Music Producer Andries Gandrabur - About Sound Art And Sound Ecology Of The City

Music Producer Andries Gandrabur - About Sound Art And Sound Ecology Of The City
Music Producer Andries Gandrabur - About Sound Art And Sound Ecology Of The City

Video: Music Producer Andries Gandrabur - About Sound Art And Sound Ecology Of The City

Video: Music Producer Andries Gandrabur - About Sound Art And Sound Ecology Of The City
Video: Итоги первого года жизни профиля Sound Art + Sound Design в Школе дизайна НИУ ВШЭ 2023, March

Composer and music producer Andries Gandrabur worked as a creative director at a large advertising agency, launched several of his own projects, including the DOS music production school and the Main In Main music communications agency, and traveled to the Estonian island of Saaremaa as one of the curators of the adult creative group of the Kamchatka camp ". In September, the musician will add one more item to his track record: Gandrabur will head the Sound Art and Sound Design direction, a new bachelor's program at the School of Design at the Higher School of Economics. On this occasion, we went to the colorful building of the Astrakhan Baths in the center of Moscow, where the composer's studio is located, to talk with him about why Twin Peaks is difficult to imagine without the music of Angelo Badalamenti,Why should students play Band Hero and how exactly sound art should be integrated into the urban environment.

- Why is the first program in sound art and sound design for a state university appearing right now?

- In Europe and America, there have long been programs on both sound art and sound design. In fact, they are found in all culturally developed countries. We do not have them in any state university. And it is necessary to train such specialists, because now there is a great demand for them, they are not enough.

At the same time, there is a paradox: there are a lot of music producers, because everyone today can afford free self-education. On YouTube, on sites, you can find not only the knowledge itself, but also the structure of how to get this knowledge, in what sequence. That is, anyone who has a computer and Internet access can become a music producer. However, it is almost impossible to turn into a real artist, also relevant, without getting stuck in low-budget orders without education.

The need has also grown - look how much content is around. People began to consume it in huge quantities. Now you go into the metro and see that 70% of passengers are wearing headphones, and this is not only young people for a long time. And music and sound are half the content. Not only the compositions themselves. After all, there are movies, games, applications, commercials, after all - and music sounds everywhere.

Those experts who are now do not always cope with the task. They can imitate the composition and sound if you give an example, but they cannot come up with it themselves due to the lack of basics. They cannot explain why there is such music in this place, why such a sound. Working as a creative director at an advertising agency, I came across this more than once. Music is not just a background to what is happening in the frame in the film, but an auditory identity, not an empty phrase. Therefore, the bachelor's profile "Sound Art and Sound Design" - part of the "Contemporary Art" program at the HSE School of Design - is needed to combine all this knowledge and worlds.

Photo: Georgy Kardava
Photo: Georgy Kardava

© Georgy Kardava

- Since we are talking about cinema, I will immediately ask: how are things with music going there?

- The situation in Russian cinema is quite deplorable. There are classical composers who can not only write talented music, but do it in the context of the plot, but there are very few of them, they are often busy and do not take on new projects.

The connection of music with the general history is very important. If you turn to the history of cinema, you can immediately see that most of the outstanding projects were done in close conjunction between the director and the composer. Here are the same Lynch with Badalamenti what they just did not do. We say "Twin Peaks" and immediately remember its main musical theme. That is, the music lives the same as the TV series. This is because Badalamenti is not only a talented musician and composer, he is also a very special music producer and music director. It is precisely such specialists that are lacking.

- And your program will help you get this knowledge?

- Today, with a classical education, what a story: if you are interested in the world of cinema, you can go to VGIK, if the world of classical music - to the conservatory, but this is about something completely different, not about sound design and sound art. I work a lot with musicians who graduated from the conservatory. Then, for example, they go to jazz, and then they generally need to break everything for themselves in order to start improvising, because they were not taught this. And, for example, in a pop college they teach to improvise, but they do not teach the classics, and no one teaches to record music, arrange it, mix it, the same sound synthesis, its physics.

If you want to do sound design, then you have nowhere to go if we are talking about state universities. There are, of course, schools, there is additional education, you can study in one place, and then in another, but this will not give a complete picture. And that's why bachelor's degree is the answer to everything. Four years of study, theoretical base, practice and an international diploma.

The diploma, by the way, is also not an empty phrase. That seems to be funny, but up to this moment in our country even such a profession did not seem to exist. Even the very concept of "music producer" is absent in our country, everyone thinks that this is a manager, organizer of the life of some group, and not the author and performer himself. The main thing for us is to motivate students, to explain that theory is given not in isolation from practice, but in close connection with it. We will be exploring very different aspects of the profession. For example, students will even need to learn to program.

