_It lies within the listener how they want to translate the work and in what order.
The pictures will of course develop in their mind even without seeing the film._

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Joel Gilardini is an experimental guitarist and sound designer, based in Zurich. Being a self-tough guitarist, and driven by the urge and the will to experiment with sounds, Joel followed a very peculiar path which lead him over a broad range of sound fields, touching different musical attitudes and genres like metal, ambient, doom, dub, and noise. By using live‐looping, improvisation and instant composition techniques, Joel creates a very unique biosphere, where these elements are constantly blended together, giving birth and shape to continuously morphing soundscapes and moods.

More about the artist…

Meeting the artist. An Interview.

EndTitles met the artist for a quick chat and a cup of coffee at Café Miyuko in Zurich.

ET: Joel, you are dedicated to Baritone guitars. Why Baritone?

JG: My musical backgrounds and first influences are to find in ‘90s crossover and new metal, so I started quite early to downtune my guitars. Eventually I would switch to a 7 string guitar and after that I went for the Baritone.

I like these kind of guitars for many aspects: They have a longer neck scale, which is better suited for lower tunings (I mostly play tuned in standard B, a 4th lower than a normal guitar), their sounds, and actually I use baritones to play every kind of music, I find them to be very versatile.

ET: What is your new album «AGAINST HEATWAVES» about? What was your instrumental approach for the album?

JG: May I switch the questions first? The recordings for the album were collected between July and August 2018 at my home studio. I play every Monday at Exil in Zürich, as a support for Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin, but I always find that these live ambient sets (which are always improvised on the spot) are also shaped by the audience, the place and the band I’m supporting during the evening. When I play alone at home, isolated from everything and everybody, the results go very often in different directions, I would say with a more intimate aura. Up to then I’ve never really recorded any of these house sessions. So I started to record these improvisations as often as possible, and at some point I came up with the ones which compose the album.

«Against Heatwaves» was recorded in the warmest summer time, and when I listened back to these sessions I felt like being on a glacier, between ice banks and cold winds. Hence the album title and the decision to name the songs after Swiss glaciers.

ET: Tell us more about your cooperation with Nik Bartsch and your last show in California?

JG: I first started to go to Nik Bärtsch’s concerts as a normal guest. Slowly I got to know the band and Bernhard Wagner, who was playing the live ambient guitar sets during the breaks back then. Thanks to him I got more into using live-looping techniques, and at some point I was asked to replace him for a few Mondays six years ago. I really enjoyed playing there a lot, and after arranging things with Nik and Bernhard, I started to perform on a regular basis there as well. Since 2 years I’m playing there every Monday, as Bernhard left to follow other paths.

My last shows in California were performed during the Y2K18 International Live Looping Festival (in San Jose and Santa Cruz) together with around 40 other performers (16 of whom come from all over the world). I’ve already played at live-looping festivals in Paris and Zurich in the past few years, and finally this year I managed to be there in California, which is the biggest festival of this kind worldwide.

ET: Best loved hardware vs. Best loved software?

JG: The only software I can list is ProTools, which I use to record, edit and mix my music. I never went for the computer to create my sounds, although I find today there are a lot of great softwares and plugins around: I’m an hardware guy. I need to have knobs and switches under my fingers. 

Hardware-wise I could list a few things: MASF Pedals (I love their fuzzes, which can be quite musical and also super noisy at the same time), Zoom Multistomp pedals (which I commonly use for my reverbs), the Strymon Timeline delay and the Digitech Drop Octaver.

ET: Thank you, Joel. Cheers.


The Winter is coming…


Colin Muir Torwart: PHEVES

Colin Muir Dorward is a musician and painter living in Canada. He began producing as a teenager, spurred on by his brother’s burgeoning interest in computerized music technology. A brief education in programming and electronics gave Colin a formal background that was missing without music training. Producing since the 90s, he has thus drawn broadly from dancemusic, IDM, ambient. His compositions tend toward dense arrangements, perhaps influenced by his paintings, which are similarly complex. Colin has exhibited paintings across Canada, and is presently a PhD candidate in studio/visual art, where he paints large-format oils, and studies medieval painting. Next to his painting studio, Colin maintains a soldering lab, where he is developing a unique modular synthesizer format optimized for the DIY enthusiast.

EndTitles proudly presents his DIY synthesizer performance.

More about the artist…

Meeting the artist. An Interview.

EndTitles met the artist for a quick online chat.

ET: Colin, you are a painter and musician. How do your works influence each other?

