onsdag den 12. november 2008

Max Richter

Talking with avant-garde post-classical composer Max Richter about his influences is truly inspiring. In a single breath, he’s able to make connections between Romantic music of the 1800s and the work of Steve Reich and John Cage, all the way through Boards of Canada, Aphex Twin, and Kraftwerk to Johan Johansson and Colleen, who he sees as contemporaries.

For Richter’s fourth solo album, he turned his focus on an unlikely creative outlet: the oft-despised cell-phone ringtone. “As a musician, it seems like a waste. There’s all these millions of loudspeakers walking around the world, and nothing to put in them,” Richter says. As a result, he created 24 Postcards in Full Colour, a collection of ringtone compositions that packs layers of emotional depth into one- and two-minute pieces. “I decided to treat them with as much seriousness as I would a record,” he explains. “I’ve put my heart and soul into them.”

The live portion of Postcards involves Richter uploading MP3s of individual songs to different people’s cell phones and meeting up with them all in a gallery, where he texts different individuals to set off their phones. “I don’t have any control over the order in which the pieces could be played,” he says. “It’s almost like a cloud or constellation of little pieces which all join up because they share a lot of material. I thought, why not just abandon idea of an object with order?” he continues. “I would just make these pieces that hang together because they’re kind of related. In a way, it’s an iPod Shuffle to the Nth degree.”

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