Special is probably the best word you could use to summarise what’s going to happen in Room One on Saturday. Not only is Mr. Villalobos destined to showcase the kind of magic that can only occur between him, an open crowd and our sound and light controllers but we’re also staging the UK exclusive of the live interaction between Mathew Jonson and Minilogue. Their collaborative live show first premiered at Inkonst Club in Malmo, Sweden at the end of 2010 as a 5 hour live improvisation but this year, the pairing have taken the show out across a series of one off events, each one exclusive to one club, in one city of one country.
We got to speak to Sebastian of Minilogue ahead of the show to discuss how the collaboration with one of his musical influences came about and how it all works when two people are up on stage jamming on the fly with analogue equipment.
Can you tell us about how you and Mathew Jonson first met?
Seb: Marcus and I first met Mathew thru his music. When we heard the first "itiswhatitis" records we got so much inspiration from it. Mathew's music was (and is) music that triggers my creativity... To dance to Mathew’s hypnotic and melodic music is just heaven for me. When we actually met in real life was a few years after that at a festival in Japan called "The Labyrinth" where we both played. That was also the first time I heard Mathew perform live; once again an amazing source of inspiration for me.
What made you decide you wanted to play live and start this project together?
Seb: The last 5 years or so Marcus and I have moved more and more into improvisations rather than compositions. On stage we've always had a great amount of impro elements but now we also work like that when we record music in the studio. When you get used to and relaxed with improvisation it's very easy to be spontaneous and start jammin' with other musicians. You don't need to prepare much, just figure out how you will connect the cables, then you start to play ... sometimes you sync and sometimes not, when you have fun you do it again, if not you will probably not do it again.
Can you describe what the project is about exactly?
Seb: It's all about improvisation, to meet and see it each other thru the music, to let life enfold in the music as it is just now. Improvisation is to express this very moment through the instrument that you use.
What’s the experience been like so far?
It's been really fun, and there have been musical moments that's been really amazing.
Is it challenging jamming live for so long, or does it feel natural?
When you're in the flow time doesn't really matter. Of course we're not in flow all the time and when you feel out of flow it can be very energy sucking. For me it's often the first hour that takes most energy, this hour you connect with your own inner flow and also try to find the others (and the audience) ... if we sync we can can play for many, many hours. When Marcus and I improvise as Minilogue we sometimes play more than 5 hours live in a row.
How much preparation and practice went into it?
Nothing (but all three of us have spent a few hours with our instruments over the years
Can you tell us about the equipment you use on stage? I don’t think I’ve seen so much electronic instrumentation on stage, ever!
We have three individual set ups with all with the following; computer, midi controllers, synths, drum machines, guitar pedals, effects, mixer.
We decide a bpm and then we just beat match so we stay in the same tempo ... merging the 3 signals into one. Voila!