- The exchange with the people around you informed your work as the virtual space, but knowing that you often work with physical space and architectural structures, did the physical surrounding have any influence on your work too?
FJ: Certainly, I specifically chose a place to stay that was a half an hour walk away. This is my usual modus operandi to discover a new city. Otomārs suggested I walk home from Erica Synths on this old defunct Russian bridge that's all beat up and has cracks in it through which you can see the water when you walk. I walked through this really muddy area and I found myself in a backyard where this old woman was sitting outside and her dog started barking at me. I smiled at her and she smiled back and because I don't speak Latvian, that was it. Next, I ended up in this really industrial, deserted area. Afterwards, I found myself walking by these beautiful wooden houses. All of this feeds into the experience, in one way or another. I was lucky also, aside from all the amazing lunch conversations, to spend time with Elizabete Palasiosa, curator, who made it her mission to continue my Latvian culture education at night, through the streets of Latvia and some amazing cocktails.
I knew that the concert was going to be very intimate among the 10 to 12 people, there were several particular connections that felt very significant in a quantum way, strange synchronicities and all. The experience was very real, life and connecting with people are very real, there's no ambiguity, no BS. I wanted my performance to reflect that. It was my way of giving back in light of the generosity that I received - so that's essentially the fundamental inspiration for the concert.
After that, the Pērkons HD-01, the beast itself! I was playing it and pushing its functionality in a way that perhaps is not meant to. Fascinating! At a certain point, I started playing with it, and then all of a sudden, it's not doing what I tweaked it to do, it started doing its own thing. I'm recalling my kits and it's not responding. The Pērkons started having a conversation with me, on its own - it started responding to me, which I thought was beautiful. And at the same time, it was kind of funny. When I told Otomārs what was happening, he changed the power supply and that solved the problem, but a part of me was a bit sad, because it was not responding anymore. I really tried to respect the instrument itself. I wanted to create a concert that remained true to the nature of the Pērkons, even though most people used it as a drum machine and not for drones.
- Our instruments are meant to do whatever you like, as long as your imagination can push them to do so.
FJ: One of the incredible things about this instrument is its ergonomy. The knobs for instance, no matter which way I land on one, I have a solid grasp. That's insane, the size, the feel, the resistance is perfect. This enabled me to go really minimal in my movements, and explore all of the various colors and frequencies very slowly to bring it to another level. This speaks to the care that goes into creating instruments at Erica Synths. That was insanely amazing.
- That is probably not so relevant for most of the people who work with Pērkons.
FJ: Probably not.