CMD: More than anything, music keeps me painting, it’s what drives me to pick up my brush and keep working. I couldn’t count the number of times I’ve been failing my way through a painting that is finally saved when some tune fills me with a wiked energy and gives me the confidence to find a novel solution. On the other hand, I think that painting has taught me to better understand my creativity. It showed me the benefits of seeing itas an engagement with my tools, rather than a process where I use tools to depict something that I hold in my mind. Not sure how clear that distinction is, but I guess at one point I thought that a composer/producer needed to have some kind of complete understanding of their compositions – like a perfect mental map of what was happening. Since I never had that map, I thought I had no potential. I think that painting taught me how to better get away from myself and accept that the tools have their own will. I suppose that once the track (or painting) is half-finished, it becomes the primary tool itself, and hopefully carries me away to some conclusion that I didn’t anticipate.

ET: What is your new album «PHEVES» about? What was your instrumental approach for the album?

CMD: The idea with most of these tracks was to try to make something interesting with as little as possible. At the beginning, it was by necessity, because I simply didn’t have much to work with. But even after I had collected a nice pile of gear, I kept making these minimal pieces with just one or two synths and some fx. Actually, it became a way that I acquaint myself with new gear.

ET: Tell us more about your idea of building a residency for musicians?

CMD: It’s premature to be promoting this, but talking about it is a good way to feel out the interest and get some ideas moving. My plan (fantasy?) is simple, I want to give musicians and sound artists a chance to work in a studio in the remote wilderness of Canada’s Yukon, where I typically spend my summers. I am presently building a small, semi-mobile studio/living space which I intend to fill with synths and recording gear, then park it out on a beautiful piece of land my father owns. Artists will need to make the long journey to the north, and accept the rustic living which is necessitated by the limited amenities.

ET: Best loved hardware vs. Best loved software?

CMD: Best loved HW and SW are whatever I’m using at the moment. I haven’t been using software much lately, but hope to get back to it one day. Yamaha v50 is probably my most-used older keyboard. AlphaJ sees lots of action, too. I have a few of the new, affordable analogs which are very good. I always wanted modulars, and had an Elektor for a short while ages ago, but had to sell it to pay rent. Euroracks exploded shortly thereafter, but honestly, they’ve always been beyond my budget, so I never had any. Instead, I decided to invest way more and develop my own modular format, which is slowly making its way off the work bench and into my music studio.

ET: Thank you, Colin.

Virlyn: Live in Zurich

Virlyn aka Frédéric Vanderlynden is a sound artist from Belgium, whose passion for music was ignited at an early age. As soon as he was able, he started recording his favorite tracks off the radio and making mix tapes using an old-time mixer he acquired for a small price. After discovering the music of artists as The Future Sound of London, Laurent Garnier and The Orb, he soon began to search for ways to record his own sounds and mixing them into self-made tracks under the artistic alias Virlyn. Where first he was focused on learning how to make electronic breaks and beats, he later became more interested in ambient sounds, experimental electronica and soundscapes.

More about the artist…

Meeting the artist. An Interview.

EndTitles proudly presents his live performance recorded at the 8. IOIC-Stummfilm-Festival, Zurich in December 2017. ET met the artist for a quick chat to talk about the upcoming release.

ET: The recording for «VIRLYN: Live in Zurich» was made in December 2017 during the Zurich Silent-Film-Festival. You composed a soundtrack for three animated shorts by Winsor McCay, one of the first animators of the early twentieth century. Do you see the album as more of a soundtrack or rather as a live-recording?

V: It’s definitely more of a soundtrack, intended for the three shorts. I paid special attention to every scene in order to support them with the right atmosphere by adding sonorous details specific for a certain visual segment and of course by matching the rhythm with the pace and the content of the story telling. On the other hand, I made sure to broaden the soundtrack, adding sounds and depening the musical atmosphere, so the set could be listened to as a separate, self-contained performance.

ET: What was your instrumental approach for the album?

V: For my musical approach I use classical instruments, mainly recorded with friends and musicians, and electronic elements which I mix into an organic symbiosis. Beside this I like to use own field recordings I make during travellings. They add an exotic touch and help define the overall atmosphere of a track.

ET: Best loved hardware vs. Best loved software?

V: I don’t use a lot of hardware, besides my Zoom H1 Recorder for field recordings and recording instruments. In addition, I use typical hardware like the Akai LPK 25 Keyboard and a LPD8 controller. For software I like to keep it simple: I cut my samples with Adobe Audition and mix them into songs with FL11.

ET: Thank you, Virlyn.

Arovane: Salomé

„Back in 2015 I was asked by Dominik Grenzler (EndTitles-founder) to compose a soundtrack for a silent film. The festival took place in Zurich. I had to choose from a couple of silent films and I liked Salomé – a film adaption of the Oscar Wilde play of the same name (1923), directed by Charles Bryant. The play itself is a loose retelling of the biblical story of King Herod and his execution of John the baptist (here, as in Wilde’s play, called Jokaanan) at the request of Herod’s stepdaughter, Salomé, whom he lusts after.* (*Wikipedia)

I watched the film in my studio and improvised musical themes to it. The film is much focused on atmospheres, so i placed soundscapes and looped noises accompanied by the sound of a Blüthner piano (physical modelling piano). Ableton live was used for the arrangement and the mixing process.

