1) In exactly five sentences, give us what you feel is important biographical information about your sonic background.
My background is primarily in electroacoustic composition, which is music that utilizes electronic media to explore new sonic territory rather than imitating traditional, instrumental performances. At some point I became aware that the tools I was using for composition were quite similar to those used by sound designers, and the questions of aesthetics weren’t that different either. For example, I’m much more interested in the articulation of space as a means for artistic expression than composing melodies. I’ve never been fond of the traditional Hollywood soundtrack having a clear divide between music and sound design, as purely non-diegetic music tends to take me out of the experience. Accordingly, in the past years of my career I’ve been exploring whether my approach to composition could encompass both music and sound design, and dismiss the divide between the two.
2) Please state, in exactly five words, your interest in sound.
To trigger the listener’s imagination.
3) Now please state, in exactly five syllables, how you might describe your process of work.
1) Using the rhythm of the famous four-note opening to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, please tell us a fact about you that we may not know.
Too much a nerd.
2) Who are four people that have influenced your work?
David Lynch, Michel Chion, Denis Smalley, Walter Murch
3) What are four ways you begin work?
Tabula rasa, doubt, improvisation, experimentation
1) Name three sounds that make you glad to have ears.
Traffic (for survival), voice, and silence.
2) Name three sounds that cause you physical discomfort.
Anything playing too loud, anything playing for too long, and anything that sounds fake.
3) Address one way to change three of those sounds or three ways to change one of those sounds.
First, put a plum in the mouth of a person and make him lie flat on the floor. Then stack three other people on top of him, and finally have a fifth person jump onto the top of the stack.
1) List and describe two projects on which you’re currently working.
That question has to be answered in one as the only project I’m currently working on is Playdead’s Limbo follow-up. It’s not another Limbo game though but something new, slightly more colorful albeit not that much more cheerful.
2) And how is it going?
I’m sort of in the middle of it now. I’ve been on the project from the very beginning which is great because it allows the sound to get much more integrated with the game. It’s a long process, but I feel we’ve created a foundation for breaking new grounds with the sound and I’m looking forward to the day where we can show our work.
3) How do you feel it is challenging your current skill set?
There’s much more recording going on in this production compared to Limbo, and the amount of source files is way larger. So I’m obviously learning more about field and studio recording, and asset management. Also, integrating sound more tightly with the game has required me to work more in the game engine, and work closely together with the audio programmer in order to define the tools that enable me to do so.
1) Name one environmental element of the creative process that you find essential.
Being surrounded by devoted collaborators.
2) What is one area in which you hope to improve your work?
3) What is one thing you would like people to know when listening to your work?
That needs to be answered in “zero!”
About the 3×5 Interview
The “3×5” is a non-traditional interview series that encourages creative and personal responses from its participants. While the core structure remains intact, I occasionally update the sets of questions to keep interviewees and readers engaged. Although the resultant replies of the participating audiophiles may be informative or instructive, my hope is that the interview will encourage conversation and a sense of camaraderie within the sound design community.