Pantha du Prince and The Bell Laboratory released their collaborative album ‘Elements of Light’ in January, 14. I talked with Hendrik Weber about his work on this album as well as about his general approach to the creative process.
Preview of the 'Elements Of Light' album
Before asking you how did you get the idea of making the music for three-ton carillon of 50 bells, I want to know what difficulties have you faced as a budding musician and producer?
Keeping the machines running and open for ideas.
And how would you describe your creative process? How critical do you feel about your own creativity?
There is a long process of making things before reflecting on it. It is more a constant intuitive creative process, and then a more passive reflection period...
Are there any music styles, sounds that you do not accept or just do not like?
It is always about the combination. There are some sounds that just falls out of place in the bigger picture. That is more annoying to me than a single sound that I don't appreciate as much. It is always about the content and what it means.
If we talk about spreading the music, how do you feel about that thing when independent musicians spread their releases for free download or the ability to make a donation?
As in our world value is measured in money. Every content and creative material producer should be payed in one was or the other. It is about the economy of life. Posting things for free creates an income on a some level then you should do it.
With the development of Internet and wide availability of various social networks, everyone can now feel closer to their idol. In some sense, you can watch every step and action of your favorite musicians. What do you think, what are the pros and cons in this for the artist?
Pantha Du Prince is a conceptual creation that has nothing to do with Hendrik Weber as a person. You can even go as far as saying my face as Pantha Du Prince is not the same as Hendrik Weber! Even though it is sort of similar.
How often do you visit gigs just as Hendrik Weber, the listener? What kind of gigs do you like to visit in general?
I go to Berghain and to the Berlin philharmonic as well as some punk and noise concert. I like different atmospheres for different phases in my life.
How did you meet and begin working with The Bell Laboratory? How and why did the idea of this collaboration come to your mind?
I was sitting at lunch in Oslo and heard this elaborate melody ringing throughout that came from the city's carillon. It was a very worldly moment. And I was interested in working with this instrument. It was a rather intuitive reaction to what I heard. There was a Norwegian curator Mattis with at this lunch suggested I could write something for this carillon and that is really how it all started. This was two years ago and it has been a long process of research and development. Since then together with Norwegian composer Lars Perter Hagen we tried to find musicians interested in bell and melodic percussion in general. The musicians involved are from all parts of the musical spectrum, both from the classical scene as well as people from jazz and black metal. It is the real combination of musical characters
Were there any interesting moments while working on 'Elements of Light' album?
it was too many. it was a really interesting process overall. there are moments on the album where you hear a group experience where everybody put in their sensibility and knowledge in creating intuitive melodies and patterns. especially the beginning and the end of Elements of Light" is a group performance played with handbells, where each musician hold two bells each and try to find a unplanned form of rhythm and melody. that was one of the more defining moments of the recording.
What are your expectations for ‘Elements of Light’ as for such a unique record?
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