1. Please, introduce yourself a little bit:
Name, age, gender * lol* , profession in “real life” (means besides music)
Slava: Slava Smelovsky, age 30… My profession is… Well, for me my life in music is also “real” so I’m the musician, but ok I’m also a journalist, ex-chief editor of some computer’s magazine and I also learn NLP - Neuro-Lingvistic Programming - an approach to discovering and modifying patterns of human thought and behaviour. So psycholinguistics consulting is also my work.
2. How did you get to know each other? I know this question might sound absurd regarding the fact that “..for electronics and birds…” is your 4th album, but surely, readers outside want to know about this fact
Slava: A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… We know each other for too many years to remember details . Maybe even in previous lives, ah, Grundik?
3. What tempted both of you to study in Israel?
Slava: My parents came to live here and I was too lazy at my teen years (and I still love to be lazy till now) to change these fundamental living conditions only for studying purposes.
4. When did you first get in contact with music and how did you find your way and love for experimental electronic music?
Slava: I like music from my childhood – my mom is music teacher – the quality music was always part of home’s atmosphere. And electronic music was attractive for me since Grundik came from vacation in Germany and bring some underground techno tapes with him. Add to this that I don’t like pop at all and as a consequence of you’ll get my attraction to experimental electronic music.
5. What inspired you to do an album for electronics and birds? To be honest, for me there is nearly no greater or more contrast than the singing of birds and music created by humans but played on a machine…
Slava: So you’ve answered to your own question – the contrast itself inspired us. At least me.
6. Do you have a special relationship towards birds? Do you own birds?
Slava: I like animals and birds also. Especially I like the birds singing. But to be honest the idea of incorporating birds sounds belongs to Grundik.
7. Is there a philosophical meaning behind it?
Slava: The philosophical meaning is behind everything in our life it just depends by who is looking for this meaning. Someone can live simple for no particular reason and without searching the meaning of things and life for someone it is just impossible. But well all this reasoning is also a bit philosophical.
8. “…for electronics and birds” is your 4th album; how had the reactions been so far?
Due to the fact that you are well-known for your film music, as sound artists for art projects and installations gives you the chance to work on more than one field of music…
Slava: The reactions were good. Can’t say they were fantastic, but they were commendable. I hope since this CD is our first wide-world distribution it’s only beginning of world conquest.
9. Your sounds sound simple but if the listener absorbs your music, one finds out soon, that the crystal clear notes play a complex, very demanding and wonderful game. Is pureness important to you? If yes: Only in music?
Slava: I think you’ve found our little secret .
10. “…for electronics and birds” sounds totally calm, peaceful, like a rural idyll. What did you have in mind when you composed the tracks?
Slava: The tracks were composed at different time… It was one of our basic principles and important concept for some time - to compose tracks without thinking about whole album – just to stream it as is without restrictions. After that we used to make our choice and select tracks for next CD. “…for electronics and birds” was compiled this way - so we were calm and peaceful during our track’s choices but not during composing.
11. Listening to tracks like “Rain Music”, closing your eyes and taking a deep breath makes me imagine to stand in a damp, moisturized wood, surrounded by trees, wild nature, the essence of living. What’s your secret, you painter of notes? 😉
Slava: First of all I’d like to say thank you for your really beautiful words. I like to be called “painter of notes”. And the secret… oh, well you already know it – to be natural and be pure is my aim.
12. How does the music come to life? What’s the process of working together? I imagine it quite difficult for if I got it right, you, Grundik, have moved to New York….
Slava: To say the true it’s not difficult as you think about this – and now when Grundik has DSL internet connection it will be much more easy – probably we are both internet guys. And describing the whole process will involve many technical details – not sure they are really interesting – sending files, samples, whole songs without mastering, loops, MIDI’s, presets.
13. Is special closeness important for your work?
14. Somehow it seems to me that creating such fragile and light-headed sounds and melodies is hardly connected to computers and machines. What’s you secret?
Slava: My computer is almost as fragile as Czech crystal . That’s what I thinking when reinstalling my Windows few times a month… To say the true – the computer is just instrument – you can do whatever you want with it.
