Monday, June 21, 2010


Barnaby Oliver is a UK born composer and sound artist currently residing in Melbourne.  Amongst his many projects he includes Brenin – a mini-opera for BBC Wales inspired by the mythical Welsh ancestry of Elvis Presley.  His experience and influences are vast as he delves into sonic textures with intricate glee and precision.  His works are “arranged to bring attention to the beauty of a refrain, a note or even a moments silence”.  It is an act of pulling sophisticated sounds via unconventional sources and manners.

NP: Hello.  Who are you, where are you and how would you describe your music?
BO: I’m a British ex-pat living in Melbourne.

NP: How did you get involved in the Long Division With Remainders project?
BO: I sent some stuff to Justin a while back

NP: What approach did you take to remixing the tracks?
BO: It’s kind of a traditional remix in that I didn’t edit, sample or cut up the tracks, nor did I add anything that wasn’t there before.  I’m a big fan of Jamaican Dub and followed the same basic process of cutting bits out, then adding echoes, distortion, feedback and eq.  Having said that, the original tracks are pretty much pummelled into obscurity.

NP: How creative is the art of the remix?
BO: Potentially, very.  Reprocessing existing material has a long and distinguished history going back at least as far as Medieval times.  On the other hands it’s often a cynical attempt to wring as much money as possible from a track.

NP: What do you think you brought to the compositions?
BO: Echoes, distortion, feedback and eq.  And some digital silence.

NP: What is the best time, state and/or mindset for the listener to hear your work?
BO: Probably early to mid morning, like a blast of cold fresh air when you least expect it.

NP: How long did it take you to do your remixes?
BO: About an hour getting each one roughly done.  Then several more hours trying to get them that little bit better.

NP: Which instruments/equipment did you use?
BO: Apple Mac, mixer, Revox reel to reel.

NP: What is your all time favourite remix?
BO: A toss up between Michael Nyman’s music for The Draughtsman’s Contract (reworking pieces by Henry Purcell) or Lee Perry’s Original Blackboard Jungle Dub.

NP: What other music projects (past and present) are you involved in?
BO: Turn of the century alt space rock band Venus Ray.  The 17-piece Wall Of Electric Guitar Ensemble.  Audiovisual improvisers Infinite Decimals.  19 piece girl group juggernaut The Rebelles.

NP: Where are things heading?
BO: Everywhere.  In all directions.  At various speeds.


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