February 19, 2018
We have interviewed Duval Timothy, an eclectic artist who joins sculpture, food, music, video art and a lot more, on the coming out of his last record, Sen Am.
Your work includes painting, music, photography, sculpture, design, food, video and textiles: what is the sense of being an artist today? Why did you choose variety instead of specialization?
I see each discipline as a tool to create with. Each practice might be different in many ways but from a making perspective, my approach is almost the same.
Which are – if there are – the differences between Sen Am and your previous records?
Sen Am is the most personal project I’ve done. When I was creating it I was focused on telling a story with the music so it became quite cinematic in that way. My previous albums Brown Loop and Dukobanti were projects of compositions which are simply explorations into music and composition.
It looks like you’ve at least three different Modus operandi in composing: piano solo tracks, loop tracks, electronic tracks in the widest sense, including WhatsApp recording etc. How do you work on compositions?
With the tracks that use WhatsApp samples I composed the tracks around each sample. It was a reactive process which is something new for me. I often start an idea from a baseline with my left hand. From there I often find the chords that work on that structure. Then I’m usually taking away from the chords and baseline, so that I can progress from as simple a structure as possible and build towards something denser or more layered. Once I reach something layered, I start to cut away at the music removing as much of the fluff as possible, until it is quite simple again. The making process is a cycle of building something then removing most of it.
Internet and the music: a gift or a curse?
It’s a gift but I realise it’s not the fair utopia we are often told it is. It can be hard to balance consuming all of that content without allowing what I do conform to everything else. Access to what exists on the internet is heavily curated and ghettoised. Most websites perpetuate the same message and content so things become really homogenous. So while it is true that there is great content on the internet, the best way to find it might be through talking to people in real life.
What are your next projects?
I’m working on new music, writing for other artists, designing a new range of clothes and ceramics as well as working much more with video.
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