Egotism, Arrogance, Hypocrisy, Separation, Bitter truth and a mouth of gold to deliver it. Archetypes constituting a heavy mosaic that proves frail when the repercussions start to weigh in.
MMMΔ’s new work EGOISMO is making its way to the surface one year exactly after the celebrated OST for Lukas Feigelfeld’s medieval horror film Hagazussa.
Tremors, chants, otherworldly strings and infrasound continue to dominate the soundscape, this time however a faint light flickers in the horizon.
EGOISMO is MMMΔ’s 11th album and marks yet another painstaking step on the endless path to consonance that the group pursues with ascetic discipline for the last ten years. We’d like to thank MMMΔ for the interview.
Could you talk a little bit about the meaning behind the name and the background of the band?
We sought a multifaceted name, a name as much inclusive as possible and at the same time as much trivial as possible. Mohammad is the most common name on earth but still has many connotations. It was an obvious choice.
Your press kit says, “the endless path to consonance that the group pursues with ascetic discipline for the last ten years.” Could you explain that, please?
Western music has been on a path to dissonance for many centuries. We grow up and evolved musically at a point where dissonance (that we use here as a broad term) almost became the norm. We are children of dissonance but we are taking the opposite path, the path to consonance while carrying with us all the weapons of our dissonant tradition.
What about the title and concept behind the album?
‘EGOISMO’ portraits (better aims to) concepts such as Egotism, Arrogance, Hypocrisy and Separation. The bitter truths of human abyss that supplement each other and can possibly spiral negativity inside the psyche. As all of ΜΜΜΔ’s explorations this concept as well is a blend of personal inquietudes and/ or results of investigation of the inner self.
How often do you use field recordings? Do your choices of locations come from what reasons? acoustics sound, ritual history, culture etc?
We are travelers but most of time we do not choose destinations. And quite often the field recordings we gather are sonic images from these destinations. Memories of sound that will perhaps sneak into an album carrying the ambience of a distant place.
Do you incorporate ritual practice as any part of your composition?
Yes we do.
What plans do you have for the coming months?
We will be appearing at L’Homme Sauvage at the Pyrenees in the south of France and the Unseal the darker gates event in Leipzig. There are more shows in the pipeline over here at home and also Spain and Russia that will be announced in due time.
If you had a chance to re-record Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” Masterpiece, and you had your choice of instruments or locations, where would you go and what would you use to record?
We assume you also mean re-interpret. Funnily enough we have already experimented with baroque music. We know for sure that the release format would be a box set of several sound carriers (vinyl or Cds or Cassette tapes etc) simply because to re-interpret this work in our own pace it would result in a few hours of music. To give an example our version of Biber’s Annunciation Sonata (which is normally a 6min piece) is 15min long. Regarding instrumentation our basic combination of cello and oscillators works perfectly as a massive basso continuo, one that we believe Vivaldi would have used himself if he was able to. With that as a solid monolithic base the rest would be easy. A reverberant space with a gentle response to the low frequencies would be an ideal location.
What explorations into sound dynamics and layering did you take with this? With this question I mean how mindful were you of frequencies, levels and such when thinking of how you’d like to see the final product?
We work with frequencies which we transform into ‘melodic lines’. So the truth about how mindful are our frequencies is somewhere inside this transformation process. We are aware that sound is vibration and it creates energy, changes the temperature and the way things smell or it can be soothing or it can hurt too. But all these parameters are then embedded in a piece of music where the emotional impact comes into play as well and this is where things are getting more blurred. We listen to the final product and if we feel there is a good balance between all these elements then it’s fine. Having said that you also have to take into account that after the product is finished and pressed it will be played in different sound systems. This can be catastrophic (this music listened to through laptop or even phone speakers for instance) or on the other hand complement and enhance all these elements further.
In your opinion, what separates “ambient” from “dark ambient?”
We don’t even know what ‘dark music’ in general means in. Much of the music labeled as ‘dark’ we consider it very luminous! We understand there is a practical need to label and categorize in genres but at the same time the process of listening to music/sound is such a deep and personal condition, intertwined with memories, mood, mental state, you name it, to the point that genres loose meaning. So no, we have no idea what separates these two.
Your video for “Awogans” has some pretty simple but intriguing imagery. Can you talk about the concept behind it?
This is a very very very open interpretation of the concept of arrogance, human arrogance in particular (not sure if any other kind exists). Factories in a completely white, covered by snow setting juxtaposed with the narcissistic and conceited walk on virgin snow was enough for us to express the concept. But it remains open to other, different readings.
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