Sunday, April 11, 2010
Jacques de Villiers - sleepsongs (SOUTH AFRICA 2009)
Q: Where exactly are you from?
A: I was born and have spent my whole life in Cape Town, South Africa.
Q: What is your real name?
A: I spent a long time trying out a variety of monikers and project names, and just sort of got exhausted by the whole exercise of disguising who I really was with some sort of fake literary projection that would hopefully entice potentially listeners into following what I was putting out. That just seems fake and unnecessary to me. So Jacques de Villiers is and has always been my real name.
Q: How recorded?
A: The recording process comes out of recorded piano improvisations as well as some composed and though-out motifs, which are then severely digitally altered and layered. There is an element of chance, in that the final song only reveals itself near the end of a heavy process of manipulation and rolling the dice. I'm not a professional sound engineer, so many of the tools I use are beyond my complete comprehension. However, I find this works in my favour, as I'm forced to be open and listen to a huge range of sounds and manipulations. Most of it is discarded, until I find something I like, which I then pursue and mold until I am happy with the finished work. So there is a happy process of chance and guiding that chance towards something I consider aesthetically and compositionally pleasing. Even though I work alone, I feel like there is a strong element of collaboration with the digital tools at my disposal.
Q: When recorded?
A: The songs here were put together over the course of about two or three years. There is a lot of other material, but most of it is still in the early stages. I have a bad habit of half-completing a lot of stuff.
Q: Any more releases?
A: This is currently the only album I have made widely available. I hope to have another album out by the end of this year, which will pursue a different direction and be more song-based, though with a relatively similar sonic aesthetic to sleepsongs. My overall aim is to try release an album a year for as long as my heart keeps beating.
Q: Who involved?
A: Everything was done myself, though one or two tracks use heavily manipulated samples from other work (Satie's Gymnopodie no 1 being probably the only recognisable example). You can also hear a baby screaming in Shine a Light on Every Room. Unfortunately I forget her name now, but that was totally her contribution. I didn't give her any direction.
Q: Since when does this band/project exist?
A: From the time I started making music, obviously. About three or four years. I guess it will exist as long as I decide to make music, which will hopefully be for a very long time.
Q: How'd you "label" your music?
A: I wouldn't. I could find vague comparisons, but they would be so vague as to be useless.
A: Many. Most of them tend to be because of a certain attitude or determination, and less due to any musically similarities. People like John Coltrane or Miles Davis. Allen Ginsberg, J.M. Coetzee, Gustav Mahler, Claude Debussy. Friends I have met, known and still know: Amy, Joachim, Sonya, Laura...
Q: Website, Myspace?
A very gentle and relaxing album of electronic ambient music, perfect for late night listening! 'sleepsongs' is the perfect title for this work. Soothing and great to listen to if you're in the right mood.
Check it out!