INTERVIEW WITH ANNA MARTINOVA
HELLO ANNA, THANK YOU FOR ACCEPTING OUR INVITATION TO TALK ABOUT YOU AND YOUR ARTISTIC PRACTICE!
Thanks, my pleasure!
WHAT IS IT THAT YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU WANT TO BE AN ARTIST?
To talk about art as a human phenomenon of self-expression, we should focus on names like Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Andrei Tarkovsky, Alex Grey, Bjork, Bob Marley, Nina Simone, people whose works of art have influenced both their time and subsequent generations. These were people born with a message, and this is what I call destiny: to be the medium and the message embodied in a person. It's a life's path, where daily happenings are interwoven and interlinked and expressed into the art the person delivers.
HOW DO YOU PERCEIVE THE MESSAGE AN ARTIST FEELS TO COMMUNICATE?
This message is something you lived through. It's like living with an opened chest: every moment is registered in a form that could have the shape of sound or an object. From the technical point of view, these people are professionals, often going to music or art schools from a very young age and familiar with the artistic production and pressure from a quite early age.
HOW WAS IT FOR YOU?
In my case, it wasn't a conscious choice. I think it began as a flow, influenced and led by the people I was meeting; they were unlocking my inner potential. I wanted to sing, and one of my friends pointed to a band she knew. I went to see these people, had my story with them, and then I met more people from the artistic field throughout the years. All of them were my teachers, and I was a teacher for them.
My artistic skills were shaped naturally, from party to party, from gig to gig, and from song to song. It is still an ongoing process: you grow your skills all the time! You always learn something new; you practice every day; you are dedicated to your work. For an artist, the work itself is motivation. Joy is the process; love towards every microsecond spent during the creative process. It's love, for sure!
WHAT IS ART? WHEN DOES IT HAPPEN?
Art is a form of communication. An artist is a medium, a mirror for society. Artworks an artist delivers are often messages like Banksy. An artist is capable of transmitting, revealing, exaggerating, and heal deep hidden layers in us. An artist also creates worlds to observe and travel to. Art can be prophetic too.
You cannot dissociate the artist of her work. This person's character, inner world, intentions, actions, and thoughts are reflected in the body of work. An artist can influence and pass on values to future generations. Thus, the artist, in a way, IS the message.
WHAT DOES YOUR WORK ASPIRE TO?
Music is a deep connection with oneself; I hope my music can help people to connect with their deeper layers. Some songs I wrote were often driven by situations I was going through, growing pains, emotions, dreams, and nightmares. All that is familiar to all of us.
ART AS CATHARSIS?
It can also be cathartic, yes.
WHAT DOES YOUR WORK COMMUNICATE?
I perform in two modes: producing dance music in styles such as minimal techno and psychedelic trance and ambient song-like journeys for meditative/listening practice. What people find in my music is personal. I give space for individual interpretation.
My work is fading gradation from being very direct in lyrics to reach abstract and form-free soul flight. What I put into my creations depends on the moment. It's a spectrum of feelings or discoveries I want to share. Sometimes, it's just a funky sound in the name of the funky sound. Or simple unusual technique one can learn, or a sound that is wow-like! And sometimes there is musical humour in there, or paradoxes of human nature revealed.
Poetry, predictions; futuristic visions. A lot of cybernetics and erotics. Self-love and self-acceptance. Love towards life. Acceptance of life. Loyalty. Sincerity, truthfulness. Dignity. Space and time. Confusions. All kind of stuff!
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU FELT FRUSTRATION, AND WHY?
The last time I felt frustration was due to a crisis in my personal life. My brother Anton had Covid-19, and it was a difficult time for our family. Right now, things are improving.
HOW DO YOU SOLVE FORMAL PROBLEMS IN YOUR WORK?
At this point in my career, after learning for so many years, technical aspects are not a worry anymore. Composition is something natural, like a flow. I still learn a lot, and that improves the quality of my work.
HOW MUCH OF THE CREATIVE PROCESS IS LEFT TO CHANCE AND INTUITION?
Sometimes a chance inspires you, and you build something more from it. Intuition guides me all the time, even if I don't listen to what I'm doing. So both are present and are important.
What inspires you?
Kindness, honesty, loyalty, sincerity. Humour. Simplicity. Love, of course.
WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU READ?
It was "Beyond Illusion and Doubt" by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
WHAT DOES SPACE, TIME AND INTERVENTION MEAN TO YOU AS A MUSICIAN?
It's everything! Sound travels in space and time and intervenes with objects. If we talk about abstract realms: I daydream about music. I often imagine artworks or moments I want to show, to visualize with my music.
MUSIC AND SENSES: HOW DO YOU PERCEIVE THIS EQUATION?
Both cannot live without each other: music is senses. Music describes the indescribable. Often feelings are complex and kaleidoscopic. Music can help to understand what is happening.
COMPOSITION AND PROCESS ARE ESSENTIAL TO YOUR WORK. IN THAT SENSE, WHAT ARE THE FORMAL AND HISTORICAL CHALLENGES YOU THINK YOUR ARTISTIC PRACTICE IS CONFRONTING?
It would be rather a step aside from historical challenges and actually finding a sanctuary within oneself. Finding peace, finding balance. Sometimes I rebel against applied demands from the government, and I reveal that in my productions. I stand for kindness, freedom, justice, responsibility, self-awareness, co-existence, sincerity, transparency, honesty, dignity, loyalty, compassion, love. Love is my choice, not fear.
PLEASE, RECOMMEND US A RECORD WE SHOULD LISTEN TO AND TELL US WHY YOU LIKE IT.
That would be Браво - Верю Я (Bravo feat Zhanna Aguzarova - I Believe).
Listen to the voice of Zhanna, how clean and powerful. And also, the message of this song is to believe in better times, better days. It is a song full of hope. Let's hope for a better world.
CAN YOU PLEASE TELL US MORE ABOUT MODULAR MOON? HOW DID THE PROJECT START, AND HOW IS IT TO RUN A SCHOOL AND TEACH SOUND SYNTHESIS?
Modular Moon is the project that was born in 2018. It is an initiative, a method created to smooth one's journey into the world of Eurorack. At the moment, Modular Moon runs a Modular Synthesis School, a 5-month long study program around Eurorack. The study is based on the method described in Modular Sound Synthesis On the Moon, the book we co-wrote with Pete Johnston. The project started in 2018, absolutely from 0 and is in growing mode at the moment. Besides classes, there is online and individual education. Having headquarters in Amsterdam, at this point, we have locations in Germany, Mexico and Russia.
I love my work, and I am grateful for this opportunity in my life. I am happy to unfold my creativity around the project and share my experience, expertise in sound synthesis with students and coming generations.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR PIECE FOR /100 – OF HUNDRED?
The song Words is from the album Genuine, released by Ovnimoon Records in 2019. This song is about how words are not enough to share the actual feeling. This song calls to drop protective layers that isolate us from each other, open up and share the warmth.
IF YOU COULD INTERVIEW YOURSELF, WHAT WOULD YOU ASK ANNA?
I would ask Anna how a modular synthesizer works and where to get the book "Modular Sound Synthesis On The Moon".
THANK YOU SO MUCH, ANNA!