Our new interview series Circle of Questions is an experiment. It is about taking a step back and giving a bit more space to the artists themselves. It is an opportunity for artists to ask fellow artists questions, and share their reflections with the community. For our very first round Mary Yuzovskaya, Michał Wolski, Amandra, Raär and Grand River each got the chance to help shape this first instalment of our new format by freely choosing questions and interview partner, giving us small glimpses into nerdy deliberations on gear, the best snacks for long hours in the studio or practical advice when writer’s block hits. Every week for the next five weeks we will be sharing one set of questions with you – fourth one up being Raär and Grand River.

Raär: After being blown away by your Fact Magazine Patch Notes-video, and seeing how you merge acoustic and electronic instruments, I wonder if you have encountered limitations in your productions and in which way you have surpassed them?

Grand River: There are so many things that can be done with the endless instruments and tools we have at our disposal nowadays that I don’t see real limitations, I see possibilities. So I guess I think of this the other way around; sometimes it’s good to put some limitations to a production or working method in order to be more creative.

We often show the positive side of artists always being creative, but do you have a creative block sometimes? If yes: do you have tips on how to overcome it?

When I do, I try to distance myself from the project and focus on other things such as research or the study of technical aspects of music or instrument related things. My advice would be to have a change of perspective and do other things. It’s always good to take a moment to let a composition rest and have the time to absorb and understand it.

You’ve recorded amazing podcasts for some great series such as Blowing Up The Workshop and Dekmantel. What’s your routine before recording? Do you already have all the ambient patchworks and the direction you want to go in mind beforehand?

I need time and mind space to create a podcast. It’s quite a long process for me. Usually when I start, firstly I listen back to tracks that along the year I have put aside for the recording. This is something I always do, when I listen to music and I run into something that I particularly like I would save it in a folder or write down the artist name and title of the track. After that I would think about what kind of journey I want to create, what the message is that I want to communicate and research more music.

Having a look at your discography we can see most of your releases are albums. Is it more important to you to make long playing records, do they have special stories you want to tell?

I just have released one EP and 2 LPs, so I can’t see a pattern yet. I like both formats: LP’s for their longer length that gives you the chance to deepen the story that wants to be told, EP’s for their shorter capacity of including probably more immediate material. It’s like wanting to say something with less words.

As a composer and sound designer do you have visual inspirations from your everyday life that you would like to share?

I can’t relate to something in particular. In my opinion, everything surrounding us and that we experience, inspires us, consciously and unconsciously. And in my case that will consequently be translated into music.

Curious to hear what Grand River wants to know from Mary Yuzovskaya? Find out next week when we share the fifth and last part of our Circle of Questions #1!

In the meantime check out the artists of our first round here:

Grand River
Mary Yuzovskaya

Michał Wolski