CONVERSATION BETWEEN TOMI YARD
Tomi Yard is my friend, but also a lonely extremely talented & underrated musician.
Met him influenced my perception of music and my way of making it.
His last album called "IDYS JIVZ" is available here : TOMI YARD BANDCAMP
I liked music, it made me travel, dream.
It allowed me to extract myself from my environment and strangely it always seemed familiar to me even if my parents weren't listening music.
My grandma Annie was listening music and knew well to talk about it.
One day I had Soundforge and I sliced drums on an instrumental if I remember well, and I've tried to make something with it.
Just after that I came to Reason and started to make some 1bar loops haha.
I didn't knew anything about theoretical things. So I've just tried until I managed to get correct things to make rap on it !
Yes but I was more trying it.
We couldn't understand anything of what I was saying.
No not at all. I've stopped after Cosmogonie.
Probably someone talked me about it. Because at this moment I wasn't researching anything on internet. I already had enough things to discover by myself.
I've frequented a bit the "milieu".
Made some gigs and shared some albums.
It allowed me to understand that it wasn't for me.
I had research to do.
I didn't want to repeat myself just to please to other. In studio or on stage.
So I did what I had to do, I worked deeper.
Studying music is the only thing I'm interested in, Because by this way I can understand the world.
Until I realised that when I was making music days & nights at home I was feeling good and when I had to participate to the big masquerade it was more a frustration source than other thing.
So naturally I moved off.
I consider my live exactly like that. disguised and masked. Sometimes I go to gigs, but not often. I really enjoy it, but frequently I feel like it's not the right moment or rather the fact that there is a "rendez-vous" is a source of an internal conflict for me.
For exemple I can see a live that I find really cool while telling myself it's not the right moment for me to listen this.
Like it's too early or too late, I'm excited but we have to stay calm and sit or the opposite.
I want to lie on the floor in the middle of people but they are too hot.
And often the listening conditions are not so good or rather are terribly missing some finesse.
Also, often the live transitions are too short.
Yes, I see.
In any case what is certain to me is that everything is tidy, each in its shelf.
You can find every style of gig, but rarely mixed.
And when it is, most of time we pass an extremely cool moment.
Considering that everything is waves, there are frequencies, periods, harmonics, delays, flangers, phasors, distortions and all kind of filters everywhere.
By studying music, we can often find easy correlations.
A huge toolbox for comunication and comprehension.
Ideal to transcribe subtle emotions.
And the ways I'm passing by are adventures travels that allows me to also understand how I operate myself.
It didn't makes me taking the decision, but the fact that I didn't play that game pushed me out by necessity, therefore off topic for them haha.
We can say that you need a full pack.
Even a mixtape in addition to an album since some years haha.
You have to do marketing.
And at this level we are far away from music.
And at another universe from the music I'm talking about.
Yes, ignoring them. I'm not interested anymore about music industry.
Last effort in date was for IDYS JIVZ, the reslult was more an anxiety source than other thing.
I don't worship computers, I like hardware, I also think that involve body to a creating process can be useful.
However dedicated system like synths and drumbox are production tools, so like all tools they are limited version of possibilities. Which can be suitable for some people.
But I need to understand how things works and to me it's passing often by practicing.
So I study the functions of certains synths, I try to reproduce them in Ableton and in general when I finish, I have the equivalent without the bulk.
I like building my own tools. I was prototypist before, making tools dedicated to making other tools to make things after is probably 70% of this work. It's stayed, I like that.
About cluttering and cost I think I would always favor computers. However there are things you can't reproduce in digital synthesis like octavers, or beautiful distortions (many time pretty shitty because of the sample rate if I'm not wrong).
And for body's involving, some controllers existing but above all, it's possible to get really fucked up sounds with a bit of exploring and one or two microphones.
And if I really want to play with a specific instrument, there is always a way to get it for a short period.
Using computer this way allows you to recall projetcs and presets in two seconds, wich is really comfortable, and multiply every module by X, which allows you to discover many bad ideas.
And this is how you made a Buchla haha !
Maybe you should build your own useful midi controller.
I didn't find what should I need for the moment, because my process is always changing.
You have to seriously define your needs for building a tool.
I will inquire about the Organelle.
Clearly to me, it's only about interface between human and machine.
So programming yes.
We already have an amazing sound panel today, but with controller tools, innovative playing, we can go even further.
More the time is short between envy and execution, more we can focus on the present time.
