Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Hi, thank you for having us! We are well, both missing the live stage but focusing on our solo upcoming projects at the moment and surely happy to have our collaborative album “&” out!
Where in the world are you both answering this interview from right now?
Maarten is writing from the north of Holland (Friesland) in his family’s holiday house near the sea and Sebastian is writing from his music studio in Berlin.
Can you talk to us more about your upcoming album “&”?
Yes, our record “&” was made as a result of a marathonic week of improvisations that we did at Sebastian’s studio in Berlin back in 2016. We ended up with about 60 hours of recordings which
Seb later on edited and arranged into 7 tracks. The record was pretty much finished in 2017 but given other solo projects coming out we found it was the right time to release it now in 2020.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this album?
We met for the first time at Cross-Linx festival in 2015, we found that we shared a lot in common in terms of our musical upbringing (classically trained) and also our current interest in electronic music and experimentation. We were curious on the idea to meet up and just play music together, completely free from any predetermined idea basically.
Will there be a music video to accompany this release?
Yes, our first single release “One & One” was accompanied by a videoclip made by Waterballet (Kamiel Rongen), which is available on Youtube. A second videoclip for the track “Silk & Sand” will be released alongside the album. This videoclip is made by digital artist Maotik (Mathieu Le Sourd) with whom Maarten is currently collaborating with.
What’s the story behind the title of the album?
We were interested in bringing a concept in which each track creates a theme by the relation of two elements. The center piece is “One & One”, being rather literal and representing sort of the sameness in respect to our musical upbringings; we both play the cello as our main instrument, both come from a classical music background and are use all sort of electronic instruments in our music.
Can you talk to us specifically about the recording and writing process? What roles did you each play?
We would go from two cellos improvisations to much more experimental approaches such as modifying the acoustic sounds in various ways as we would improvise. For instance, Seb was doing all the piano improvisations while Maarten was modifying its sound in real time with various sort of effects and mostly using Max / MSP. Afterwards Seb went over editing all of the recording takes we had and arranged the 7 tracks which ended up on the record.
Coming from different musical backgrounds – how would you say your various upbringings influence your writing?
Actually, our musical background is quite alike, both of us have a classical music background, starting playing cello from a young age and studied at conservatories and both of us use all sort of electronics in our music today. Sharing these musical aspects in common we were curious to see where this improvisation journey would take us, not knowing where it could go was very inspiring.
Do you tend to take a different approach when collaborating with someone else rather than working on your own?
Definitely there is another approach when collaborating on a project with someone else, surely listening to one another is key, that’s when a beautiful communication through music comes. It’s also great since it places you away from your common creative ground and allowing the opportunity to shape things together with someone else.
What else is happening next in your world?
Seb is on the works for his upcoming new solo album, as well as working on another collaboration project and Maarten is producing an album for a Dutch artist and composing a film score while making a sample pack for one of my favorite digital instruments companies as well.
Thank you both very much, Sebastian and Maarten, and best wishes for your album release on Friday!
Thank you so much guys, pleasure talking to you!