For the live performance I used the arrangements to improvise, with the piano, sounds to the story.

Berlin, Arovane

Meeting the artist. An Interview.

On a sunny day in Berlin, Dominik met Uwe Zahn aka Arovane to talk about his new album «Salomé».

ET: The recording for Salomé was made in December 2015 during the Zurich Silent-Film-Festival. Do you see it as more of a Soundtrack or rather as a live-recording?

UZ: Rather a bit of both. On one hand it is a soundtrack, as I composed the sound-structures for the film in a studio and on the other hand a live recording, since I integrated part of the improvisation during the performance into the production. Hence, a mix of both .

ET: You divided the album into four parts. Salome works on its own as a complete work as well as broken into its single pieces. The dramaturgy and dynamic stay intact. Are you trying to give the listeners another soundtrack on top, a way of creating images in their head without seeing the film?

UZ: Well, the pictures will of course develop in your mind even without seeing the film. It lies within the listener how they want to translate my work and in what order. The sounds, the tone sequences and the dramaturgy were composed while I saw the film at the Festival as mentioned above. For me, parts of the composition is intimitaly linked to certain scenes in the film.

ET: What was your instrumental approach for Salomé?

UZ: I can fall back on a huge pool of sound and sound structures. Seeing the film gave me very clear visions of sounds. Single sounds were then set to certain scenes and accompanied by the sound of a grand piano.

During the live performance, I had a framework of set sounds in combination with an improvisation on the Blüthner grand piano (physical modelling synthesis).

For Salome I worked with macrostructures. I arranged single soundblocks or clusters then adjusted them using a sound-moulding software.

In the second part you can hear a theme played with the Blüthner grand piano in combination with a harp and glockenspiel. An ascending sound sequence which I composed as a theme for the film’s key scenes.

In the third part I combined electro-accoustic sound elements combined with melodic compositions.

At the beginning of the fourth part you can hear a second theme and a sound structure which references Salomé’s unrequited love to Jochanaan and the resulting revenge. At the end you hear the ticking of a great grandfather clock slowly transforming into a vocoder-like synthesizer-sound.

ET: Best loved hardware vs. Best loved software?

UZ: Well, both play a huge role in my productions. Thus I would not say hardware vs software but rather hardware with software.

The main instruments I used in this production (as hardware) were the seaboard rise 49 by Roli, which offers new playing techniques and a multidimensional sound control, and also the grand piano by Blüthner (software/physical modelling).

The complete work was arranged and recorded with a computer, a digital audio workstation – Ableton Live and a 24 channel analogue mixing board by Tascam.

ET: Thank you, Uwe.

Adriano Orrù: Hèsperos

Hèsperos is a new solo release from Sardinian double bassist Adriano Orrù. The six pieces collected here are diverse in sound but unified at the conceptual level. What Orrù has done is form each one around the idea of a winnowing down to fundamentals, quite literally: All six are constructed around the fundamental tone or tones of one of more open strings.

Hèsperos is lyrical at the same time that it is experimental. The idea of focusing each piece on an open string is a natural one for the bass, and here it is developed in ways that elicit a kind of singing—the results are not at all dry or abstract, as one might expect from an experiment rooted in such an a priori concept. This is a variety of idea art that doesn’t sacrifice the art for the idea.

Avant Music News, Review by Daniel Barbiero

»In this new digital edition coming out for Endtitles there is also a seventh track, a „bonus track“ (How my bass sings) which is a piece from the same period of Hèsperos but which differs from that being an overlap of four of my recordings. This piece was recorded for AN MOKU’s project against noise pollution and hearing loss: „How to catch STILLE?“ The donation went to Sonos Schweiz.
I want to thank by name the people who in 2011 and today have been so helpful for me to realise Hèsperos: Elisa, Adriano, Elia, Dominik, Helge, Tamas.«

Cagliari, Adriano Orrù

More about the artist…

Oblique Noir’s Trilogy: SLICES

Two years ago, Oblique Noir decided to use only modular synths to create and arrange music. For this release, he moved away from softsynths and software sequencers, despite their limitless possibilities, while still making use of a daw (Nuendo) for recording und cutting, (of course the mastering was also done software-based by Tamás Zsiros aka Weldroid). There are many capable artists out there who create amazing music simply out of the box.
But for him, having been a band keyboarder for years, even an electronic sound device has the «haptic quality» of an acoustic music instrument. On the other hand, especially modulars tempt you to focus on the functionality and aesthetics of filters, envelopes etc., neglecting a song that is really worthwhile listening to. His hope is, however, that the three «Oblique Cuts» are pleasing for modular «wigglers» as well as for electronic music lovers.

More about the artist…