IN THE MIDST OF A VERY BUSY YEAR, MULTI-INSTRUMENTALIST AND COMPOSER PETER BRODERICK PUTS HIS LUGGAGE DOWN FOR A QUICK LOOK BACK ON HIS PROMISING DEBUT AND WALKS US THROUGH A DAZZLING GALLERY OF PROJECTS.
Captn: “4-Track Songs” is being released on Type. You recorded this song collection back in 2006. Do you feel like a lot has changed for you since then, or does it seem like only yesterday?
Peter: It’s funny, because I only made this music three years ago, but it feels like much longer. So many things have happened in my life since I made that music, and at that time, my own music was only something I did for fun on the side. I never thought I might be able to release records on my own and make a career out of it… When I hear that music now, it’s hard for me to believe that I made it. It’s almost a bit embarrassing actually, but I also like how raw the music is, and I’m happy that Type has reissued it.
Captn: Your roll-out of releases for 2009 is quite impressive. How do you manage so many projects? Do you write and record songs 24/7? How many ghostwriters do you have, and/or do you ever sleep?
Peter: Sleep is something I could probably use a lot more of. These last couple years have been incredibly busy, and in general I’m pretty exhausted sometimes. But I make music whenever I can! I think it’s what keeps me going. And I often work very quickly. I like to work in many different ways. Sometimes spending a lot of time on something in a studio, and sometimes making things really quickly on my computer with the minimal equipment I have. For instance, the music on Five Film Score outtakes was recorded really quickly before I left for an extended North American tour. I set up one microphone on the piano and recorded some improvisations, and then quickly recorded some improvisations on a few other instruments, and then I brought all the files with me on the road, and did all the mixing and assembling in the tour van, with my laptop and noise-canceling headphones. So I’m always working on things!
Captn: “Blank Grey Canvas Sky” is coming out in October on Fang Bomb. What can you tell us from your collaboration with Machinefabriek?
Peter: I am really happy about this one. Over the last couple years, Machinefabriek has become one of my favorite artists, period. Everything he does, from the music, to the design, to the amount of things he releases, his website, etc. In my eyes he is a completely unique artist, and I have so much respect for what he does. In addition to that, he’s one of the most amazing, positive, and energetic people I’ve ever met. A short email from Rutger (Machinefabriek) always puts a smile on my face and makes my day brighter. That said, making an album with him was an amazing experience for me. I would record different things and send them over to him (by email), and he would work on it and send it back. Every time he sent something back to me I was blown away. It felt like he took my music and turned it into something much more interesting, in a way that I could have never imagined in my musical brain. I think we have very different approaches to music, and when you combine them, for me it turns into something very special. So I’m really happy about this album. Sadly we’ve had some problems with the master, so it might be delayed a few weeks now, but I look forward for it to be released!
Captn: What about your remix/letter to Balmorhea, which is just out?
Peter: Haha, I don’t think there’s too much to say about that one. Michael and Rob from Balmorhea are two of my favorite people in the world, and great friends. I think the concept of “remixing” music is quite strange, especially when I think the music is already perfect (and I think this about theirs). So when they asked me to contribute to this remix project, rather than sit there spending a lot of time trying to figure out how to approach their remix, I just started recording, and this is what came out…
Captn: You’ve been travelling/touring a lot for the last 2 years. Where do you consider “Home” now?
Peter: Well, at the moment I’m between Copenhagen, Berlin, and Portland, Oregon. My things are scattered all over the place, and I’m really working hard to try and find a place where I can settle for a while. I think the most honest answer to where my home is, is probably in my suitcase at the moment. Sad but true. But someday I’ll have a home!
Captn: You wrote soundtracks to a short film and a dance creation already. Would you be interested in composing a feature film score? If yes, which director would you work with in your wildest dreams?
