Derek Piotr continues his ‘Heroes’ interview series with Finnish audio sculptress Antye Greie-Ripatti aka AGF.
I am delighted to introduce Antye Greie-Ripatti, aka poemproducer, aka AGF. Antye and I have been friends for more than 15 years; her debut, Head Slash Bauch, exploded my brain and the way I perceived sound when I first heard it in 2008. Since then, Antye has produced and mastered records of mine, and has also made remixes and visuals for my work. Her practice outside of our friendship is so dizzyingly multifaceted I couldn’t even begin to list all the branches here, taking in stage production, poetry, calligraphy, global political networking, bioscience, folklore, and hip-hop. I share below one of our conversations as part of my Heroes Series. For clarity’s sake, the conversation has been lightly edited.
Derek: We've had so many conversations privately, everything from Madonna to Xenakis, but so rarely do we have any public conversations together – after almost 15 years! The first thing I want to ask you about is how you feel about the way both of our practices have changed? I would note that we've somewhat moved away from our own voices and into working on voices as a collective/curation = the "other" voice. Me with folk curation and fieldwork, and you with your work with REC:on and poetryseries. Do you notice this as an intentional change?
Antye: At the moment I am interested in social sound, in political sound, in listening and in a more total understanding of listening, going deeper into sound and grow with it – working for more than a decade with #sonicwilderness lead me to “growing with sound” …
A few years ago I was able to found a new space rec-on.org, receiving a grant to build it and building it since with many other incredible artists. I have a commissioning budget and I concentrate on women from regions that are less listened to or examplaratory work women do anyway… on a daily basis, that keeps us all alive or sometimes changes everything.
I set myself a task to observe-listen complexly and carve out audio formats and ways of expressing with sound and connection with research, identifying the neglect and go there, creatively, like a different category or way of dealing with the auditory. It is almost the opposite of the song, but it can be a song…
I am interested in music or sound production as a contribution to evolution…
I am very proud of the work we started doing with all these amazing artists. For example, Alyana Cabral in Manila or the collectivo lastesis from Chile or Linda from rural Zimbabwe or the amazing Sunaina Arya on her Dalit Feminist Theory and all others too. Each work is a world and accompanied with readers and context and links to already existing activism. I hope they are an inspiration.
In regards to the feminist poetry collections I started a new project, the 7th in the series with Vietnamese composers and feminists and it will also be a more collaborative project from the start.
When you talk about change, I don’t think my work changed so much after all, though. I just know so many more people now.
I am looking forward to making another solo record one day, an album, I am still negotiating what is needed out there and what I can do.
D: The thing I love most about your work is the intentionality of subtlety.
A: Thank you, I appreciate that.
D: The best records and works of music have this nuance, I think, and I try to keep it within my own work. How do you think social media, twitter, ADHD thinking, has destroyed this kind of nuance in audio? Can deep listening happen in the TikTok age?
A: Social media is communication while composition/music production is a craft quite away from it. Social media is also a tool to submit populations to control and abuse. Some artists perhaps feed off and into it but every musician, composer must make their own decisions on how to collide or interact with the audio/sound/music in social media. Now, I love language, voice and communication but that is not everyone’s focus.
I think everything can exist and mass culture is always mass culture. [It] retrieves an essence of what artists forever have crafted together. Mass culture assumes it is for the taking. I do not agree with that, but I love pop culture. I am not interested in participating in it too much – mainly because I can’t live this life of repetition and marketing, literally can’t get myself to do it, the commodification of being creative. But I like to communicate my process and everyone who follows me knows that. I think there are a million ways to find out how to participate in it.
But also one reason to start rec-on.org was to give something value that mass culture ignores.
One fun thing happened in recent years and has been a total surprise to me to see so many young young dancers or, assumingly, choreographers pick up my weird niche music to dance to in competitions, it makes me happy!
Derek Piotr is a folklorist, researcher and performer whose work focuses primarily on the human voice. His work covers practices including fieldwork, vocal performance, preservation and autoethnography; and is primarily concerned with tenderness, fragility, beauty and brutality. He has collaborated with artists including Scott Solter, Bobby McMillon and Thomas Brinkmann across various disciplines. His work has been supported by the North Carolina Folklife Institute, The Traditional Song Forum and The Danbury Cultural Commission, and has featured on Death is Not the End and BBC.
AGF aka Antye Greie-Ripatti a sound artist and electronic music producer. Her work inhabits an augmented space where pounding experimental after-techno, spoken word, abstract video art, feminism and radical ecology create a self-sustaining environment. Active since the early 90’s, she has collaborated with strong names in electronic music such as French pioneer Eliane Radigue, German legends Gudrun Gut and Ellen Allien, British avantgardist Kaffe Matthews, Finnish IDM treasure Vladislav Delay and classical composer Craig Armstrong.
Nikole Guzman in conversation with visual artist, singer-songwriter, and Prince collaborator Ingrid Chavez. Ingrid Chavez has always been undefinable. Among many other things, she’s a poet, songwriter, singer, […]