Two and a Half Questions with Deaf Center

[editor’s note: all questions are answered by Otto A. Totland]

Can you discuss the long gap between your two albums?
Yup – We have answered this question many times before. This is what Erik Skodvin has to say about it:

ERIK: The long gap has so many different factors it’s almost hard to get into. After Pale Ravine sometime I got my first electric guitar + effect pedals and started experimenting more with live instrumentation which was something I really had not tried at all before. With this happening + I moved to using different sound editing/sequencing programs, it was harder for me and Otto to exchange files back and forth like we did in the past. Otto was always playing around with synth and piano, but I never tried working properly with a live instrument until then which was so exciting. Also, at the same time I was exposed to so much new and interesting musical styles I never knew before, that I just ended falling into a long experimentation process, putting Deaf Center on the shelf. When I moved to Berlin one and a half year ago, things changed quite a bit. I was getting to hang more with like-minded artists and people with studios. It just seemed like the time was right to try get another Deaf Center record out when Nils Frahm had such a wicked studio and wanted to work with us as he was a fan of our previous releases. Otto traveled down here and we did a long weekend improvised recording session which ended up like the new album. It’s so fun seeing that people are excited about the new album and haven’t forgotten about us after the long period of silence. Looks like an exciting year ahead!

How did you come in contact with Nils Frahm and his Durton Studio?
Erik got in contact with Nils Frahm when he moved to Berlin. His studio is awesome. You should see him work – He is a very, very talented guy both technically and musically.

Tell us about the process of collaboration on this album.
Actually, after we started getting booked to do live shows, we developed a new, more acoustic way of making music together. We had many rehearsals in Oslo – using our sequenced material and playing live instruments on top of that. So, when making Owl Splinters we used a similar approach. I work a lot with loops and samples – we use that as a sort of canvas, and then play around on that with piano, guitar, voice and cello.

What does the title, Owl Splinters, mean?
I don’t want to be pretentious here – but, lets keep that a mystery. I love mysteries 🙂

What is the central theme behind the album?
Dark vs. light – melodic vs. abstract. In short, it’s Erik and Otto’s different approach to music combined. Fear vs. hope.

Do you think you’ll make us wait just as long for your next release?
yes – LONGER!! 10 years this time. hehe, honestly though, I don’t know myself. Erik and me are very good friends, but we never plan anything. And remember, I’m not a professional musician. I have a full-time “normal” job in Norway. But we both want to do more Deaf Center stuff – so I guess, at some point, we’ll end up doing that. I just can’t say when.

What is in the queue for your solo work?
I think my next project will be solo piano. oh, and I hope for some more Nest music (with Huw Roberts) also 🙂

Read Headphone Commute’s review of Owl Splinters