Like on a trip where you create incredible music, you have to find a way to make it audible for the rest of the world.
Yes and even before it was a defined idea, many emotional things already happened.
It's a form of economy yes, economy of space, weight, expense, movement. It gives you even more time to focus on music.
This requires a certain hygiene around optimisation that suits me well.
Hi Tomi, first thing I would like to ask how did you discovered the fact that you can create music by yourself ?
Because you already told me that your parents didn't even listen some music, and I remember how I struggled discovering it myself.
Haha you made rap ? funny !
I see, I've myself started with Garageband because it was a builtin software of apple computers and I was trying to make hip hop beat too. There was sample banks everywhere I was just managing to put them together and see what happened. I wasn't creating anything.
Do you still use Reason ?
How did you find Ableton Live ? On internet or someone introduced it to you ?
In your music career, at a precise moment you made an hard turn, aproximatly when you were about to start a pretty well career that many of young musicians still dream about today.
What happened in your mind ?
That's strange, you see your live on stage like a masquerade ? however sometimes you are going to a live gig isn't it ? And you like it ?
Therefore when you come to a gig you consider that you are going to a masquerade that makes you happy ?
I agree with you about transitions. I think it's a part of all things which frustrates me
and I can't distinguish it from a contemporary consumption form. We want all and right now. I feel that this is how most of music organisations are working, public must not be bored, they want to capture 100% of attention, as if it was money. And it breaks many possibilities.
Sometimes when I play live, I feel like I'm not allowed to do certain things. Or that most of people don't want to discover but rather to be rocked you know ?
Curiosity is rarely in the center. Particularly with students.
Yes, progressive linup are also annoying me. So I imagine that moments and places you like the most are when you see something you don't understand ? when you are bullied by an artist choice completely freed ?
And when artists themself are doing only what they want without altering their feelings to please others ?
Like Rave party's ?
Just before, you talked about understanding the world trough music.
Can you explain yourself ?
regarding to your background and your "shifting away", I would like to know if the personality cult helped to take this decision ? Because it's the most disgusting thing in music to me.
For exemple recently, one of the big names of French musical media retracted from an interview demand because I refused being photographed. This type of things bugs me. It's like they're forgetting they are talking about music...
I think we are talking about the same music. Anonymity appears to me like the only solution to keep the music in the center. To be here only for it. And fight against this ego system.
Did you find another solution ?
About Ableton Live, I think you are the best user I know. Since you make music, have you ever be interested by synthesizers and had a desire to fill a studio with full hardware gear ? Or did you always worshipped computers ?
Since I build synths, the actual synth market frustrates me alot. Recently I went to a shop for testing something I was curious about, and finally said to myself that I can do better.
As you said, limits can be suitable for some people, but when we are at a state that we can understand 100% of the functionalities of a synthesizer that we don't know, if something we really need is missing, we immediately know it.
During long time I had many gear, but it was because I didn't understand how they were working.
Now I have needs and precise researchs, and I understand the inside of a synth. There are too many things I miss and I'm always frustrates by the synth market.
But I've sometimes the feeling that I need a synth I made with Ableton or MaxMSP in hardware, to get this relation to the body.
Yes for exemple. But finally I did the same as industry is doing now, I reproduced something already existing in a tiny format.
There is also something strange in synth industry, it's the fact that all of them are only reproducing synths that were already made many years ago. Almost only analog things when it's not about the DX7.
However in digital synthesis and music in general, everything still has to be done. We are at the dawn of new possibilities, new textures. There is a sort of conservatism in all of that which makes that we denigrate or ignore it for futile or fake ideas.
Even the new digital synths released today on the market are the same than yeterday, just tinier.
To me, one of the best hardware synth you can afford today is the Organelle.
Do you think the new engineers who will upset music are programmers at home ?
Like when Don Buchla was tinking in his garage ?
(and was sleeping in the grass under the stars in front of it.)
More the time is short, you mean between your idea and the moment when this idea is in place ?
Also, I wanted to know, do you see a relation between minimalism and the fact that you can do everything in Ableton Live ?
In the image mainly, being able to carry an entire professional music studio in a plastic bag.
Because I've always been fascinated by tiny things, and since I'm starting to think that Ableton Live + Max for Live are the best tools for me and I can do everything using both, I see my computer in another way. Really like an instrument, and a studio at the same time.
One last question, I've just finished an album using only Operator in Ableton as my sound source.
If you have to make an album using only one instrument, which one would you choose ?