Over the last year, we have had a series of posts in regards to the upcoming album by Zwischenwelt (see transmission 0, transmission 1, and a sunday sounds mix from Penélope). This collaborative project features two well established producers, Heinrich Mueller and Beta Evers, and two relatively new names, Susana Correia and Penélope Martin. The album is out soon on Rephlex, so we thought it would be a good chance to ask Beta (and Mueller) some questions:
What was the genesis of the ZW project? How did it develop?
Evers: It was meant as a group-project that illuminates the field of parapsychology in a musical and visual way.
A distinguishing feature of ZW is that it has a very strong conceptual dimension. How did it influence and translate into the music?
Evers: The concept was omnipresent and influenced everything from written words to the visuals and to the music, of course.
How do the audio and visual components relate in the ZW project?
Evers: The visuals are a part of the concept and the presentation.
Four is a lot of people working together, especially when not being in the same place. Can you explain how the collaborative process worked? How were the tracks developed? What were some of the challenges and advantages of doing it this way?
Evers: Especially during the first two years there was a lot of contact through internet and phone. We were in daily touch; brainstorming, discussing the concept, musical developments and sending files back and forth. We needed to get used to the remote work, but we found a way to manage it well. There was also a real time meeting for an extended period.
Is ZW an ongoing project or just a once off?
Evers: I joined this project for one album.
What were some of the influences and motivations that helped to shape and give life to the ZW project?
Evers: Documentations and books about parapsychology.
How does it relate - or not - to other trends and strands of music?
Evers: I don’t know. I haven’t reflected about existing trends.
What colour is your music?
Evers: I would say ‘multicolor’.
How do you understand/define the music you make?
Evers: I don’t really try to understand or define it.
Is equipment important? What equipment is important (if any)?
Evers: Important for me is that I am able to create the desired sounds and effects with my equipment.
How do you think electronic music relates to larger social and political issues? Do you see them as being connected? If so, how? Does this shape the way you interact and present music?
Evers: Every kind of music or art can transport political or social messages. There are many ways to present them, if wanted.
What’s something that you’ve learnt (about music, your work and yourself) as the hard truth of bitter experience?
Evers: Take care and stand your ground.
What’s something you know now that you wish you’d been able to tell yourself ten, fifteen years ago?
Evers: Don’t waste too much time.
Who/what do you think your ‘sound’ is? How do you describe what you do to people who have no background/understanding in electronic music (like your grandmother)?
Evers: I would always play something instead of trying to describe it with words.
What excites you about electronic music at the moment? And what frustrates you?
Evers: At the moment I neither feel exited nor frustrated about it. There are good things and there are bad things, as always.
Who inspires you? What inspires you?
Evers: Mostly I get inspired through sounds that I hear more or less incidentally. Sometimes inspiration comes through pictures, movies or other things.
After doing this for such a long time, what keeps you motivated/excited/interested?
Evers: I have also other interests and non-music projects I spend my time with. This keeps it diversified. To create a nice piece of music feels still great.
Do you feel you’ve made a contribution to electronic music? If so, what?
Evers: My contributions are my releases. I leave it to others to value.
What’s something that people often ask you about you and your music (that you find unexpected or strange)?
Evers: The most-asked question I hear is, if I can make a living from music. I wonder why this is of such big interest.
What’s something that people never ask or notice about you and your work (that you wish they would)?
Evers: There is nothing that comes to my mind at the moment.
What do you wish for the year ahead?
Evers: I hope the Zwischenwelt album will be available in record stores soon. Besides I wish to have the necessary time and motivation to work finally on music independently again. During the last few years I was totally focused on team works. It was a great time, but I started to wonder if I will ever find my way back to independent musical work.
What kind of music would you make in a world without electricity?
Evers: Music with drums/percussion and voice.
What is important to you in life?
Evers: Being able to do what I enjoy and to have fruitful encounters with others.
Rephlex will release 'Paranormale Aktivitat' late February, 2011. It will be available on CD and digital, as well as a limited LP run. Also out now is an EP by Beta Evers and Heinrich Mueller under the name Gedankenexperiment, called 'Experiment Defined' (available direct here).