Didacte is an integral part of the Oleeva family. He was responsible for the first solo album we released, 'From Here To The Glade' and has since put out his 'Ad Lucem' EP, and the beautiful single 'Laho' with us. Didacte's latest piece, MMGG will be the opening track on our forthcoming various artist album and his first contribution to our free download reworks series will be out shortly. His textural approach to electronica is made truly original by the inclusion of his own guitar and piano improvisations that he weaves seamlessly into his productions and podcasts. It has been 3 years since we shared his debut Oleeva Podcast, Autour le Silence and we are so happy to finally be sharing the next installment. 'Mirra Alfassa' is a dramatic, hopeful trip, that ebbs and flows between different shades of house, techno and electronica. Enjoy the podcast, and read what he had to say about his favourite numbers, life in Madrid and what he's working on right now. Stay safe, stay home and keep positive.
1. Bonjour Adrien! Welcome back for your second oleeva podcast and interview, thank you so much. Your new mix will be the Oleeva Podcast Sixteen, that's a special number for you isn’t it!? I remember when it became clear your album “From Here to the Glade" would be the sixteenth Oleeva release, you were absolutely sure it was the perfect time to release it. 4 is my number. What does it mean? I don't know. Why 4? Because when I was a kid, 3 was my number. Everything had to be 3. One day, I decided to change, just to see how it would impact my life. I chose 5. The next day I broke my leg. So I thought that I went too far with 5, and I went back down to 4. What about 16? 16 = 4 x 4. So double power. My first Oleeva podcast was Podcast Four, my first Oleeva release was OLV016, my second Oleeva podcast is Podcast Sixteen. All good.
2. Your first podcast, Autour le silence, was really something special. The way you blend your music and carefully use certain sections of each tracks is really interesting. It's really different to the more predictable formula that DJ’s use in a podcast. You wouldn’t class yourself as a DJ, am I right? A musician first and foremost ? Yes and no. I think it's a matter of subtlety levels: for a certain type of listener/artist, switching from a piano classic piece to a Jeff Mills techno track is a strong disruption. For another type of listener/artist, the entrance of a low level minor chord pad you barely can hear in the background after 7 minutes of a 15 minutes Deep House track is a strong disruption. But yes, in my case I love cross-genres podcasts, just because it sticks to my daily experience with music: I need breaks playing the piano or the guitar, or just sitting in silence, while composing, or while listening to a long podcast.
3. Please talk us through your process, both for the original music you make and for the podcasts you create. And also tell us specifically about this podcast, how it came about and what is inside. I will say something totally paradoxical : I like to spend time working on a podcast in order to make it as instinctive as possible. I'll try to explain. So a podcast is kind of a long work, especially a priori, when the track are selected, I generally prepare some short samples from other tracks, movies, documentaries, speechs, classical pieces that i feel in the same mood, and that I can trigger in any quiet and appropriate moment. I also always try to fully overlay 2 or 3 or more similar tracks together, as this can help me to discover hidden or implicit melodies or grooves inside the tracks, and as this also challenges the equilibrium and stability of the tracks, making them more human. For me, the best part of the process is at the very end: I then record one guitar improvised take all along, and one Moog take too, and then keep only some parts, maybe the most accessible ones, but trying to leave some imperfections, so that again it sounds more human. These can be seen as annoyances, I totally understand that, but I personally really like this feeling of "anything can happen at any time" during the podcast. It can make us more aware, more alert, and change a background music moment to a true sustained listening experience.
I don't want to say too much about this concrete podcast, in order not to bias the experience. Maybe simply that I was obsessed during several months by the piano track 2400 of Martyn Heyne, so it's everywhere in the podcast, and also that most of the selection is inspired by 2 very different but similar places: South India and Berlin. And of course, a pinch of Giegling, as always, mandatory.
4. You're based in Madrid, a city that is right in the center of this very surreal international emergency. How is life for you at the moment and how has the experience been over recent weeks? It's surreal and it's so real at the same time. We tend to implicitly think that we are immortal and to over-busy our days. Now we face 2 crucial things: life is a wild unpredictable river, and our true nature, that may suddenly pop up during this long period of calm, silence and healing boredom. I think that humanity needed to breathe, for a while. Now, that being said, it's easy to be philosophical when you are in a confortable situation like mine: Quiet home, no money issues for now, no direct or indirect impacts of the virus around me for now. When reality strikes, philosophy theories disappear behind the wilderness of life, and the only thing that remains is presence, and the ultimate battle between fear and love.
5. I’ve heard many people talk about the catastrophic effects these lockdowns will have on artists, DJs, festivals etc, but I feel it's temporary and our love for music and this community will not be affected. How do you think the music, arts and events industries will respond to this situation? I agree. This multi-crisis may filter out superficial aspects, but the essence will remain, and will be strengthened by these weeks of calm. First, our minds, after a while closer to their natural slower rhythm might be full of true powerful inspiration soon. Second, we will surely learn again to value the miracle of human connections and unity. So I think that music, arts and events industries will naturally respond celebrating life.
6. You’ve recently released a beautiful collab with El Buho, and a short but powerful track for Piano day, but your last proper original release was the Ad Lucem EP back in April 2019. Are you working on anything at the moment? Are there any EP’s or albums on the way? Oh yeah. I am working on a 10 track, piano-oriented album, with some piano only tracks, some groovy ones, big variety, using different piano takes technics and sounds. Apart from that, I am working a lot on sound design, and stocking several original sounds and textures to be used in the near future.
7. If someone notices something happen in their life, that seems to defy the odds of probability, and have such a tiny chance of being possible - lets say 1 in a million - but then these things keep happening, and keep being noticed, what does it mean? Has this happened in your life recently?
I love statistics, and I love Littlewood's law: let's say that an event is something occurring every second of your life. If we take into account the average hours of sleep etc. then an event occurring at a frequency of 1 in a million will occur... every 35 days! So basically, we are theoretically supposed to experience once a month something that we will feel as being a miracle. Another thing might be to experience synchronicity very often, which is when two events without any relation occur at the same time in a short amount of time. In that case, statistics may not be enough. This is questioning of linear vision of time. About that, I love this quote from Leibniz: 'Past and Future conspire in all things'. I love Carl Gustav Jung's books. And, as a lighter approach, I love the movie Arrival.
8. Finally, you leave Madrid, and get taken to a remote island paradise where you must stay for the next few years. You’re allowed to take 3 records with you, which ones do you take? Don’t worry they have a record player already there. You’re also allowed to take 3 items, anything you want that you think will improve your time on the island, what 3 items will you bring? Record 1 : 4′33″ - John Cage Record 2 : The Köln Concert - Keith Jarret Record 3 : Chaconne, Partita No. 2 BWV 1004 - JS Bach (Violin or Piano, impossible to choose) Item 1 : A guitar Item 2 : One tropical sweet potato (to plant it and grow millions) Item 3 : 10 kilos of Yerba Mate