Time Travel







An Interview with Richard Bone
(a site exclusive)

    Thank you Richard for taking time for a second interview. The last year has been busy for you with two CDs being released, one currently awaiting release and one about halfway completed. You have also begun creating videos to accompany several of your musical tracks. We'll start with your latest recording THE REALITY TEMPLES that was released June 2004.

MK: THE REALITY TEMPLES was a delight for fans and radio alike, obvious by its chart positions and most notably with its Nomination for the NAR 2004 Lifestyle Music Awards 'Best Electronic Album'. How did you feel about receiving that nomination?

RB: I was thrilled! The last time I was nominated for anything was in '79. It was the David Magazine Music Awards which recognized musicians in the South Florida area.
   I probably worked harder on The Reality Temples than any other work up to that point (perhaps I am becoming more meticulous as I move through my career because I feel I'm paying even closer attention to every detail of the Saiyuji project) so having the work recognized meant a great deal.

MK: Currently awaiting release is your ambient recording THE SERENE LIFE OF MICROBES, the follow-up to 2002’s INDIUM expected to release this fall on Electroshock Records.  INDIUM contained your first long-form ambient piece, “Indium Part II” that was 30 minutes in duration. Will there be anything similar on THE SERENE LIFE OF MICROBES? How will it compare musically with INDIUM?

RB: No, not at all. As a card carrying member of the Short Attention Span Alliance, I've always felt that if a musician couldn't convey an idea within 5-10 minutes one should seek the assistance of an editor! As I've said before, I basically write with "pop" sensibilities and appreciate work with defined structure and parameters. Anybody can twiddle knobs for 45 minutes. The only reason Indium part 2, which is actually three distinct 10 minute pieces put together, ran for 30 minutes is that it was created as a live performance piece designed to accompany its video. I suppose you could say the overall mood of Microbes is a bit darker than Indium.

MK: Your work in progress - SAIYUJI - is the final disc in the trilogy that began with DISORIENT.  How would you describe what we might expect in terms of theme, mood and overall scope of this recording?

RB: Saiyuji, which is named after an ancient Buddhist temple in Singapore, was never really intended to be part of a trilogy. I didn't even realize what I was creating until it was pointed out to me. It began with the working title of Tales from the Analog Attic because I had bought several old analog sound modules. Primarily a Roland 8080 and a few other smaller pieces. So the new work has been created with mostly analog modeling synths and will have less of the middle eastern flavor of Reality Temples (although there is still a bit of that flavor as well as quite a few backwards loops). Because I was recording the entirely ambient Serene Life of Microbes at the same time, I wanted to try and bridge the gap between the two distinct styles in which I work (ambient and rhythmic).

MK: How are you feeling about how the new recording is progressing?

RB: As I mentioned, I seemed to be paying an incredible attention to detail. These days it's not unusual for me to spend a week searching for one sound or part that may only last a few seconds within the song. Other than that it's still the usual process of creating for me: first elation with the new idea, then frustration as I work towards completion. This is followed, about a week after the final mix, by "what have I done? this is surely a career killer" and then eventually a sense of satisfaction and pride. Sometimes, however, that feeling of satisfaction and pride does not occur. That is my inner signal to discard a track.

MK: You have mentioned you plan to include videos for several of the tracks on both SAIYUJI and THE SERENE LIFE OF MICROBES. What inspired you to begin creating videos?

RB: Simply that I couldn't find anyone with whom I could create videos. A matter of "I guess I'll just have to do it myself." Now I find I am addicted to the video processors and look forward to creating visual interpretations of some of my music!

MK: You stated in our first interview that your compositional process begins with meditation. How does your visual creative process come about? Do you first create the music and then the video, vice versa or do they happen more or less simultaneously?

RB: Usually I've been completing the music first, then adding the audio to the video editor followed by experimentation with different footage. However, as an exercise, I recently created a video using only an 8 second repeating loop of a rose unfolding. Then I transferred the video to my Clie handheld, placed it on the keyboard and composed music specially for that image. The result is the track "By Any Other Name." The video will, most likely, be included on Saiyuji.

MK: Any plans in mind of what might be on the horizon after SAIYUJI has been completed?

RB: Yes, a Mediterranean cruise in October!

MK: What kind of equipment are you currently using for your recordings? Any specific or preferred samples?

RB: Primarily using the Roland 8080 & 1080. Novation A & K Stations, a Korg Triton and  the tiny new Alessis Micron. The samplers  are all vintage Akai with the exception of an old Roland S-10 sampling keyboard.

MK: What have you been listening to lately?

RB: While working on The Serene Life of Microbes I was listening almost exclusively to vinyl by Todd Dockstader, Milton Babbit and other early electronic works from the 1960s. These days, when I'm working in the office before heading up to the studio, I've been playing Ian Brown's Solarized (I love the way that disc is recorded) as well as the new disc from Athlete, Tourist. Also, one of the LPs that formed my opinions about composition and style in the psychedelic 60's was just released on CD. Chrysalis' "Definition" still has the power to move me with its songs. In fact, even 30 years after its release, I must listen to it from time to time. So with the CD release I've been playing that disc repeatedly as it contains several unreleased tracks. The other unrecognized little jewel from the psychedelic era which I've been revisiting lately is the Bee Gee's first LP. It's a gem. Oh yes, Al Gromer Khan's new one "Tantra Electronica" is a delight!

MK: Is there anything you would like to add or elaborate on that we haven’t mentioned above?

RB: Just that I'm having a craving for chocolate peanut butter ice cream and must depart!!!!!!!!!!!

MK: Thank you once again Richard for taking time to keep us updated about your current projects. We'll be looking forward to the next update!

(This interview was concluded May 1, 2005)