> 1-) World as Will is a joint project from two people with their own individual outputs. How did you two meet and why did you decide to do this project together?
We met in 1994 (or maybe 1995). Some time afterwards we played few concerts afterwards and I think idea of making first cd came after live collaboration first.
We probably enjoyed playing together.
> 2-) How was the composition process. Were you two physically present, or did you did it through the internet by sending soundclips? I also know that you performed live together. What´s the difference between: composing together while physically present (if that´s ever occurred), composing together by trading sound samples and improvising in a live situation?
Yes, we were always physically present when we worked on these cd's. In fact I do not believe in collaborations via internet or post - just sending audio files to somebody else by internet or on cd. I think such process is more about remixing then collaboration. So I never do it in this way. All my collaborative cd's are done in physical presence (live recordings that are afterwards edited or work together in the studio).
And I do not believe in improvisation - I cannot improvise.
> 3-) It strikes me as important that you are formatively from different cultures, and yet, you are informed by diverse backgrounds in your life and work. Karkowski, a classically-trained european musician who lives in Japan and participates in the noise scene there, Furudate a japanese artist with constant references to western thought and art (Levinas, Shakespeare, Poe...) and a penchant for the musical theater. How do you think this different backgrounds influenced the work produced?
I do not know. Have never thought about the fact that we come from different cultures and different backgrounds. So it probably never influenced our work and is not important.
> 4-) The title "World as will" is taken from Schopenhauer. In the liner notes to the second installation in the series you say that you both adhere somewhat to his philosophy. So it would maybe be accurate to say that the title is no accident. What would be precisely the relationship between the music you created and Schopenhauer´s thought, besides obvious references like the Wagner samples?
Personally I do not adhere at all to Schopenhauer's philosophy. From what I read by him - I found it all too pessimistic. I prefere much more Nietzsche and his idea/wish of bringing back philosophical discourse to where it all came from (and in western culture = greek roots, like Socrates who was discussing philosophy with citizen's of Athens on the streets) and making it a happy and direct science for the people. Maybe Nietzsche was tired of all dialectics of Kant/Hegel and pessimism of Schopenhauer (and the whole bullshit discussions in western philosophy). His most important book is called Gay science (Fröhlische Wissenschaft - which means kind of like a happy science) and this book is very eastern (nearly pure buddhism) in it's message.
> 5-) The artwork also draw ambiguously from the schopenhauerian cultural climate. There´s a swastika displayed on the cover of the first record. We can think of that as either an eastern symbol, and we know that Schopenhauer was influenced by eastern thought, in particular hinduism and buddhism, or we can think of that as a symbol of national-socialism, which could be thought as an indirect and perverted offspring of 19th century german thought, from Schopenhauer to Wagner to Nietzsche. Could you comment on that? Is this ambiguity intentional?
Actually all covers of World as Will (all 3 cd's) come from sake (japanese rice wine) etiquettes.
I think that ambiguity (confusion) is progress because it makes people think (at least).
> 6-) Technically, how was the orchestral bits produced? Was the orchestra recorded specially for this project, or did you use exclusively pre-existing material?
Orchestra was sampled - I sampled recordings of my own instrumental compositions (which were all composed much earlier) and for second piece on World as Will II there's a short looped sample from Wagner. Tetsuo uses sometimes samples too from orchestral music. I do not know from which composers exactly. And on World as Will I tetsuo (and one other girl) play violins (recorded in the studio)
> 7-) Furudate provides some intensely dramatical voice performances in some of the pieces. What function has the voice in the World as Will series? Was there any text being articulated? What about the guitar and percussion sounds?
The function of all sounds is that they should be good and powerful sounds. Does not matter from which instrument it comes (voice is also an instrument)
> 8-) There´s a necessary relation between writing (écriture) and pure sound. In World as Will you have a musical culture which is based in writing, and reading from scores, represented in the instrumental samples, and you have another noise culture which disposes of it in order to focus on pure sound and pure energy. Would that be a possible replica to Schopenhauer´s distiction between representation and will or is it pushing to far the analogy?
I actually do not thing that there's any necessary relation between writing (écriture) and pure sound. It's kind of a myth in western art music. As an extreme example - Pierre Boulez wrote once that he finds it much more interesting to see how a piece is composed (see how it's scored on paper) then to hear how it sounds. Boulez is very important person in this scene (kind of like a guru) so the whole style/tradition of IRCAM is based on this notion. Scores have to look very complex/advanced and there's more and more theoretical/scientific explanations of compositions but nobody cares about how these compositions sound (pure sound). I think this is dead end for contemporary music.
> 9-) Why did you decide to do individual compositions for the third record?
I do not remember. We maybe wanted to change a bit 3rd cd from first 2.
> 10-) The three works, even if they share some common attributes are very different from each other. The first one seem to focus on orchestra and percussive sounds. The second seems to be more of a noise-oriented record, and it has the loud Wagner-piece in it. The third seems to be much more abstract and dwelve into electroacoustic music, even if some of it (the third piece) is actually instrumental. Could you comment on these differences and how do you see records together? Were there different compositional approaches in each one of them? If so, could you comment on that?
These 3 works were realized during 10 years (there's like 3 or 4 years between each one of them was recorded and released). 10 years is a long time and nothing is static - everything changes. So it's just natural that these 3 cd's are different from each others.
> 11-) How was the collaboration with the Zeitkratzer ensemble in the third record? I understand that they only play the third track, the Karkowski one. Is that accurate? If that is so, it strikes me as interesting how the other pieces on this record mantain, to my ears, a consistent sonority throughout. Considering the third track existed before the other two, was it a conscious decision to mantain a consistency of sonority with that one?
It's true - zeitkratzer plays only 3rd track on World as Will III (there's no electronics there - only amplified acoustic instruments). And I don't think that there was any conscious decision to mantain any consistency for 2 other pieces on this cd. If you feel that all 3 pieces have consistent sonority - it maybe means that Tetsuo and me have good ears and make good choices in composing/organizing our pieces and cd's.
Interviewer: J.-P. Caron
Interviewee: ZBIGNIEW KARKOWSKI 2010