Panos Amelides: Narrative Electroacoustic
Name: Panos Amelides
Where do you live / work: Leicester, UK
Personal Website: http://panoamelides.wordpress.com/
- ReverbThe multiple short reflections of sound that give humans an immediate impression of space. Reverb effects can be used to impart a sense of space onto recorded or generated sounds.Reverb
- Reverseto play a sound backwards.Reverse
- Time-StretchingA manipulation in which the Duration of a sound is altered. Time stretching can be used to make sounds longer or shorter.Time-Stretching
- TranspositionA manipulation which changes the pitch of a sound. Transposition
- FilterA filter changes the frequency makeup of a sound by making parts of it weaker. Filters allow you to focus on parts of a sound that are of interest to you, or to take away parts that you don't like.Filter
- GranulationA process which splits a preexisting sound file into many small grains and then re-assembles these into a cloud.Granulation
- PanningThe placement of sounds left and right between a stereo pair of speakers.Panning
What makes these manipulations your favourite?
I just love reverb! Do not know why, I just love it. Reverb in combination with filtering and panning are the means to create a 3-D space in my mix. Also, the space of a sound can be created and/or manipulated by transposing it. Try for example to transpose a sound two octaves down without preserving the duration (vari-speed). Not only the pitch and length will change, but also the space.
Generally, I think it is not a matter of favourite manipulation. I suppose it is more about how things fit together, for example how a reverberant ‘drony’, distant sound can fit/combined with a hi-passed, detailed, crunchy, close gestural material and all these with a third sound and so on… For me it’s about the combination of manipulated sounds. A manipulation on its own says nothing. The context is what gives it meaning.
1. How would you describe the type of music that you make?
I would not describe it per se. I prefer not to label musical experience, at least my own creation. Nevertheless, I would use the term Acousmatic to describe my practice, in the sense that my music is made to be reproduced by loudspeakers (of any size)!
2. If you had to use the genre categories to describe your music, which would it be?
Sound ArtArt in which the sound (as opposed to the musical note) is the basic unit. Associated with both musicians and fine artists. It is a synonym of Sound-based Music.Sound Art
Electroacoustic musicMusic in which electronic technology is used to manipulate, eventually generate, explore and combine sounds. Electroacoustic music
3. What types of sounds do you like to use when you compose?
I like using any sounds I can record out in the field; trains, cars, voices, shopping centre ambience, park ambience, restaurants etc. I (almost) never record indoor sounds though…
4. What makes these sounds your favourite?
In order for a recorded sound to be characterised as “favourite” -at least to my ears- during play back it needs to have a musical characteristic, something with which I can relate musically and in a later stage “play” with and/or develop. To be honest, I have a small “fetish”: I tend to record sounds that contain any kind of pitch information (i.e. fans, air-conditions, car breaks, doors creaking etc.). I very much enjoy the play of extracting tonality out of the aforementioned sounds and in this days technology provided the means to do such a thing.
5. How do you go about starting or coming up with an idea for a composition? Do you personally use a similar approach each time? Or is it always different?
In regards to the approach, every piece I compose has a unique methodology, which is the reason why my projects do not sound very much alike in each other. Methodology includes: collecting the material, archiving the material, producing/composing and finally deliver the work in different outputs (if possible). All these steps are different each time, because this process is dependent on the idea of the work.
To answer the first scale of the question, mostly I tend to draw inspiration from cultural and/or political context, e.g. a cultural-religious ritual would possibly give me the ground to built a sonic structure based on the principles governing the ritual itself.
6. Which composers /musicians are an inspiration to you?
G.L. da Palestrina, J.S. Bach, F. Chopin, G. Maller, G. Ligeti, L. Ferrari, F. Bayle, C. Calon, J. Young, G. Gobeil, Autechre, Kim Cascone, Murcof, Brian Eno, Rosy Parlane.
(Just to name a few…)
7. What is it about this music (either your own or the work of others) that engages you so much?
The most important thing for me when I experience Art, not just music, is to be able to enter into a different world, into a journey of emotions, thoughts and redefinition. This experience can be described as a ‘methexis’, that is a sharing of considerations between agents such as the creator of the work, the audience both as individual and as a group.
8. Could you pick a short section from one of your own pieces and describe how you created it?
This is the description
9. What were you trying to convey to the listener in this excerpt?
10. If you were giving some general advice to someone who was beginning to compose a piece what would it be? What is the most important thing to remember when composing?
I think that the most important thing is to… remember nothing when composing. There is no “recipe” one can follow or can recall during the process of being creative. The most important thing –and that is a personal view of course- is the attitude prior to the compositional process, and that is to let one self listen deeply and try to “enter” the world of the sound environment around them, which can be either their musical preferences, or the actual urban or natural environment etc.
Listen deeply and digest your listening. This is a long process, maybe a life-long one, but it is necessary in order to create Art. Do not follow any manner or mannerism. Start from imitating something that you like, so for later to enjoy the happiness of never repeating it!