103 - Sizalyth
Artist Interviews 🎶 Studio Tours 🎛
Hello music people 👋
Today in the spotlight, Sizalyth
Coming from England, a composition student with a focus on contemporary classical music creating electronic music aspiring to be music producer for games and films 🎶
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Who are you and what is your relationship with music?
Hello! I am a Japanese-Welsh music producer currently based in London. I'm currently a third year undergraduate composition student studying contemporary classical music and film scoring.
My relationship with music goes back to my piano lessons I had as a child. I always enjoyed listening to all sorts of genres - from Tchaikovsky's ballet music to Rhianna.
I didn't even think of making music until I was 15. This was when I discovered Skrillex for the first time. His music blew my mind at the time, and I was fascinated by his computer screen when it appeared on one of his interview videos. I installed the trial version of Ableton that day and my music making journey started from there.
After a couple of years, I started taking part in instrumental writing, which lead me to the decision to study at a classical conservatoire. Although I am passionate about electronic music, working with live players is an invaluable experience that I wouldn't be able to get otherwise, so I decided to pursue a degree in instrumental composition instead of electronic music. Nevertheless, in my spare time I make electronic music and post it on Instagram and Soundcloud, and I'd love to be a music producer for game/films while also self-releasing my own stuff!
Which piece of equipment in your studio is essential to your production process?
And I definitely need a piano too. But, sometimes not using the piano enables me to get out of the pitch oriented structure and focus more on elements such as quality of the sound I'm using.
I also love using Korg Volca Modular and connecting whatever instruments I have (eg: Kalimba and harp) through mic and applying effectors (on DAW).
What is the least expensive piece of gear that gave you the most results?
M-Audio Trigger Finger (for it’s simple live performances and faders are useful for midi automations)
Walk us through your process for creating and producing music.
When creating a track, I frequently start by finding a sound texture/character of sound that I resonate with.
Or, I listen to a track by other artists and pick out the things I really like in their music.
Then, I try to make a track copying the elements I like and develop them in my own way. After this starting point of inspiration, I try to map out the overall structure, asking questions such as: What is the main theme? How long will it be? What kind of sections can be inserted to make a contrast? I try to also be aware of tension and release - where to create a climax and how to build up towards that.
After this planning, I try to 'fill out' the mapped canvas I had created. I try to mix as I go too rather than having a separate mixing session after.
What is a production technique that you always come back to?
Resampled reverb reverse effect (always use it in some ways to build tension and transitions)
Randomising (using the random function on 'Midi expression control' or 'Arpeggiator' devices in Ableton and assigning them to different parameters like sound decay and filters help to make the sounds more human)
Volume automation! (makes such a difference)
How would you describe your style?
I'm still exploring a lot, but I'm often inspired by the world of internet and digital technology. It's an area that fascinates me.
I recently composed a piece inspired by augmented reality (called 'eternal chandelier') for piano, flute, and electronics featuring Hatsune Miku (the virtual singer). In that work, I created an augmented reality video that accompanies the performance.
I have a couple of beats on my instagram where I sample social media sounds and Windows XP sounds too.
What is a big challenge you have as an artist?
One of my biggest challenges is creating order.
I often end up making my music sound too chaotic without a recognizable theme, or the pace of the music (ideas coming one after another all the time). I'm trying to get out of making my music sound too mechanical, and attempt to clarify my ideas. To do this, my approach is setting up a plan and view across the whole structure before acting on the idea and start producing bar to bar.
One tip on how to spark creativity?
Absorbing things - going to concerts, events, talks, meeting new people, watching a film… All these stimulating things help me a lot.
A book, movie, article, or album that has inspired you?
All About Lily Chou-Chou (movie), Serial Experiment Lain (anime), and all the music production and artist interview articles I've came across! (Interviews on FutureMusic <3, OneThing episodes, MISOGI & Arca twitch streams)
Where can people find more of your music and connect with you online?
My social media handle is @sizalyth !
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