The protagonist of today: Niels Mori. For him the creation starts where you begin to write or to compose something new.
Today we interview Niels Mori, multifaceted artist and composer of "O." His music inspired by Bach, Chopin, Beethoven, Schubert and the minimalist composers like Reich, Riley, Brayars.
I can't exactly say when exactly my passion for music was born, but as long as I could remember, music always had a particular meaning for me. I mean, even when I was a child, I always felt something special when I was listening to music I loved.
How and when is your passion for music born and who inspired you to become a musician?I can't exactly say when exactly my passion for music was born, but as long as I could remember, music always had a particular meaning for me. I mean, even when I was a child, I always felt something special when I was listening to music I loved. I think I quickly understood music was a both a unique and a universal language, and certainly one of the best way to communicate, without any filters nor words. It made sens for me that music was the language I had to use, to be as clear and sincere as possible.
Was it easy to follow this passion for you, or did you have any difficulty ? If yes, which ones?
No, I can't say it was an easy thing to follow this passion, and it's still not. There are many reasons for that, and maybe one of the main one was I don't come from a musician family, and so, when I decided to take this way of life, it wasn't really easy to find the support I needed around me, and I perfectly understand why it could be regarded as a strange idea. However, I tried to compose and to play, without wondering if it was the good choice or not, it was just my choice, and I knew I had to follow it. I have no regrets about this decision, even if it's sometimes difficult to grow up.
There are so many inspirational things all around us, all the time. Of course, music is one of my main source of inspiration, and I'm able to listen to the same song or the same album during several weeks.
What is inspiration or inspirational to you? How do you live an inspired life?
There are so many inspirational things all around us, all the time. Of course, music is one of my main source of inspiration, and I'm able to listen to the same song or the same album during several weeks. I'm kind of monomanichal about music. So, I don't really need to listen to a lot of things to be inspired. If a song directly catch me with its atmosphere, its ambiance, or anything else, I don't need to look for something else, nor something new, because I feel all I need to feel with this only track. I like the idea my emotion level has to go up and down during a song or a performance, it doesn't have to be static, so many things are already too static.
I guess everybody is living an inspired life, even if we can't clearly see it at the first sight. So many things could happen in a day, in a week, and these things, good or bad, are the source of inspiration. The most difficult thing is maybe to accept what is a source of inspiration for us, and to deal with it.
How could you describe your way of composing?
It depends on what I am composing, and what are the aims I would like to reach. Very often, I am composing without understanding that I am doing it, and it's maybe my main way of composing. I don't really like to take an instrument with the will to compose, because it could create a useless pressure, and even if the pressure is sometimes a positive boost, I prefer to take my time and not to tell me that I have to compose or to create something. One of my music caracteristics is slowness, but not the pejorative meaning of slowness, mostly the fact to accept to introduce the emotions, one by one, without precipitation. The earth is already turning so fast that it's a nice thing to learn to take your time, and to don't waste it.
What is most challenging about what you do?
I don't really like the word "challenging" when I'm talking or writing about music, but I admit there is something like a challenge each time I'm composing. Sometimes, the challenge is just to be able to finish a work I started, and not to give it up, or to make a music sounds exactly as I heard it in my head, without compromise. Sometimes, it could be regarded as an exercice, an "étude", where I'm trying to understand a theorical or a technical concept, but it also could be the opposite way, where the challenge is to improvise and to be as free as possible. The most challenging for me is to be able to create an ambiance with the first few notes and few sounds from a song, to be able to set the scene in the first bars, and to find the secretly hidden feelings, the real ones.
What are your reference musicians?
My reference musicians are the ones who are able to translate my feelings in music or words, whatever the music genre. Of course, I have a deep afinity with classical composers, the romantic ones and the post-romantic ones, especially for Beethoven, Rachmaninov or Palestrina. Few years ago, I discovered minimalist musicians, and I was really impressed by Steve Reich, Arvo Part, Gavin Bryars and so many others, like Debussy and Satie, who are some of the composers who open the minimalist music doors. As for me, all of these ones seems to have the same quest : to compose a pure and sincere music.
I also like other music genres like electro/glitch music, with bands like Pan Sonic, Oval, Pong, Coil, and a lot of other ones.
"O." is a two tracks album, respectivly called Part I and Part II, and is a work for a strings ensemble, with the apparition of brasses and arranged piano for a while.
Recently your new work "O." came out, can you tell us a bit about it?
Indeed, my sixth album, called "O." recently came out thanks to the support from Blue Spiral Records, a very nice italian music label, where you can find a lot of interesting musicians, who have a special affinity for piano and neo-classical music.
"O." is a two tracks album, respectivly called Part I and Part II, and is a work for a strings ensemble, with the apparition of brasses and arranged piano for a while. One the one hand, this album is inspired by eastern mid-twentieth century composers, and especially by some Rachmaninov and Gorecky's works, and on the other hand, it was inspired by oceans, with it throbbing waves and its infinities. I started to work on "O." few years ago, but I guess I wasn't ready yet to accomplish like I wanted to do it. So, I continued to think about it, to conceptualise it, without directly working on it. This album is both a visual and a musical album, and I tried to draw what I had in my mind with notes and melodies.
What is creativity to you? And what is your creative process?
As for me, creativity is one of the most difficult thing to describe, because it can be considered in several different ways. The creation starts where you begin to write or to compose something new, something you never read nor heard before. This is the first step of creativity, but only the first one. The creativity starts when your work begins to tell something personnal, talking down to you, and when you deeply feel that something special is hapenning, something you can't control, something which is surprising you.
I don't have any creative process, my works are always different from the other ones, and I feel creative when I'm able to compose or to write something I never did before. It's always possible to try to recreate something you already created before, using the same instruments, the same sounds or the same way to work, but it's not what I would like to do. The real creation only happens the first time you work on a new score, not when you're trying to compose the same music you already compose. It's no longer creativity, but a re-creation. It could be interesting, but the trap is to always compose the same music, searching the utlimate version of a song, but this quest has no end, and it's a good thing. I think if a musician feels he had composed the perfect score, it could be difficult to find the motivation to work on new pieces.
What do you think about today's music scene?
It's difficult to have only one opinion about the today's music scene, because there are so many bands and musicians, in so many different genres, that we sometimes can be surprised, and sometimes not. Since few years ago, and thanks to the technological changes, everyone can compose and record at his home, that is a good thing because everyone can express himself, but it doesn't mean everything is interesting nor successful. I think we actually are in a moment where the sounds, the sound textures seem to be the main thing, the main idea for a composition. Indeed, it could be ok for some works, but a nice and beautiful sound doesn't mean a good composition. That's the trap.
Also, I feel like a renewed interest for neo-classical and piano music, which a very good thing, and I discovered very interesting musicians, famous or not.
The thing is that we are living in a world where everyone can create something from his desk, but it's important to remember the composition has to be the more important thing, whatever the instrument which is playing it or the sounds you're using, and not the reverse.
What are your goals/dreams for the future?
There are so many dreams and goals to reach in a life that we have to accept some of them won't never be reached. As a musician, the first wish I have is to always find the inspiration where I have to find it, always with the same deepness and sincerity. For the future, I would like to be able to spend as much time as possible playing and working on music, for my solo projet Niels Mori, of course, but also with some of my other musical projects (Fleuves Noirs). I miss concerts and live performance too, as a musician and as a spectator, but I think we'll have to be patient for a while.
The dream of each musician is certainly to compose a kind of universal music, the piece that everybody understands and loves, a music who can help people to accept the everyday's life. Thanks god, it's impossible and I think it's a good thing in a way, because it permits to have a dreamy goal which motivate me to create again and again !