Composer Eryck Abecassis: Deconstructing the compositional process

Eryck Abecassis (b. 1956) – is a composer, synthesist, and electric guitar player, living and working in Algeria. His work field ranges from classical to electronic music, theater, Urban installations, and movies. His style is a mix of contemporary electronic noise music. In the year 2011, he was nominated for a program „Cultures France Hors Les Murs“. Musicologist Ona Jarmalavičiūtė has asked the composer to deconstruct the process of his creation in the following interview.

Define inspiration – does it exist?

No, it doesn’t. Works exist yes, works and movements.

How do you usually create a new idea of a piece?

It is complicated – mainly a question of desire and curiosity. This I can tell that usually, my ideas come during the sleep or the night, or the nap…

How does the process of forming an idea look like?

It’s more or less big circular space, with a kind of mental dance around it, a very pleasing game for me.

How do you transform the abstract idea into the material – sketch, notes?

By experimenting it, sketch sometimes. Sorry if it is too simple or boring, but I work most of the time hard to make it real.

What form do your notes and sketches take?

Usually, it is a sentence, words sequences, or graphic structures with many arrows.

What do you do to get into your creative zone?

Relaxation, coffee, walk.

Can you see your finished product before you start it?

Haha, what a romantic joke, thanks for reminding me that some artists pretend to, very fun.

How does the initial process of music-making looks in your creative process?

Mostly like the chaos that I try to tame.

When do you decide that the preparation (precomposition) period is over and now you will start to actually compose?

So-called preparation is already the composition for me, I don’t separate.

Please describe your state of mind when you are creating something.

Pleasure, pain, doubt, hysteria, awake, focused.

How do you know when a piece or project is finished and needs no additional work?

I don’t know if it is a decision, but mostly the music decides for you, no?

Do you critique your own work?

Yes a lot, but the right timing is the most important factor, otherwise it can turn to auto-censoring, I think.

Do you identify with your creative product?

No, never. I always preserve a healthy distance with it.

Thank you for the conversation!

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