The next addition to Konstrukt‘s catalogue comes from Shoal and his Konstrukt 016 EP, a release that includes three improvised tracks that were composed during the MONOLITH live show at Moving Arts Centre Amsterdam in collaboration with visual artist Vincent Rang. From those, we are happy to present Mo-III, a creation that highlights the character of this performance as it gives the feeling of a transformation process from the void to the natural, material state. In an attempt to conjure the very essence of reality within this live composition, slow drifts and abstract hues are complementing this morphing through sound-and-vision concept. Formulating an initially abstract entity, Shoal takes us on a trip over an immensely alluring atmosphere, as he projects a portion of his artistic depths and his ability to sonically envision organic, ever-morphing images from nature.
The premiere track Mo-III is one of those that were composed during the MONOLITH live show at Moving Arts Centre Amsterdam. What was this experience like and how did you align your music with its nature?
First off, it is important to give insight into the MONOLITH project. Vincent Rang initiated this project and he’s also the one creating these stunning visuals during the performance. In Vincent’s words: “MONOLITH is an experimental installation in which chemical processes create organic and eternally morphing landscapes and life-like creatures. These reactions are being created and projected live onto a large screen, and are accompanied by a musical composition.”
The premiere of MONOLITH was in March this year. It consisted of two events in the evening open to the public. The first night was a live performance with the very skillful pianist Helena Basilova. If you don’t know her, you should check her out! She created this beautiful electronic piece using a Prophet synthesizer and processed field recordings. On the second day, it was my turn. My piece weighed heavily on live improvisation using different musical gestures. I chose improvisation because it allows for full control over the direction of a sound. Whether it is richer in frequencies or denser in ‘pulse or rhythm’. This way the music was an experiment as well.
Combined with the visual depictions, what were your feelings when your music was taking form on the screen?
It’s interesting to see these chemical reactions being magnified on a large screen. Showing all these different layers, textures, and movements. Each time we tested out the chemicals, the landscape would differ slightly. The ingredients are the same but you never know how it will turn out in the end. To me, the movement and details of the landscapes grab my attention while curiosity keeps me locked in these morphing visuals, curious about where the visuals will take you. I tried to sonically translate this by following the visual journey Vincent was creating. In that sense, I used improvisation as a tool to sonically mimic the visuals.
Basically, can you tell us the story that unfolds through those live tracks and which part of it is captured in Mo-III?
There is no real story behind the music, to be honest. It is more about dialogue between what I see and how I interpret this with musical gestures. Like the visuals, the music is continuously morphing, a progression. A visual event leads to a musical gesture, and vice versa. I chose certain synths and effects because of their ability to roam freely while improvising. Each ‘Mo’ is a certain part of the set. Mo-III would then refer to somewhere in the middle. In this part, Vincent introduces a new chemical in the aquarium, that creates this new visual dynamic.
Would you like to describe what was on your mind before and during the show? When you come to think of it now, do you believe it helped you in any way?
As I mentioned earlier, it is always a surprise where the visuals will take you. Therefore, I try to trust this process and let the visuals guide me and inspire me during the show. It is quite similar to how a crowd at a festival or in a club would inspire me to play a certain way.
Where do you stand artistically with this release, how is it compared to the rest and what are you looking forward to for your creative future?
The MONOLITH collaboration opened up the audio-visual chapter for me. A/V performances fascinate me a lot but I never really had the opportunity to do such a collaboration. The release is a recorded fragment marking this chapter and the collaboration between me and Vincent. I have a long-awaited ambient album coming out on Will Oirsons’ The Something Something. It will be a collection of revisited tracks from live sets and newer work, including Mo-VI. I am very excited about this one!
The EP is available on digital format via Konstrukt Bandcamp.