DieSeele

The last season I discovered the music of ’DAY BEFORE US’and I was impressed ,especially by the last album ‘child of a new light’.In 12/05/14 the song ‘blood out of a mother’s breast’ featured ‘TRANSMISSION' radioshow.According to the band’s official page it's a microtonal,lyrical and dark ambient music project coming from old Europe.     

Philippe M. Blanche(instruments,electronics), Effrosyni Papamichalopoyloy(vocals,lyrics).                       

Welcome to the world of 'DAY BEFORE US’…  a discussion with Philippe is always interesting ..





Can you tell us a few things about the selection of the name DAY BEFORE US and the idea of the band?

Philippe: The origin of the band’s name comes from an old poem by the romantical female author Flower Adams. I’m sensitive to it because it draws a spiritual connotative meaning I was looking for to translate in words my aesthetic sensibility and the musical journey I want to express, a world made of ghostly evocations, a mythical time, the fundamental silence and a poetical dialectic around human finitude and its transcendence. The project was born in 2012. I previously made a few appearances in a collective work (based on avant-garde experiments), in the LP This crying era (from Nimh). I’ve decided to explore my own compositions to answer one question: how to use a musical language which could approach through melancholic imagination the primordial needs of the soul ?

Can you tell me a few words about your profil and especially for your music backround?How did Effrosyni and Philippe met each other?

Philippe: I’ve been initially trained in classical music, from (post) romanticism era (Rachmaninov…) to modern impressionism from Debussy, Satie and a few others. This is the reason why most of the pieces conceived for the project turn around the grand piano technique and narratives. I’m occasionally using various keyboards (synth, organ), samples, field recordings and effects to consolidate the musical architecture. This project was firstly designed in the continuation of traditional-neoclassical instrumental music. I rarely incorporated vocal elements (except some recitatives in my conceptual album “Autumnal Wandering” and in one title on “Misty shroud of regrets). With Effrosyni we at first step organized experiments based on materials I was working on at the moment (back in early 2013), I’ve rapidly felt seduced and convinced by her singing qualities and the emotional strength she develops…then the compositional alchemy worked naturally. We met online then a few times in real life.

Have you you collaborated with other bands and projects over these years?

Philippe: The historical course of this project is fundamentally articulated around exchanges with artists from various horizons. My first collaboration was with Nimh for a work produced by Rage in Eden. Giuseppe Verticchio encouraged me to explore this creative direction…I’m truly grateful to him because he was the first to believe in my potential and to adopt a real supportive attitude, still valuable along the years. I cooperated with a British duo (6&8) the past year for an album around sound poetries and glitch ambient, it was a nice experience, more electronic-tinged as well. Otherwise I can notice the presence of a few guest artists such as the minimal synth performer Oksana Rodionova (Xiu) or the sound lyricist Markus Pape.  

I think  there is a cinematographic atmosphere in your work. Are you in any other way related to the art of cinema?

Philippe: Art-cinema or what we commonly name the cinema of poetry has an enormous influence in my musical trajectory. I’m totally enthralled by the passionate mystical heroism we can detect in the work of Tarkovski, Vlacil, Parajanov or in the existential animation films of someone like Piotr Dumala. For soundtracks I’ve been working with the surreal painter Jana Brike for a couple of animation films. I feel an intimate relationship with this art form and the way it communicates originally to the heart and mind. 
  
I want you to describe with 2-3 words each one of your albums

Philippe: “Under Mournful Horizons” (2012) is a radically dark ambient musical inferno with some discreet neoclassical elements and bleak noisy touches. “Autumnal wandering (2013) is a more bucolic and dark romanticist soundtrack, purely acoustic with a few add of synthesized textures. This is a conceptual album about the German poetical weltschmerz. “Misty shroud of regrets” (2013) is the finest example of my music considered in its instrumental properties, long and languorous plaintive chants around the piano, field recordings and processed sound forms.  “Child of a new light” (2014) is the first album to introduce full vocal parts and lyrical ingredients. The aesthetic imagination of this last is turned to dream like scenes, enchantment and nature rituals. 

Tell us a few things about your new album. What is the prevailing theme?