15. Would you consider yourself more quiet characters? Kind of playful and with love for fine + affectionate details? Kind of longingly which would be affirmated by “Lost Fado” and the Eastern European harmonies and sounds….
16. If it’s really kind of “longing”, what do you think? Why are Eastern European (and the Spanish) people always kind of sad? If you listen to Hungarian music, people seem to celebrate, smile, cry and long at the same time… (short notice: my grandparents are Hungarians )
17. As for Russia has a very impressing musical history: one question really imposes: how much are you bound with the Russian traditional music? OR more to the Israelic / Jewish music? (which is kind of sad and happy at the same time… hm, there might be a scheme ;-))
18. Especially when I listen to “Pianka Do Golenia”, which seems to be a perfect mixture of French and Hungarian folk as well as Tango Argentino to which reason for the similarity in sound might be the unconventional change in time… you seem to have a very wide-spread knowledge of what’s called “world music” …
Slava: Let me tell you the true… You are first man except me and Grundik who knows that. The song is totally computer’s bug result. All those rhythms and sounds are just computer mistake. So my computer knows about world music more than me .
19. I especially like the geese in that song.. *gg *
20. I realized you also use kind of Eastern European harmonies and elements; which meaning or significance does vocal art have for your work? If I consider it correctly, there’s only one song one the album containing human vocals, it’s “Lost Fado”.
Slava: In our next album we will have few more songs with Victoria Hanna. Recording vocal is quite difficult at home studios like us. So sometimes when we get an offers from singers with essential technical abilities and we happy to accept them and then try something new.
21. I read, you did a gig in December 2002 with a bunch of birds. it that true?
22. What had the performance been like?
23. Surely, you cannot make birds sing on command. How did you work with the birds on stage?
24. Have you ever created music with “real” instruments? Not at the computer?
Slava: As I said before for me computer is also real instrument. It really hard to find difference between “real” and “not real” instrument.
25. What is the basic difference between the music you create for an installation, an artistic project and the work for G&S?
26. Are there other project? Planned or running?
Slava: We got three-four finished projects ready for now. Some of them are set to release very soon. Some will wait its time in little bureau and maybe will never come out. Some are still hidden inside our heads.
27. Regarding your other projects, you must have a specific love for Asian art / music for you often work with Asian artists, mostly Japanese ones. Is this just a natural development when living in Russia and Israel? So near to the East?
28. Is there a special fascination in Asian art for you?
29. Who did the wonderful artwork “…for electronics and birds…”? What’s the relationship between you and this person? (if it’s not you )
30. How did the design of your website? It’s very nice, but I would call it rather simple, only providing the reader with the most important information only. Do you consider yourself less important than your music?
Slava: We did. By the way we are going to redesign it very soon – we really don’t know but some people find it very difficult to find necessary info at our site. Regarding information about us… My dream is built one site for all my hobbies – since now I’m involved in four projects – two of them are psychology connected. Third one is livejournal.com and the different communities in it. The fours is Grundik+Slava’s one.
31. Your CD is at home at the German Label Stateart. How did you get in contact with the label?
32. Is there a slight chance German fans will be able to see you in near future live on stage?
Slava: Hmm, maybe sometimes – right now I can’t see open windows at my timeline.
33. Now something to calm down : Imagine life without electricity. Which would be your favourite music? Would you – then - create music at all? What would it sound like?
Slava: Sometimes I thinking about what would be like to live at uninhabited island without electricity and other civilisation features. Will I ever do music in these conditions? Hmm, I think I’ll have other things to do. So I’ll just listen to the nature – this will be only music in my life.
34. If you were an apparat or a machine, you were…
Slava: Percolator… I don’t why really – just my first association .
35. Your most favourite animal in nature … geese and other birds? 😉
Slava: Snow Leopard…
36. The part music plays in your life is…
Slava: It’s just have part in my life – sometimes it plays big and leading role sometimes minor. It depends by too many conditions.
37. Last two questions: do you believe in reincarnation? What or who do you suppose to be reincarnated in your net life?
Slava: Reincarnation… well kind of… At least I had some experiences, but I don’t want go into the details... Yes I think I believe in it.
Thanks in advance for your patience, your answers and have a beautiful day