1.Finally we see a solo-album
from you after many years in the music-biz.
Why has it taken so long and does this mean that you will end your
involments in Origami Republika?
As I've now worked full time
for ten years with the 'cultural freedom
operation' Origami Republika, where every little release or appearance has
had that as a fundament, I wanted to challenge myself a bit. So I set out
to make a work entirely after standards set by myself. In the Origami
Republika context everything goes, because that is the mere reason for its
existence (improvisation, spur-of-the-moment collaboration, honest
documentation of every step etc..)
As a solo-artist, my more
private ambitions are set to a level where I just
want to focus on creating good music and art. Most 'agents' of Origami
Republika has other projects as their main focus, and this solo work is
mine. Thus I spent six weeks cutting down the location recordings, editing
and composing around the clock, until Siesta was finally done. Last autumn
I worked just as hard on the Monokromosom concept (cd-r and live) and a few
other things under my full name.
I will not end my involvement
in Origami Republika, I just want to let
people hear and see what I do on my own (like if Republika didn't exist).
My solo work is part of the three projects I consider to be my most serious
efforts, along with the trio KA and five-piece band Origami Arktika.
2. Don't you see a moral/political
problem in being a white
northern-european composer going to Africa, 'stealing' the native sounds of
the country you visit and then go back to your homeland and use them in a
composition you release on CD, and thus profits from? Isn't this supporting
an imperialist view on things?
I understand what you are
aiming at, and an interesting angle it is. I do
not think I am supporting the mentioned view, of various reasons. First; I
am militant in my view on national or geographical borders. The way I see
it I just went to another city and freely recorded sounds there. Second; I
did not do the hippie-thing of recording local folk-music to spice up my
own grey Scandinavian cultural language to become more 'international'.
With one exception of some seconds from a Friday prayer, I mostly recorded
things like water tube humming, traffic, various weather, statics etc. that
could have been done here (well, now luckily even the Muslim Friday prayer
'khutba' could have been recorded in Oslo), so I don't see any exploitation
of culture in this.
The thing about it being
done in Africa is more of a private matter, as I
was there on a family holiday (thus the title) and because of the mental
breeze of being away from Scandinavia/Europe (thus the title again).
Imperialism is a one-way road leading nowhere and my view is mutual
cultural exchange. Meaning that if a Morroccon artist wanted to come here
and record or learn any local things or tricks, that would certainly be
encouraged by me.
Regarding the profit side
of things, I promise you that we left more money
behind in Morrocco than I will make from this record. We went to a very
touristy place, where all transactions were out in the open. We were
equally interested in the deal. I know how little the middle-class
backpackers leave behind, proud as they usually are about how cheap they
can live 'down there' because of the friendliness the people of extremely
low economical assets show.
3. What is Origami Republika
really all about, and why do you think it has
managed to survive so long? Is there an end to OR or is it an ever
It would take too much effort
to go into the first part of your question,
but I'd like to point out the absolute freedom of the project. The Freedom
that destroys our chance of becoming too narrowminded nor hi-brow, nor
becoming 'the next big thing'. It is an open network that allows space both
for serious music, art, thoughts and actions AND for downright ridcule,
lower art, provocation, informality and fun. Now that seems to be a pretty
hard fact for the Germanic influenced academics and artists, totally
inconceivable for the market liberalist press and many many others. The
second part of your question is easy to answer with the fact that we have
shown that there is a great NEED for such an open sphere, as more and more
people actually put some effort into it, and more people get attracted to
our general detail fetishism and produce.
There is probably an end
to it as all (good) things must come to one. But
I'm not the one to foresee at what moment it will come. I have been tuning
down my productive work with the origamism (currently focussing on the
documentation/coordination side) as other people are joining with new
factions and subunits internationally.
4. The Norwegian 'experimental'
underground scene is getting more and more
attention and support in flashy mags like the Wire, do you feel that this
has changed the situation for this kind of music in your country of abroad
in any sense?
No. There is many fine artists
on the Norwegian 'experimental' underground
scene, always have been and always will be. Like everywhere else. It´s just
the spotlight of the media that shifts a bit, dependent as it is on
spotting 'the next big thing', and perhaps now our turf is hip. No Origami
Republika work has been presented in The Wire, but that of close
allies/'agents' has. I know that f.i. Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth
outlines Norway these days. It's of course cool to be noticed by people you
respect, but these are unstable trends and hypes. Yesterday it was New
Zealand, tomorrow it might be India. That's just a media thing, totally
uninteresting in relation to what we do. Another aspect of Origami
Republika is exactly to show that the international networking scene is by
no means marginal, we are thousands and thousands of people who are into
'otherness' on some level or the other, that is a natural phenomenon. But
surely, if I started composing techno-jazz hybryds just now, I might catch
the trend train in time, but give me one good reason except the money?
5. Any plans for the moment? New releases/projects coming up?
Yes, I do have plans, in
excess, I could live from selling them I think
(but won't). As for solo-activities I have decided to take on less work
than with the origamism, I have to, considering the Time involved in the
production. I have a support slot for Einstuerzende Neubauten in Oslo in a
few weeks. I have some challenging tasks ahead, a.o. completing material
for a split with one of my favourite acousmatic composers and putting the
last hand on the follow-up to Siesta called Serum.
As for Origami Republika,
celebrating the 10 Year Anniversary is first up,
with a manifestation at Klubb Kanin here in Trondheim, presenting the
massively updated Official Web Index, a double album featuring many
subunits and allied projects due on cd-r on various labels and in MP3
format on our website.
As for Origami Arktika there
is a new 7" out soon, and we're just about to
confirm a tour to Poland with KA as 'support', ending in a special
anniversary manifestation at St. John's Church in Gdansk. And so on..
But most of all I enjoy my
time these days having full daycare of my now 11
month old treasure Silja, pleased about my hard-earnt privilege of being
able to spend so much time with her. Strangely enough, at the end of the
day I should be exhausted, but she kind of accumulates my energy into
keeping on doing what I've done for years. We're very busy learning from
each other, and we get on well, so it's a good starting point for the next
ten years of creativity.
Tore H. Böe : www.kunst.no/origami/tore
Origami Republika : www.kunst.no/origami