Peter: I love to work with filmmakers and different kinds of artists to make music. It always encourages me to try something new, and that’s very valuable to me. If I could choose one artist to work with, it would probably be Miranda July. If she made another film and I got to make the music for it, this would be my dream collaboration. She is an incredible artist, and so inspiring. Actually once I sent her a fan letter (a real letter, not an email). I spent a lot of time putting it together, and mailed it off feeling really embarrased about it. I never heard anything back. So I don’t think we’ll be collaborating any time soon ;-)
Captn: Owen Pallett of Final Fantasy tweeted you “World’s best looper”. What do you think? And who would you pick for world’s best looper?
Peter: This is crazy. One of my friends forwarded that Tweet to me. I’m stunned by that. Owen Pallett is amazing, and I was really nervous about playing that night with him, because he is who I would consider to be the best looper! So to hear this from him is a real honor.
Captn: Can you tell us a few words on your current recording sessions with Efterklang? What should we expect from “Parades“‘ successor? Will you keep touring with them despite of your numerous projects?
Peter: I am -really- excited about the new Efterklang album. Those guys are my heroes, and they always will be. There is still a lot of work to be done on the album, so I don’t think I should say too much yet. I will say that I think it’s very different for them. But in the best way possible. I will continue to play with them as long as I can! At this point I’m not ready to say goodbye to them and focus only on my solo music. I love having both. So at this point I do everything I can to keep Efterklang a top priority in my schedule.
Captn: Any details about what will be your next full length album? When should it come out? On which label? Will it be song-oriented or rather instrumental?
Peter: I am working on my next album for Bella Union right now. It’s quite far from being finished, but I think it will most likely be out next Spring. The main difference this time around is that I’m actually spending a lot of time on it. All my other albums have been made really quickly, in focused, condensed periods of time. For once I’m taking some time to really work on something, and I think that’s good. It’s more challenging in a way, because as time goes by, I start to doubt my own ideas, and I try to rework them. There are already three songs on the new album which I’ve recorded two times. After a while the first version wasn’t working to me any more, so I started over with a different approach. And it’s also the first album where I’m not placing any limits on myself. It is mostly song oriented, but there are a lot of strings and piano, etc., and a lot of extended instrumental passages. I think that’s about all I can say now, because I’m still not sure where it’s going! My friend Nils Frahm is producing the album. I’ve been getting to know him really well in the last six months, and I trust his ears so much. He has a great impact on this album, because he has been there almost the whole time, contributing ideas and playing piano, etc.
Captn: Any other projects you are working on or are looking forward to and which you would like to mention?
Peter: There is one thing. There’s a lovely record label from Belgium called Slaapwel, which only releases music to sleep to. They asked me to make a contribution sometime last year, and I immediately said I’d love to. For many years I have often fallen asleep to my favorite music. Not so much these days because I’m always traveling and sleeping in hotels, etc., but when I had my own home I always listened to music to fade away in the night. At the same time, there was a girl in Holland (but actually she’s from Greece…) who made a sleeping sculpture of me. A gigantic sculpture of me, laying in a bed sleeping, with a little motor in the chest so you can hear it breath. When she first proposed the idea to me, I thought it was crazy (a sculpture of ME?), but also beautiful in some way. So I told her I’d love to make a piece of music to acompany the sculpture. I made a long piece of music for this strange version of myself to sleep to. It’s about 30 minutes long, and comprised entirely of my voice and little piano (with a lot of processing and effects). When I made the music, I was maybe the most exhausted I’ve ever been, after my longest tour ever around Europe this Spring. I was nearly falling asleep while I made the music. And when I finished, I sent it to Chrysa (who made the sculpture), and then I took a trip to Amsterdam to see the opening exhibition of the sculpture, with my music playing in the background, on repeat. It was….terrifying. I sat there in this cold, grey room, staring at myself sleeping on this bed, and it felt as if I was watching myself die. And all of a sudden this music I made became very, very sad to me. But at the same time, it became peaceful, like it was ok that I was dying. …This all probably sounds very strange right now, but this music is really important to me. If I were to die tomorrow, and if there was any kind of funeral held for me, I would like this piece of music to be played there. That image makes me feel very calm. Anyhow, this one will be released at the end of the year. My last release for a very busy year.
Captn: Thanks a lot for your time (and for your music)!
Peter: Thank YOU!
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