Photo: Georgy Kardava
Photo: Georgy Kardava

© Georgy Kardava

- Can we say that the worlds of academic music and sound art practically do not intersect?

- In this sense, we have some cultural failure and fragmentation. The professionals among them, not only do not overlap, but more often than not even know about the existence of each other, do not know the names, do not rely on authority. For example, there is such a sound artist Kasich (Sergey Kasich - "RBC Style"). He is a contemporary artist who works with sound and cross-media formats. He has traveled all over the world with his works: he comes up with installations, organizes festivals, creates communities - by the way, he will be one of our teachers. So in the modern academic world, even those people who do not look into the past, but try to go forward, create experimental electronic music, do not know about such artists, this is a completely different approach. These are the universes we want to make friends. Moreover, the audience begins to catch up.

People go to modern art museums, learn something new, open up space for imagination and curious pastime. There are many intelligent people who do not understand anything in contemporary art and do not hesitate to admit it. They drag on, go to lectures, try to understand, understand and then say: “It's great, I got some experience that enriched me, I have something to think about now.”

- And if we are not talking about contemporary art in general, but about experimental music as a part of it? Is the public interest in her peculiar?

- It seems to me that people are not interested in something specific. There are simply two types: people who are interested and people who are not. So the first ones want to reach for new knowledge, they need to be shown: it happens like this, but it happens like this. Why is contemporary art difficult? Because it has context, it’s not just something that automatically entertains you. Presets required. This is a different level of perception. And for the development of this perception, authors themselves, curators are needed, who, in a sense, act as producers of exhibitions, performances or musical projects. It is necessary to educate and develop the public so that there is not only serials, but also some kind of cultural life.

There is such an opinion on the part of avant-garde or underground initiatives: our audience is not ready yet. But after all, authors often want to blame the responsibility on people, and a certain failure of the project may mean something else - perhaps you did not convey the idea to the viewer, could not present it correctly.

Photo: Georgy Kardava
Photo: Georgy Kardava

© Georgy Kardava

- Now you can observe how technology affects many areas. Here is a movie or a photograph, for example. The wording has long come into use that anyone can become a director or photographer. This means, of course, the phone that you take in your hands and go to it to shoot whatever you want. How are things in the world of music in this sense? Does technology affect him in any way?

- Photography really has gone through a kind of crisis of mass arrival: Instagram, filters, all these cameras in the phone with an automatically built exposure. What should a professional photographer do at this moment? Grow. Bringing your skills to a level that is difficult to reach not so much technologically as aesthetically. You can buy a camera for 200 thousand rubles. just because you can afford it, and then be surprised that the photos are the same as those of others on the iPhone.

As far as the world of music is concerned, the changes are evident. For example, if you open iTunes and look at the Best of the Week page, you can see that several of the tracks in this selection were recorded in home studios. 10 years ago it was almost impossible to imagine such a thing, because you had to come to a professional studio, where equipment costs tens of thousands of dollars. And now everything is in the form of plug-ins, in the form of programs, there is a computer, inside which there is a whole studio. And the understanding that you can record a song without leaving your own home and achieve success spurs many people.

Technologies have long become our co-authors. You can, of course, continue to deny them, or you can enlist support. It's like with toys. Some parents forbid their children to play with the tablet. "I had a wooden block, and my fantasy worked, because I imagined that this block is a machine, so you too, let's play with the piece of wood." It seems to me that this is the wrong approach: if a child is given a block, he will imagine that it is a typewriter, and if he is given a typewriter, he will conjecture whole worlds around it, that is, his imagination will go further. It's the same with technology. Technologies develop, they need to be mastered in order for ideas to develop. Here it must be stipulated that this approach does not imply a denial of everything that was before - this is the basis. Still, today we have the opportunity to think in a multi-format, including with the help of technology.

- By the way, about multi-format. Let's talk about your Escapism project. What it is?

- This is an ambient project created to take a break from reality. On the one hand, the album, by the example of which I want to show future students how music turns into a message, a message. It is not concept for concept's sake, manifesto for manifesto's sake, but concrete application of music. It will help you to relax, disconnect from the routine, from all affairs and tasks, stay alone for some time with yourself and your thoughts.

