Sphärisch klingt es, ein wenig fremd manchmal, entrückt wie in Shikoru oder XX Intro. Doch manchmal bricht auch der DJ bei Kate Simko durch, und dann kommt man unweigerlich in Tanzlaune wie in Dark Delirium. Dass sie durchaus auch weiß, wie das Klassikgenre funktioniert, beweist sie im letzten Stück – Violin Duet No. 1 – auf ihrer gemeinsam mit dem London Electronic Orchestra jüngst erschienenen CD.
Kate Simko, in Chicago geboren, ist Komponistin, Produzentin und DJ. Ihren Abschluss für Filmmusik hat sie am Royal College of Music in London gemacht.
Feuilletonscout: What fascinates you about film scores and electronic music?
Kate Simko: I love film scores because the music acts as a subtext in the film. It’s sort of a subconscious communication that changes the film completely. I’ve been inspired by electronic music since the first time I heard it when I was fifteen years old. To me electronic music is like classical music, it tells a story without words. I’m fascinated by the endless textures, rhythms, and soundscapes you can create with electronics.
Feuilletonscout: Is there a difference for you personally between E- and U-music? (Ernste und Unterhaltungsmusik)
Kate Simko: Yes, for sure. I’ve studied classical piano and music theory since I was five years old, and studied orchestration through my masters at the Royal College of Music. So my musical training is what you call the Ernste side! It might sound nerdy, but I love the rules of music theory, and the structure of classical music. Like Stravinsky’s famous quote, “The more constraints one imposes the more one frees one’s self. And the arbitrariness of the constraint serves only to obtain precision of execution.”
That said, despite all of my training the most important thing to me is the frequencies transmitted in the room. The concept and process is not as important as connecting with the audience and transmitting musical ideas. U-music’s definition of entertaining could also be looked at as connecting, and that’s an admirable quality in music too.
Feuilletonscout: What do you find appealing about breaking down musical barriers, or crossing existing lines?
Kate Simko: London Electronic Orchestra brings together my longtime passions for classical and electronic music. I have a deeply entrenched background on both sides, so developing the LEO sound has been an introspective musical search, involving trial-and-error to respect both sides and incorporate both into the final sound. I never focused on breaking down musical barriers as much as aiming to combine two musical passions. In the process we’ve ended up with a sound somewhat outside a genre box, so guess it is crossing lines, like you said!
Feuilletonscout: Do your studies help with that?
Kate Simko: Yes, absolutely. When I composing a film score a few years ago I had to just guess when it came to orchestral writing. I didn’t like the fact I could play strings on the keyboard but wasn’t making the most of the instrumental voicing and lacked understanding of the ranges and possibilities for the full orchestra. So that prompted a move to get a masters in Composition for Screen at the Royal College of Music in London. There I started substituting synths with orchestral instruments, and met a few players who were also up for experimentation and using their instruments in a new context. So that’s how London Electronic Orchestra was formed. We had our first show in Fall 2013 for 20 people, and the second was for 300 sold out with a 36-piece orchestra in Spring 2014! What’s special also
Feuilletonscout: You travelled quite a lot in South America. In what ways did those experiences influence you?
Kate Simko: I travelled by myself to Chile and Argentina, and the trips were a time for self-reflection, and allowed me time to compose music outside of a hectic routine. Both countries have a very different culture than my hometown of Chicago, and so I was absorbing a second language and cultural differences, and funneling that inspiriting into composition.
Feuilletonscout: Your new album incorporates a wide variety of different sounds: Asian, Egyptian, natural sounds, as well as allusions to Schubert. What kinds of challenges did you face when working and composing for the London Electronic Orchestra? And what was most important to you?
Kate Simko: One of special challenges is organizing everything for the LEO ensemble. We’re all busy people, so finding a time we can all be in the same room can be difficult! There are so many pleasures though too. I’ve met so many incredible people who dedicate their lives to their passions and bettering themselves.
Feuilletonscout: Which music do you like to listen to the most?
Kate Simko: John and Alice Coltrane are two of my favorite musicians. My favorite composers are Chopin (piano works), Eric Satie, Philip Glass, and Steve Reich. I add new music to a monthly Spotify playlist regularly, based on word of mouth and reading blogs, Some of the artists I’ve been listening to lately are Jon Hopkins, Anna Meredith, Christian Loffler, and the Art of Noise.
Feuilletonscout: What is your artistic or musical dream?
Kate Simko: My musical dream is to be touring internationally with London Electronic Orchestra, composing new music, and writing film scores. Basically continuing on the same path. 😉
Thanks, Kate Simko!
Kate Simko & The London Electronic Orchestra
The Vinyl Factory, 2016
Kate Simko & London Electronic Orchestra bei amazon mit Hörproben
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