So Matthew is now doing it with two of the other members (musicians). During the last 17 years it has changed a little bit, although there are some people who have been there since the beginning, the clarinet player Vicky Wright, the piano player Mark Knoop, another piano player Roderick Chadwick and the guitar player Tom Pauwels. J.B.: Yes, my role has changed. J.B.: Before I wrote Analogue (2011) I started a project with a friend of mine in 2007 and that’s how we learned to make a theatre-based camera obscura, we did a piece with it. Certainly 15 years ago I had the impression that I had to make instrumental music and that I shouldn’t stray from this path. I just help with the website and with writing some of the applications right now. Everything is different now. 1-5 are a bit different from the other pieces because of this „meta” layer. I think we were the first people to play Peter Ablinger, Simon Steen-Andersen, Alexander Schubert and Trond Reinholdtsen in the UK. I want to show people the world and for them to have an interesting perceptual experience when they hear and see the thing that I have made.
Although it loops, the material that’s going in is always changing. J.B.: Sometimes A do freeze sound, that’s a technique that I used to use quite a bit, but not necessarily „freezing time”… Am I right, or do you sometimes feel that the other layers become more important for you? We have more in common than people might imagine. Because the UK music scene, the establishment, and the people who get all the money are very conservative. You comment on the musical material there. In 2003 you founded the Plus Minus Ensemble with Matthew Shlomowitz. It was getting a bit difficult, because I wasn’t in the UK at all. A.G.: I would like to talk a little bit more about those pieces. When it comes to Matthew’s pieces (especially the Lecture pieces) they are a little bit more earnest. Like Matthew I’m i little bit more earnest. So there is something a little bit ironic there. Something half-way between ironic and poetic. Is it an ironic work or do you feel that contemporary music needs this sort of commentary? I used this technique again in Vermessung der Distanz, where I think it suited Susi’s approach to animation. But I don’t know whether I would like to make something like that again.
But I haven’t really gone back there again to that super-meta approach. So it’s really a perceptual, experiential kind of work. Did your work there change during that time? Certainly there is a big cross-over in the things we are interested in. There are the things that I like and he doesn’t like and vice versa. There are plenty of them in history, when the musical plot corresponds so profoundly with the musical material (from de Machaut’s Ma fin est mon commencement to Grisey’s L'icone paradoxale). For me they’re brilliant, there are a lot of technical things happening inside them. J.B.: The things that are most important for me are the perceptual things that happen when you see and hear things, especially when you see and hear things together. Then I thought: oh why not, the new music world could do with a camera obscura piece. I had one installation and that was a camera obscura installation, but not a theatrical one, but an outside one.
At that moment I realised that I was going to try to make something with camera obscura. I wanted to make something else from them. https://lekcjenaszybko.pl/artykul/9652/cierpienie-dzuma-rozprawka .: That piece is quite old (it is from 2011). The idea is to take the electronic processing of sound and imagine it as a sort of science fiction universe in which sound would behave in various ways. If I think of your pieces, I still hear that sound is your prime material. Both are about sound and listening. They are trying not to be quite as conservative as they used to be, but still it is a kind of a very light modernism. Yesterday one of the founders of Black Lives Matter helped me in answering this allegation, by expressly confirming that they are „trained Marxists”. How did the Ensemble change during those almost 20 years of existence? I have asked my uncle to be our guardian - he is a certified mountain guide with 10 years of experience.
A.G.: And what about cooperation with other musicians? What led you to the decision of starting a new music ensemble? At the beginning we felt that we would just try to fill a hole, actually putting on the music in the UK that we didn’t hear anybody else playing. A.G.: While listening to your Artificial Environments I felt that it is a composition about composing, a sort of a meta-composition. A.G.: Let’s stay around notion of meta-composition pieces. Do you see any parallel between these sorts of compositions and contemporary music pieces such as Johannes Kreidler’s Fremdarbeit, or the Lecture about Listening to Music by Matthew? A.G.: And what would you say about comparison of "Lecture Pieces" and "Artificial Environments". 5. Do you often change the context of musical elements in your works? A.G.: How much time did you need to "visualise" your idea? A.G.: Yours and Mathew’s music is totally different. I try to turn them into a completely different kind of music.