07 MarComposer Interview: Jacob TV
Reblogged from Urban Modes
Photo by Kristien Kerstens
As a member of ETHEL I have been working with Jacob TV for a few years now, and I continue to be blown away by the originality and visceral energy of his music.
This coming Thursday we have the great pleasure of performing an entire program of music by Jacob TV as part of WNYC’s New Sounds Live series at Merkin Concert Hall in NYC.
Jacob was nice enough to answer a few questions on his way over from Holland:
Dufallo: Can you name some of your musical influences?
TV: Blues, blues, Beethoven, Bartok, Muddy Waters, John Coltrane, Bob Dylan, Steve Reich, and then some more blues.
Dufallo: Many of your pieces involve pre-recorded text/voices. Can you discuss your creative process?
Do you choose texts because of their inherent musicality? How do you find the music in the words?
TV: I listen to the sounds of this world like a photographer watches its shapes and colors. When I find a sound byte that is touching, I get inspired by it, and analyze its melody and rhythm, listen to its color, and add my music to it, using my computer as a scratch book. These grooves come into being through an intuitive trial & error process, and are literally composed together to build a piece of music.
Dufallo: You have been described as a “musical terrorist.” What is your response to this?
TV: I know that my music can be controversial, it’s just the way it is… but to be honest: I was shocked by it. I write music to move people, to make them laugh or cry, not to threaten them. I am using esthetics which combine beauty and decay in such a way that it may confuse people. I had written CITIES CHANGE THE SONGS OF BIRDS, a triptic for harp and boombox, using the voices of drug addicted homeless women. It was very touching in my opinion, but some people said I brought the heavenly harp that David played in the old testament to the gutter. But is that musical terrorism?
Dufallo: How might you describe the role of the creative artist in our emerging global community?
TV: They are the griots of our time. Creative artists can make the world a better place.
Dufallo: Do you have any advice for young composers?
TV: Nobody is out there waiting for you, but people are always longing for good music, so
listen to tour spinning world, speak with your heart and follow your nose,
and don’t forget your most important tool is silence, which is where it all comes from and goes back to.