113 - Silverhours
Artist Interviews 🎶 Studio Tours 🎛
Hello music people 👋
Today in the spotlight, Silverhours
Coming from England, he has a unique way of blending the digital with the acoustic world. Listen to his music, read his interview and get inspired 🎶
Interview & Studio Tour
Who are you and what is your relationship with music?
Hey, my name is Ilya and I am based in Ware, which is a town north of London. My music project is called Silverhours.
Music has always been my passion but what really boosted my creativity was Nick Cave covers' contest that he had on his BadSeedsTV YT channel during the lockdwn. I was so inspired by him choosing me one of 2 winners that I’ve decided to start writing my own songs again and this desire turned out into what I later would have named Madeleine Moment - my debut LP, which was released on June 9, 2023.
I have a full time job, that is why composing, arranging and recording the album has taken me almost 2 years, but I am so glad I could make it to the end.
I’ve also released the music video for my first single, Doldrums. Working with talented dancers and film crew was such a great experience for me.
Which piece of equipment in your studio is essential to your production process?
One of the key pieces of equipment during production of Madeleine moment was Hologram Electronics Microcosm pedal.
It has so many cool algorithms and if you use them wisely, the end result can be so pleasing. One thing about this pedal is that the sound is very pristine, so I often used Moogerfooger Midi Murf or Fairfield Circuitry Shallow Water to add a bit more texture to the sound.
What is the least expensive piece of gear that gave you the most results?
EHX SwitchBlade pedal.
I use it as a splitter and record 100% wet Delay/reverb FX directly into the preamp, also having the amp signal at the same time - saves lot's of time and very convenient for the mixing.
Walk us through your process for creating and producing music.
The most important piece of equipment for the creation process is my Gibson ES330. For me the song usually starts with some simple chords. If the songs sounds good on a guitar, it can sound fantastic when fully arranged.
So, once I have a skeleton, I usually throw some drum samples in my DAW and start thinking of arrangement. Often, if I have some new piece of hardware (a synth, a pedal etc), it can inspire the whole arrangement.
Once I’ve chosen the main element, i.e. the driving force of the song, I start filling in the space, but it is important not to overcomplicate the arrangement.
Silence is a very important element of the sound field for me.
Sometimes the arrangement comes very quickly, sometimes it takes me a while to find a right synth sound or guitar texture, but usually the first choice tends to be the best choice.
Another key decision I have to make is if the song is electronic or acoustic driven (or sometimes it can be both). I like mixing live drums with electronic percussion and acoustic instruments textures with ambient guitar FX and synth pads.
Pulsar-23 and Moog Matriarch played a big role in my music adventure with my debut LP.
What is a production technique that you always come back to?
I usually think of what the song would sound like if played by 5 people in the room.
Ιt is easy to put many layers and parts on top of each other but it is the beauty and creativity of each instrument part that I wanna have for each of the key elements of the song at the end.
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How would you describe your style?
Melancholy and sadness with a light of hope and joy.
What is a big challenge you have as an artist?
At the moment I only work as a studio artist and I’d like to perform live at some point because this is the fastest way to grow a fan base.
The biggest challenge is to come up with a live setup, find musicians who will be interested in playing my songs and rearrange them to fit whatever live setup we come up with.
Finding time to rehearse the songs is another challenge.
Has building a hardware setup changed your perspective on music or life in general?
Of course. Τweaking the knobs has some magic for me.
I cannot get the same satisfaction from noodling with the plugins, although for the stings and brass parts I am enjoying making the midi mockups with the help from Felt Instruments, Spitfire and MSS libraries before they are recorded by the real musicians.
Also, recording vocals and acoustic instruments through the hardware preamps is one of the best things I’ve tried in my home studio.
One tip on how to spark creativity?
Leave the city. Go to the forest or park or walk by the river.
Nature inspires lots of creativity
A book, movie, article, or album that has inspired you?
Korean movies are very good: Memories of murder, Burning.
I like listening to 20th century classical music: Stravinsky and Shostakovich are my favourite composers.
The Smile band (Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood and Thom Skinner). Anohni Latest LP - very beautiful music.
Anything else you'd like to say?
I have just finished rearranging the studio and invested in some new instruments (Buchla Easel and Fender Jazzmaster guitar) and currently doing the songwriting part for my next LP.
Where can people find more of your music and connect with you online?
Soundgas version of Grampian 636 and Grampian 636 prototype, made for Martin Hannett - they can add a lot of grit and character to any sound.
Revox - B77 - everything is better on tape!
Culture Vulture valve distortion unit - synth and drums saturator
Chandler TG2 stereo preamp -my go to preamp for electric guitars.
Roland - RE201 Tape Echo
1961 Gibson - ES330
1962 Jazzmaster (just got it and it will be main guitar for my second LP)
1976 Fender - Stratocaster
Roland - 707
Elektron - Analog Rytm MKII
Moog - DFAM
Guitar pedals and stuff:
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