Marc Melià is a Catalan multi-instrumentalist and composer based in Brussels (Belgium). For performing his music he takes simple ingredients: a Prophet 08 synthesizer, his voice filtered through a vocoder, and a limited palette of effects, to create electronic soundscapes and songs that evoke a sonic area between the classic minimalism and the cinematic music. Marc Melià breaks the electronic music rules: what you see is what you hear. There are no prerecorded sequences or beats, each song is crafted by hand at every concert.
1: I started playing synthesizers because changing apartment once a year wasn’t compatible with having an acoustic piano.
2: The day that all my instruments and gear will be wireless, my studio room will look so tidy and beautiful.
3: Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent. Borrowed from Victor Hugo.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
In my case inspiration comes from the routine of working in a regular basis in my studio. So generally speaking I don’t get inspired by external factors. My music comes by itself after days of trying ideas and more ideas. For every theme that I will keep, the vast majority end up in the paper bin.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I have been doing music all my life. There was a piano at my parents place since I was born and since I was very small I had the curiosity to go and play with it. My mum wrote on paper the score of a song I composed before I was taking music lessons. I guess I had to be about 5 years old by then. But don’t get the wrong impression, I was not at all some kind of little music genius. What I can say is that I definitely had the impulse of putting musical notes together in a organised way since the very beginning, and after all this is what we call making music.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
Kid A – Radiohead
Laurie Anderson – Big Science
Steve Reich – Music For 18 Musicians
Enya – Watermark
Stravinsky – Le sacre du printemps
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
Techno parties. But I have never been to one.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
I actually don’t know Berlin well enough to have a favorite place. But last summer I was doing the sound for an installation/performance in Potsdam. Well, it’s not actually Berlin but I loved swimming in the lakes you have there. I remember asking myself why do Germans like so much going to Majorca? the island where I’m from. This place was actually really wonderful.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
I have no idea. Probably not many things.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Euphonie, the first record of a French band I love which is called Ojard.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I wouldn’t mind to collaborate with Laurie Anderson for instance. I love her approach to music. I admire the fact that she transcends the ordinary way of understanding music by bringing the musical language to a rather more multidisciplinair context where the borders between music, performance art, poetry or visual arts are not obvious.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
As a spectator I have a very vivid memory of the first time I saw l’Ocelle Mare here in Brussels. It was the kind of concert where you ask yourself, why do I continue to make music myself after seeing what this guy is able to do alone on the stage? Really amazing.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Technology is so intrinsically linked to my practice that I can’t actually dissociate it from my creative process. As I don’t particularly like singing, in my case I am dependent on technology in order to create music. Even when I was playing acoustic piano, a piano is a very advanced and complex piece of technology even for nowadays times. Using synthesizers, sequencers and effects is nothing more that an extension of the technological tools that I need in order to make music.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
I have a sister. She appreciates the fact that I can do something that fulfils me. Probably she would never end up listening to my music if I wasn’t her brother. But she has not the choice because siblings are there to support each other.
Photo © Meri Ekola