Philippe: Conceptually this album is trying to make a bridge between Ancient Greece mytho-poetical world and the Western romantical exaltation. Both movements are aspiring to connect the human creature to the revelation of an ideal where the great Nature is at the same time a source of ecstasy and metaphysical fear. Musically speaking it will reveal new ideas with an inclination for dark ambient music, ritualistic in its form with neoclassical melodic idioms and a slight taste for the Ethereal wave. The album is in production. If nothing wrong it should be available very soon.






Nowadays with the spread of technology that has made the music production easier, a lot of groups are coming out..which are the ingredients that make your project unique?

Philippe: I’ve never been dependant to technologies in the compositional process. I would even prefer to compose and record only with a single voice and a piano. Technologies facilitate things, but these are optional and non essential. It scares me to think that many emerging bands are only creating albums based on softwares without using any real instrumental basis. For my humble opinion music should stay a craft based-artisanal thing based on self-discipline, devoted practice and intuitive imagination. Anyway those technologies can not restitute the delicate timbres and the varied tone colors of an acoustic instrument…even someone like Brian Eno develops a relative skeptical position about technological tools. I think that in a musical industry severely dominated by labels and subgenre categories, the stylistic autonomy is the best way to make one path durable, in stillness.

Nowdays , many bands promote their music  just uploading it on websites like youtube,soundcloud etc. Which are the advantages and  the disadvantages? Tell us your opinion.

Philippe: Hard to escape to networks and to those channels of communication when the musical creation is now completely globalized and flowing through spaces, just like capitals, ideas and other cultural products. Conceived as an instrument those one can be useful and a real chance for artists to enable their music to be listened by many and by a larger audience. On this side I’m an iconoclast, I don’t pay more attention to a top celebrity than to an unknown artist…renown and fame are a matter of visibility and opportunity, not based on an objective judgment. Thanks to those networks I discover plenty interesting bands and projects which are sometimes totally outside of the music business, deliberately. The bad let’s say effect is that the quantity of production which is now massive tend to “standardize” the sensibilities, tends to kill the appreciation and pleasure we have to generate a certain apathy. 
  
Any plans for gigs?A live performance requires more energy and stage presence.Is an ambient project  suitable for live performances?

Philippe: At the moment we don’t have any gigs plans. I’m not writing albums having those objectives in mind. After the launch of our upcoming release we are opened to suggestions if the context, environment and disposals to play are adequate to this type of music which is mostly suitable for “home listening” experience. Festivals and private live concerts may be two prior options.

Most influential bands-musicians?

Philippe: I’m  profoundly moved by musicians who have the capability to enlighten the depth of    our soul with mysteriously evocative and religious sound forms…I’m notably thinking about    representative figures of the holy / mystical minimalism like Arvo Part, Valentyn Sylvestrov, Henrik Gorecki, Erkki Salmenhara and a few finish composers from the Sibelius Academia. With respective cultural heritages their music is of great significance to understand the spirituality and the intangible in our problematic (post) modern times. I’m marginally inspired by other musical genres, from dark ambient, neofolk, to martial industrial music by Loki Foundation, Malignant Records (…)








What is the source of your creativity?

Philippe: I’m taking my creativity from “rimbaldian” visions, from the revolt of the soul, the oppressed secret world, any reflective experience which has the vocation to liberate us (metaphorically / symbolically) from the heaviness of our daily routine.  Art is one of the keys to renew with unity and with the secret self.

Tastes in art and literature?

Philippe: Anything related to the true, urgent and integral forms of poetical effervescence, from the Russian poets of the silver age (Alexander Blok…) to the federative and frenetic community of the “poètes maudits” from everywhere (Corbière, Chatterton, De Nerval, Trakl, Graneli, Campana, Kariotakis, Polydouri…). I cultivate also an interest for classical goth novelists (Ann Radcliffe, Matthew Gregory Lewis….) personalities of the philosophical anthropology despite that is not an unified school of thought (Klages, Scheler, Evola…) or from the philosophical skepticism (Leopardi…). Otherwise the list can go on regarding visual art matter, from early experiments in pictorialism art photography to poetical animation cinema.


Studio albums:
Under mournful horizons (2012)
Autumnal wandering (2013)
Misty shroud of regrets (2013)
Crystal sighs of a broken universe (2014)
EP:
Child of a new light (2014)

Websites:


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