Interview for ArtPit organization

11 sep 2012

Written by Grete Kaulinyte. You can read original interview at ArtPit's website.

"In the beginning you might find yourself surrounded by winds and fog. Then transferred to the forests, whitened by the moonlight, dusty factories or empty roads. You immerse into his music like into dark cold water. At first skin tingles and itches, but then this water becomes so pleasant, so familiar that you don't want to get back to the land. Never again. Meet Rasul Mono. The ambient wizard from Tatarstan."

- Grete Kaulinyte

The Beginning

I've always wanted to do something special, to have a great hobby. During the university period I started to play keyboard in a rock band. It's a pity that I wasn't really playing, just pressing the right keys. It was rather an exciting activity for killing the infinity of time all students have. Then my first musical ideas appeared, but it was difficult to materialize them in that band so during the free time I started to learn how to work with different kind of software and sound editors with vst plug-ins.

Discovery

The real enthusiasm grew in me when I immersed into the field of ambient. I remember myself bringing some CDs to a friend to listen to some ambient and shoddy electronics, which were made in a hurry during the period of discovery. Now I couldn't even say what music it was and what kind of quality it had because CDs have not been preserved, but I'm sure that is for better.

After a year and a half of playing in the band I collected some matter, which I wanted to combine with vocal. It was hard to find a vocalist, but finally I succeeded. We started to record music at home and made a demo, which consisted of darkwave and ethereal music tracks (we liked gothic sounds back then, because we thought that it was deep and daedal music). In 2007 we stopped making demo and then I started my next personal neoclassical music project under a pen name Quentaro.

Quentaro

Inspired by the work of "Dead Can Dance", "Arcana", and "The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath A Cloud", I was creating music from the sounds which were already existing. It was amazing. The music from all around the world, from the bowels of the earth, the pages of history in my track sound editor. These were songs in songs. Sounds in sounds. The first album (self-release) "People on the horizon" received good reviews from a musician I respected so I continued as long as free time was not quite enough.

For me Quentaro was like a deep cave filled with gems of history and the spirits of time. A segmental but metaphysical view. Like a personal bridge to the land where the majesty of gods and the power of nature are still valued, where life is filled with feats or perfidy, where spirits are visible to the curious people and earth is full of bones.

Authorship

Even though Quentaro was created by me I cannot say that this music belongs to me. The creator of such music is faceless, this is the universe and time which speak through him (even if this might sound pathetic or stupid to you). Music is only a form. And Rasul Mono is totally different. Creating as Rasul Mono I do what I want to do, doesn't matter if it's right or wrong.

The meaning of "Silhouettes"

"The last album "Silhouettes" has been in the process of creation for 2.5 years. It is mentioned that this album is an expression of feelings, memories, day-to-day activities, thoughts. It looks like it includes the whole period of artist's life."

- Grete Kaulinyte

The album has really covered the whole period, but there is nothing spcial about this period. There was a lot of work and boredom, little time, ordinary days, ordinary life - nothing interesting. I did not have enough time for Quentaro (because it demanded total immersion) so I tried to compensate my desire of creation by large amounts of design work. Rasul Mono emerged due the lack of something special in life.

At that time I was deeply influenced by some ambient music artists. Works of "Inventors of Aircraft", "Herzog", "Marcel Turkowsky", "Phillip Weigl" made my life tangible again. All of these people make incredible music: incredible in its beauty, its depth and unusual properties. I should thank them for making ambient so special to me. Each track of "Silhouettes" was released only after the certain emotions or thoughts in me had reached the limit and turned into music on their own. Each piece is inspired by a particular topic, something concrete. It means a lot to me. Of course, none of the topics is so particularly intimate, I'm aware of the fact that the listener might as well find different meanings and different topics expressed in songs.

Rasul Mono as a project and "Silhouettes" as its reflection are important for me even for the fact that they exist. There is life with all its cares and responsibilities, weekdays, selected or imposed roles, masks for different situations. And then there is Rasul Mono, something purely subjective and extremely personal. Above all, the existence of it saves me from withering. It's like tattoo hidden under a business suit. Natural for the owner. Invisible to others.

Why it is great to work alone

It has been like this from the very beginning. Different preferences in a rock band, difficulties finding like-minded in Quentaro, working with vocalists. It is much easier and enjoyable to do everything by myself. Apparently, I am not a team player. Maybe I am even obsessed with individualism. Now when I'm working, I do not have to worry about anything, neither the timing nor the expectations, hopes or calculations. This is an entirely personalized project. There are some things which are trying to escape from me, they are looking for the escape, so I let them go. I don't worry about the amount of my listeners.

But with all the striving for independence, little would be achieved without external support of colleagues and the audience. Kind words, comments and criticism are very important. A simple "cool sound, man" gives a superhuman strength for further work.

The importance of music and visuals

"Rasul Mono isn't only a musician. He also works with graphic design and experiments with photography."

- Grete Kaulinyte

Both things are important even though I spend more time on design. It brings me money to live on. However recently I began to make illustrations just for myself. As always, I was inspired by the work of colleagues. Ha, it turns out that I'm easily influenced by works of others! Photography is a new hobby. I never had an interest in it until I've heard about analog photography. Shooting on film is very exciting so now I often take camera with me. Usually it's Diana Mini (I'm delighted with this little beauty).

Visuality of music

"The last album "Silhouettes" has been in the process of creation for 2.5 years. It is mentioned that this album is an expression of feelings, memories, day-to-day activities, thoughts. It looks like it includes the whole period of artist's life."

- Grete Kaulinyte

Most often sound provokes images but it's rather a property of ambient, not my merit. For me, images usually don't turn into any kind of sounds, drawings, design works or photos. They just stay somewhere in my mind shaping me from inside.

Inspiration

When I'm working with designs and I see people doing something stylish, the desire to create something on my own starts growing inside me until I'm not able to stifle it and have to create something. The situation it's pretty much the same with music. It's enough to see ordinary everyday things in different way if you want to get inspired. For example, fry an egg under the early morning noise outside the window and you might hear a complete ambient track with it's crackling backround and din noise. I think it's important to look for inspiration in everyday things. They can easily turn into the music or image.

"A few minutes of this music can bring you back to starry, cloudy and mossy worlds. It doesn't matter if you want it or if you don't - you turn into a state of being just half awake. Consciousness is tired, subconsciousness isn't. This is when all the spirits from the past come back: shadows of ferns, which look so similar to the monsters with strange haircut, lustrous fairies fly out of the lamp, and turn into simple moths which you hate so much. And then there are ghosts of your memories, trembling and frozen ghosts of the past, which like to spend the night sleeping next to you."

- Grete Kaulinyte
"Shhh, there are no ghosts there. It's only Rasul Mono."

- Grete Kaulinyte

Written by Grete Kaulinyte. You can read original interview at ArtPit's website.

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