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Dirk Serries / Vidna Obmana: how silence and desolation can turn you on.

June 2, 2011

Dirk Serries has never shied away from leaps of faith. A decade ago, he stunned the ambient scene with an incisive twist to his personal style on the classic the river of appearance” and in 2005, he shed the renowned moniker of Vidna Obmana, replacing it with the immersive guitar eruptions of his latest incarnation Fear Falls Burning. On microphonics, he has now taken his boldest step yet. Defying superimposed concepts and pseudonyms, he returns with the first material under his own name and at his most personal and vulnerable. For years, Serries has experimented with spontaneous guitar improvisations over a continuous atmospheric drone. initially intended as a means of rehearsing and developing ideas, these sessions were never intended to be released officially. Over time, however, Serries came to realize that these painstakingly pristine and painfully pure pieces constituted the very essence of his musicality, the foundation of what makes him “tick” as an artist. Composed of a minimal array of delicately attuned and interrelated themes, the music develops through the continuously shifting relations of its constituent currents. because of this outward simplicity, microphonics has turned out a work of great intimacy and immediacy, a yearning sonic breath which seamlessly fuses the elliptic ambient worlds of vidnaObmana with the dark mysticism of fear falls burning: this latest leap of faith is the sound of the morning awakening, of the day dreaming and the night speaking in its sleep.

  • How did you get in touch with music?
    >Can’t recall really, I just remember that I started out with spinning soundtrack albums backwards or making lockgrooves with my turntable.<
  • What would you do if there wouldn’t be music, starting with tomorrow?
    >A label or if music isn’t allowed, photography for sure.<
  • …and what if you had to produce in a different music genre? What would that be?
    >If I would have the skills, classical music I guess.<
  • What’s your (original) profession?
    >Accountant<
  • What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
    >Silence and desolation<
  • What’s your next plan music-wise?
    >Recording the long-awaited 2nd Microphonics studio album.<
  • Who would you like to collaborate with the most and why?
    >Unfortunately not possible : John Coltrane for his wilful, uncompromised vision, The Necks for their highly original take on minimal jazz or Elbow for their ability to write just beautiful songs.<
  • Is there a band/music genre you can’t stand listening to?
    >House<
  • Is there some music you like – but ashamed to admit it?
    >Nope, I proud to say I love Neil Diamond.<
  • The beauty of silence or the chaos of noises?
    >Without a doubt, the beauty of silence<
  • What’s your favourite album ever?
    >A tie : Arvo Pärt – Tabula Rasa and Eno & Fripp – No Pussyfooting<
  • …and your favourite album cover?
    >Theo Travis – Slow Life (2LP on Tonefloat)<
  • If you could be a rock star, who would you be?
    >Nobody, I guess. Really.<
  • Do you have a role model?
    >Not specifically but I draw now & then inspiration from Goethe, Nietzsche and Dante.<
  • Who would you like to meet the most?
    >Generally for sure Clint Eastwood because of his incredible pace in life and his professionalism in making classic, pure and straightforward movies (especially the last years) and musically most likely Neil Young or Arvo Pärt.<
  • What are your favourite movies?
    >The Elephant Man, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Unforgiven, Mystic River, 21 grams, Into the wild, Caché, Revolutionary Road, Gran Torino, Eternal Sunshine Of A Spotless Mind, Shutter Island, The Machinist, Scanners, Videodrome, A Serious Man, Manhattan and others I just forget right now.<
  • If you had to direct your own movie, how would it look like?
    >I’m afraid it would be a very minimal, silent and slow movie, dealing rise and fall of us human beings.<
  • Which language would you like to speak most and why?
    >English, it just fits the way my mind thinks and operates.<
  • How would you describe yourself in 5 words?
    >Control freak, perfectionist, obsessed, fanatic but friendly.<
  • What are your vices?
    >Perfectionism, wine, pedal effects, belgian fries and Neil Diamond.<
  • What is the most unusual comment anyone has ever made about you?
    >That I’m Richard Wagner of the Ambient.<
  • The best moment in your life?
    >Meeting my wife Martina, finding the pace in my creativity with Microphonics and finally after all these years getting to know Tonefloat, the perfect home for my music and hopefully for a long time.<
  • What does beauty mean to you?
    >Silence, purity, honesty, respect, minimalism.<
  • What would you do today if the world would end tomorrow?
    >Isolate ourselves at home and listen to some music.<
  • Which places you love the most?
    >New York, home and the creative side of my mind.<
  • What’s your favourite food?
    >I guess that’s sushi.<
  • What’s your favourite flavour?
    >Dior’s Homme Intense<
  • Three things you could never get rid of?
    >Just one : My 1976 Gibson Les Paul Custom Black Beauty.<
  • Your three favourite websites?
    >Everything about Robert Fripp’s frippertronics : http://home.cogeco.ca/~frippertronics/Frippertronics.htm
    The ultimate music encyclopedia : http://www.discogs.com
    Just one of the best written music webzines and the only one that combines experimental with classical : http://www.tokafi.com/<
  • What’s your favourite picture about yourself? (click on the image for larger size)
    >I never really liked being in the front of the camera but sometimes you do need to compromise in order to meet the promotional expectations of labels and magazines.  I think this one, taken at the St.Theobaldus chapel in 2001 by my wife Martina Verhoeven is one of the few favorites.<

  • What’s your most favourite picture you made? (click on the image for larger size)
    >Although I did quite a large collection of photography myself during the early years of vidnaObmana, including the cover photography for Passage In Beauty (one I’m really proud of), it’s not that’s currently part of my state of mind.  Therefor I selected one of my all-time faves, for sure, taken by Martina Verhoeven in the Microphonics series.<

  • What is the question you always would have liked to be asked but nobody ever did?
    >Which labels ripped me off ?<

 

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