Greg Haines is an English musician and composer who has been living in Berlin since 2008. He was born in a small town in the south of England in the 1980s, where he began from a young age to develop an interest in sound and the devices used to create it. ‘Minimalist’ composers such as Steve Reich, Gavin Bryars and Philip Glass had a profound influence over his musical trajectory. He has made works for a range of disciplines, including dance choreographies, and with a lot of musicians to produce carefully constructed pieces that always hint to the minimalist composers that influenced him from the beginning. In 2013 his lates album “Where We Were” was released on Denovali Records.
There is a area of floating plastic trash near Hawaii that some say is as big as Texas. We don’t even know how it will affect us yet, but its growing.
People were rapping on dub records in 1979.
I’ve never ridden a horse.
What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
A tough start! Working with other people is always a big inspiration. To see how other people approach song-writing and production, and to try to imagine how music is heard through their ears, is always interesting. There are always things you can take away with you, and its also a great way of learning about what you want yourself. That, and other records!
How and when did you get into making music?
I started fairly young (I don’t even know the age – perhaps 10?) on the cello, but quickly gave it up for the guitar and rock band s, as seems to be the usual pattern. Then from there I began to get involved in the production side of things, and the more electronic elements of music-making. Slowly those initial experiments began to get quieter and more textural, and strings loops began to feature prominently. That mini-history takes you up to around my first album, and Ive just been doing what feels right since then.
What are your 5 favourite albums of all time?
So impossible to say! I will just name five that come to mind at this specific moment, I’m probably forgetting the all most important ones.
Talk Talk – Spirit of Eden
Rhythm and Sound – s/t (don’t listen to the album, buy the 12″s!)
Jeri Jeri – s/t (see above!)
Isaac Hayes – Hot Buttered Soul
Miles Davis – In a Silent Way
What do you associate with Berlin?
Being at home, working in the studio and cooking food for girlfriend. And my local bar around the corner…
What’s your favourite place in your town?
I recently saw a few shows at Stattbad Wedding – what a great space. You can really get lost in there.
If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
What was the last record you bought?
“Anthony Johnson/Bunny Lie Lie – Hey Mr Richman/Don’t you Try”
Part of a larger order from the Iroko label.
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
I would have to say the first time I saw Jeri Jeri at Festsaal Kreuzberg. Not so long ago. It was a month or so before my first trip to Senegal, and it was incredible to get a taste of that in Kreuzberg. I know that its at the top of the list for a lot of the people I was with, too. Incredible show!
How important is technology to your creative process?
As important as it is in every other process you make in everyday life. Its inescapable!
Do you have siblings and are they proud or jealous of you?
I have one brother. We lead different lives, I am not sure either one of us has ever compared.
Vipasana Samadhi Roy
| Interview with Greg Haines by Digital in Berlin