HUNDREDMILLIONTHOUSAND: “Intuition is everything”

HundredMillionThousand. Tre parole in una per descrivere un progetto tra arte, musica e sperimentazione. Un produttore canadese, che vi abbiamo presentato già nella nostra recensione del suo primo lavoro, che mescola tanti elementi di diverse culture e ambienti musicali. Non resta che perdervi nelle sue parole per la nuova puntata di Qube International. Noi speriamo di vederlo in Italia, al più presto.

– What kind of environment do you want to create or represent with your music?

In my first video for the album, Exalted, the establishing scene shows a person alone in a barren desert with colored skies in what seems to be a different planet. The musical environment of ‘lp1’ is a desolate, foreign world that is impossibly far away from civilization. I tell people that “HundredMillionThousand” is some grandiose, fictional distance between everyday life and that world. The concept of outer reaches and unfamiliarity are emotions I evoke through the tool of composition, but also symbols for the destinations that the mind travels to. It’s about thoughts which are completely absent from every day realm, kind of like a kid in class who always gets caught daydreaming off into space. It’s not an album trying to tell an experimental story about aliens and galactic things, but more so an allegory of my own deep-seated thoughts and places in the human psyche where they exist.

– Yours is a very underground music and you have a lot of influences from world music, what does the eastern world have in your music?

I was exposed to many types of Persian music growing up since my dad is Iranian. I honestly didn’t care much for that world of music much as a kid, but it certainly influenced me on some level I wasn’t aware of. I’m a music nerd and love investigating new styles of composition, however, a number of years ago western music began to feel very monotonous for me to listen to regardless of style or sub-genre. I decided to delve into finding eastern music, primarily Iranian music, because I wanted to dig deep into my cultural identity. I soon felt a deep sense of nostalgia and self-identity from hearing Iranian Folk Singers like Yalda Abbasi. Eventually, I found myself producing more and more music influenced by Iranian folk music whether it be instrumentation, key signatures, chord progressions, or chanting.

– What do the elements of a perfect ambient track?

I can’t really answer that. I don’t have criteria when it comes to listening, much more ambient music. Intuition is everything.

– How did you structured this first job and how do you think it will help you to make other lp?

There was little structure if not none at all in this project. At the beginning of 2014, I didn’t even plan to create an album at all. I just wrote music every once in a while when I felt compelled to. In fact, I was so pre-occupied with film and digital media at the time where I didn’t identify myself as a producer. It felt wrong to think “I am a producer”, which is probably why I hid the project from some of my friends and family for years. I didn’t even have the first song, “Exalted”, completed before we started filming the video and I could tell my co-director thought I was a lunatic haha. Aesthetic is imperative to me as an artist and I cannot conceptualize sound without thinking about visual components, most particularly, color. Embarking on video before finishing the album was unconventional and at times problematic. However, laying down the visual foundation was the fundamental blueprint to the rest of the music on ‘lp1’. Musical composition became very easy after that point on. Regarding my next album, I already have the colors in mind but don’t yet know what it sounds like.

– Can you tell your disk in three items?

Hundred, Million, Thousand

– Have you ever been inspired by Italian musicians?

I remember watching Pavarotti on TV with my mom and being astounded by the power and control in his voice. It definitely opened my eyes to opera and my best friend soon showed me Pavarotti’s collaboration with James Brown on “Man’s World”. A few songs on ‘lp1’ feature powerful chants and vocalizing from Iran, which have a very operatic quality. I guess I’m very attracted boldness and strength in human voices.

Gianluigi Marsibilio