Foto: Ana Alex Tabatadze (Ketev)
He considers his work to be fluid, tells us Yair Elazar Glotman, and that is not only true in terms of style. Glotman seems to overflow with creativity lately, having put out three records in 2014, collaborating with Emptyset’s James Ginzburg on one in the same year and releasing another just last year before making his return with I Know No Weekends, his third album under the moniker KETEV. We caught up with Glotman to talk about his work, Joseph Beuys and field recordings. Listen to “Lightning” from I Know No Weekend below our interview.
You have been trained in Classical and Jazz music, but nowadays work mostly electronically. How did you get into making electronic music and how does your training influence your work as a producer?
The main influence is having a reasonable amount of discipline, music theory and history, and having trained hearing abilities. I’ve been lucky enough to have played in different disciplines and various contexts, which all inform the ways I think and experience music. When playing an instrument such as a contrabass, whether it’s in Classical music context or Jazz, you are usually dependent on other musicians, since contrabass is in those settings mostly an accompanying instrument. at a certain point it was important for me to be independent and to be able to work alone, and in terms of content my interests shifted towards more abstract forms and textural materiality. At that moment, electronic music production was inspiring to me for creating a wider and more abstract sonic world to work in. I am however still going back and forth and each project reflects differently on these backgrounds. I aim to keep my practice dynamic and these are all rich worlds that I continue to take and learn from.
Apart from your releases on labels like Opal Tapes under your KETEV moniker, you are also active as a sound designer and composer for different arts like cinema or dance and have released records under your own name on labels like Subtext. Where do you draw the lines between those activities, how is your output as Ketev different from what you do when scoring a film?
For my KETEV project I was interested in the possibilities of using a pseudonym and the certain freedom it may provide. It allows you to adopt languages and tools which are “foreign” to my everyday practice. it’s a way to try and step out of your head, so that you’re able to observe and have an “outsider’s view” on how I am working and thinking. However, I feel that the core of all of my projects is similar,even when I compose music for other mediums and collaborate. Sometimes there are even overlaps; they both deal with similar ideas but approach them with different ways of execution. I see my work as fluid and I’m open about letting the different projects develop naturally. I think that it is very possible that they will either collide or diverge into further projects, or just dissolve.
Your new LP is called I Know No Weekend in reference to Joseph Beuys. What exactly is the connection there?
I am really inspired by all of Beuys’s work, mainly his installation pieces. the new “I Know No Weekend” LP is actually compiled of compositions that are between an homage and an accompanying soundtrack to specific pieces by beuys. My aim was to create a kind of narrative progression in his still pieces, to stretch their time into music. I was very influenced by his unique materiality and try to connect to the images remaining from his actions or sculptures.
I Know No Weekend features a lot of field recordings. Where did you record those and what kind of function do field recordings have in the context of your record?
I used a lot of my own personal archived field recording as source material for this album specifically. I’ve been collecting recordings for a long time now but they are featured more distinctly here than before. For me, sounds are a better documentary and triggering material than images. They can record an event but still leave it open to interpretation – I’m drawn to looping these materials and stretching them out of their original memory.
Stream: Ketev – Lightning
Ketev – I Know No Weekends (Portals Edition)
02. Stripes From The House Of The Shaman
03. Lightning With Stag In Its Glare
05. Table With Acumulator
06. The End Of The Twentieth Century
07. Women : Animal Skull
VÖ: July 2016