On the other hand, this is an application that serves the same purpose. The application is very simple: you press a button, meditative music and video art with trees in a kaleidoscope appear. Music combines with this natural beauty and fractals of plants - it is hypnotizing. And I thought that if such a pastime helps me to meditate, it might be useful for others. So the album was supplemented with the idea of an application, and in October there will be an Escapism exhibition in the Tsvetnoy shopping center, where you can run in and relax, for example, before dinner. In general, it turned out really multi-format - and everything in order to breathe out at least for a few minutes, to distract from the noise of the surrounding world, wherever you are, even in the city center.

We do not have the very concept of "music producer". Everyone thinks that this is a manager.

- That is, it turns out that, using modern technologies, you have come up with a project that will help you disconnect from this very world of technologies at least for a while?

- (Laughs.) That's right. Escapism - an escape from reality - is sometimes really needed. Escape into yourself, into your world, but with the help of technology. We are already surrounded by them, there is no need to hide from them, we need to learn to live with them. People do not get tired of the technologies themselves, they get tired of the content that these technologies are presented to them. With us now all the time phones, tablets and computers. We sit in line or ride the subway and get out this thing to endlessly flip through the Facebook or Instagram feed. Before going to bed, we also watch movies - even in order to just fall asleep, we need to swallow a series of the series. Then we wake up - yeah, and here are the messages, and here are the stories, you need to look at everything. We go to the toilet, to the kitchen - the same thing. Content is all around, and if you do not limit yourself in its consumption, it is almost impossible to be alone with yourself. But you can't get rid of the phone - it's like speech. When a person speaks - that's it, he no longer has an option not to speak, he needs to communicate all the time. And if you can't get rid of technologies, you just have to try to help yourself with their help.

- What about audio content? If you live in a city and don't walk the streets in earplugs, then it turns out that you are not protected from this overuse?

- We really get tired of sound content very much. Always these speakers, announcements, people shouting at the tents, and so on. In Moscow, the sound environment is terribly polluted, everything happens rather thoughtlessly, since there are no specialists who would deal with this. After all, it is necessary not only to put some music in the background - in public places, in the subway, but to choose the one that will correspond to the place, the needs of the townspeople. The Institute of Sound Art and Sound Design should deal with this, and here we again return to the fact that for this it is necessary to educate, educate specialists.

For example, the Western experience: I was once in Melbourne, walking loaded with some seriously sad thoughts across the bridge, and suddenly I hear someone addressing me in a low whisper, starting to hum something merrily, and there is no one around. I go on, I hear some new sounds and I understand that this is a sound installation that reacts to my steps. She incredibly lifted my spirits, even inspired me. This is what sound art is for people - it is inside the city, built into its environment. And this is not just a pretty project - it fills every passer-by with emotions, something new.

Photo: Georgy Kardava
Photo: Georgy Kardava

© Georgy Kardava

- It is also a game mechanic that takes you out of the usual context.

- This mechanic is very important. Coming back to our undergraduate program at the Higher School of Economics, game mechanics is at the core of music skills education. How to increase a person's motivation to bring their skills to perfection? Turn boring repetitions into the excitement of the game. Therefore, we will literally play a lot. For example, in Band Hero - to create a musical connection between the brain and the body. Didn't get the required number of points - didn't go further. Sit and play until you dial. (Laughs.)

In general, the project-oriented approach of the HSE School of Design to education is very close to me. Learning by creating real projects, immediately from the first year replenishing your portfolio with worthwhile work, collaborating with cool specialists, immediately falling into the cauldron of real work, circumstances and specifics - this is a modern and necessary style of education. That is, the student learns exactly what he needs right now for his project. And how relevant this project will be depends only on it.

This applies not only to modern technologies, but also to fundamental knowledge. It is not enough just to get them and develop intellectually, you need to be able to apply them in your practice immediately after they appeared in you. After all, the academic approach to education is what it is: a lot of knowledge is being shoved into you aimlessly. Of course, there is some kind of system in this, but I, for example, having studied at the Faculty of Philology, did not understand it for myself, or rather did not appreciate it. Nobody even tries to explain why you need this knowledge, how it will be useful, how it will help you in your professional life. The main thing is to attend lectures, write essays. Well, okay, I wrote an essay, got an assessment - and immediately forgot about everything, because I did not do any project, did not get carried away by the idea. And no one cares whether I will somehow apply something later. This system contains some ominous randomness.

Our course, on the other hand, is about goals and projects. You learned something, then immediately put it into practice. But behind all these skills, knowledge, technologies lies the most important thing - individuality. The student will be in the formation or search of his individuality all the time and will start the process of becoming himself as a professional. To ensure that everything he produces has his own inimitable style.>

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