Insight Interview: Koronis (Multimedia Composer)

Friday 5th May // Once again, we have another Insight exclusive. Tonight we present an interview with one of the finest and most creative multimedia artists and composers within the underground electronica scene. Known for his incredibly fascinating concepts revolving around music technology, Koronis has quickly become one of the most highly rated producers of experimental composition. His latest concept album ‘Circuits‘ released by Vénka Industries on 22nd April was designed as an interactive experience, exploring the relationship between classical instrumentation and experimental electronics.  We caught up with Koronis to find out a little more about his musical journey so far.

Hey Koronis, first off, where are you currently based?

I’m living in Los Angeles, California as a transplant from Auckland, New Zealand. Going from such a small place to one of the biggest hubs of the world has been quite a shock for me.  The amount of opportunity here vs. New Zealand is vastly different.

When was your first real exposure to music?

I always remember there being music in the house, largely in part due to my dad being a singer/guitarist.  Around 10 is when I can remember starting to identify with music apart from any family influence.  Prog rock loomed large in my childhood.

How about writing and producing music, when did your passion for composing kick in?

I seriously started writing and composing around 19, although I had been dabbling for a few years at that point.  It started off as me digging through my dad’s old boxes for sample CDs and computer music magazines.  Even then, I was fascinated by using technology to shape how music can be produced.

Your releases always have a unique and powerful concept. What do you feel has been your biggest inspiration?

Something that inspires me is the concept that you can always be better.  You can always move forward.  There is all this virgin territory in music and art for me to explore.  I love that the more I work and explore, the more I realize how much more is out there to learn and delve into.

How about your proudest experience so far?

Composing a long form piece of music (over 1 hour in length) for a classic animated film.  The work was very dynamic; it ranged from trip hop to dark ambient to hip hop to jazz to classical to electronica, etc…

Have you been involved with playing your music live, or do you find it difficult to find an event that showcases music of your genre?

It’s definitely been a chore to find traditional venues or show line ups to play on due to my work.  That being said, I think being in a niche field has really worked to my advantage when playing events.  I work with someone who helps me create shows tailored to my current art/project.  This really feeds the control freak in me.

Any upcoming shows your playing this year?

I’m currently developing my multimedia event for Circuits.  In addition to highlighting the versatility of the tracks (i.e. how they can become different pieces when layered over each other) there will be an art show component to the performance.

Favorite record right now?

Lately, it’s been a lot of Joseph Haydn.

Favorite record of all time?

The first record that comes to mind is Radiohead’s – Kid A.  Everything In It’s Right Place.  Damn.  Wish I wrote it.

Tell us a little about your latest album release on Vénka Industries and the concept behind the album?

I knew I wanted to put out my next work on vinyl but I also wanted to provide something special to those purchasing the album.  Working with my partner we came up with the idea of stand alone songs on the record with complimentary pieces available digitally.  One only gets the comprehensive work by having access to the vinyl and digital compositions. From there I focused on integrating modern classical concepts with experimental electronic elements.

How do you feel about the project overall? 

I am very pleased with how Circuits came together and I am also really proud of my work with the recording process.  This is my first time recording electromagnetic fields via pick up coil microphones.  The idea of all this hidden sound around us that we can’t hear without the introduction of specialized equipment is so seductive.

How about collaborations? Does the style of music you specialise in work better independently, or have you worked along artists similar to you in the past?

I don’t know about the style of music doing better one way or another, but for me, my best work has always been done independent of anyone else.  I’m always interested in new experiences, but for now, collaborations seem to be a long way off, if ever.

What’s your musical goal for the next few years?

I want to be scoring films.  I want to be composing my own music.  I want to be performing live more regularly and creating more installation art.  I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me.

Any life goals?

To be beholden to no one but myself.  Easy, right?

Share with us some of your top picks. Which tracks would you love for us to go and check out?

Let me break down my top picks like this:

Sound Designers listen to Vaetxh – Libet Tones

Film Composers listen to Hildur Guðnadóttir – Without Sinking

Producers listen to Massive Attack – Paradise Circus

Techno Heads listen to The Acid – Liminal

Has there ever been a piece of music or an experience that shaped you to become the musician you are today?

The defining point for me as a teenager was spending time at my mate’s place.  He managed a music store. He was a musician who grew up playing all through the 90’s and 2000’s in Auckland City. The bottom floor of his house was converted into a studio and he had thousands of records that lined the walls. He used to show me how he produced records and beat matched. The first time that happened I thought to myself, this is what I need to do for the rest of my life.

Be sure to show your support by hitting play below or purchasing your copy of the limited edition 7″ vinyl here.

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