Supersonic Q&A no. 6: OREN AMBARCHI
Australian guitarist and sound designer Oren Ambarchi is performing at Supersonic 2011 in collaboration with the FIRE! trio of Mats Gustafsson from The Thing (saxophone/rhodes), Johan Berthling from Tape (bass) and Andreas Werliin from Wildbirds and Peacedrums (percussion). Originally a drummer, he came to the guitar by accident, investigating its sound properties rather than learning traditional techniques. A good entry point into his work is ‘Grapes From The Estate’ album (Touch, 2004), a masterful exploration of ambient guitar and electronics. More recently, he has collaborated with Stephen O’Malley and Attilar Csihar as Gravetemple.
1. Which five words describe what you know about Supersonic?
Lovely people and killer shows
2. What can people expect of your collaboration with FIRE! at the festival?
In all honesty I don’t know what to expect as the Supersonic show will be the first time we’ve worked together(!).
Additionally I’ll be flying all the way from Australia for 30+ hrs, landing at Heathrow, driving straight to Birmingham and hitting it immediately so…it should be awesome, hahaha. I must say that I’m a fan of all the guys in the band so I’m really excited to work with them.
3. Why make music – what does it do for you that nothing else does?
I often think about what drives us to do this stuff, this stuff that continually tortures & haunts us..(or me anyway as it can be a struggle at times). Mostly for me I think it’s the search for beauty/ecstasy. When I’m going for something & it doesn’t work, I can get super depressed for days. But when it ‘works’ there’s no other feeling that comes close and I’m always striving to get to this state again & again. I’m really addicted to it.
4. Who else on the bill are you hoping to see? (And why?)
Well, definitely Tony Conrad. I’ve seen him a number of times but I can’t get enough of his work, especially in a live context. He’s super important to me. Also totally psyched to see Cut Hands. I’m a huge Whitehouse/Bennett fan, I love the way he’s fused this ecstatic trance inducing voodou vibe with noise. There’s plenty of other friends playing at the fest who I’m looking forward to hanging with & listening to, there’s definitely a great breadth to all the lineups at Supersonic.
5. Finally, your essential ‘surviving-Supersonic’ items are…
Melatonin, ear-plugs, finding a decent restaurant (ahem) and a good single-malt.