
You can map data into music but it’s generally not that productive to take a scientific data set and actually represent it sonically. You get a bit of a mess usually because what we define as music is such a constrained thing, there’s a lot of rules that need to be followed in order for something to be viable as music, and even more so westernized music, and even more so a sub genre of that. The chances of getting a data set which you can feed in and make something musical, that’s slim.
Generally the mapping of the music to the data is more of a creative tool
I can create forms musically using different concepts and different feelings, and it works on that level rather than an explicit mapping from one to the other. A more direct mapping happens in some of the visuals to my music, like the new Chromos project (AN: Below) where what you see is real D.N.A. structural data which shows how these molecules are forming out of all of these strings. And that’s all real data and it’s really beautiful.