Interview with Marek Biliński (part 3)

WO: I remember the words of Nelson Mandela, who said that he never lost – he either won or learned. Some grand philosophy and worldly wisdom is needed for that.

MB: And huge courage to say that. Failure is calculated in our success, it’s obvious that the higher you climb, the harder and more painful the fall.

WO: Let’s talk about success and failures. About the skill and wisdom that one gets from failures. How do you perceive yourself, how do you perceive others, are you open to feedback from others who are saying “Well, we didn’t make it, we failed, it needs to be done differently”? Most likely there are some emotions, not fully good ones, maybe madness, maybe dislike? Making choices means that you’re making a mistake sometimes, and it’s fully human, natural, and you need to come to terms with that. How do you handle failures?

MB: Time is the cure for failures. After some time you should look at what is left of the failure, what needs to be done and what can be repaired.

WO: And who helps you in spending that time well? Is that the dearest person, the band? In business you’d call this person a coach or a mentor, sometimes it turns out that it’s your superior – a kind of a professional friend. What’s it like in the music business? Who do you seek? Is this search an internal or an external one?

MB: There are extroverts and introverts. Most probably I’m an introvert. Since it all plays in my head, from the creative process, to thoughts and considerations. I talk to my wife, but it’s rather her teaching me how to communicate with my surroundings, the initiative, unfortunately, doesn’t come from me..It’s not that simple…

WO: We’re back to openness again.

MB: My wife once told me that I’m the most open when I’m on the stage, when I have the audience in front of me. It’s a different relationship, however… and it all results from the fact that the whole music starts in my head. Before the track sees daylight a long technological process awaits it. And the beginning is here… in my head.

WO: I think that both in your words and in the work of a manager, spending time with yourself is crucial – to sit down and think. To have the courage to say that I don’t need the band. To what extent do you agree with that? Nowadays, we are surrounded with this almost aggressive belief that creativity is about collaborative manner of working. I deeply believe in cooperation. However, at the same time I’m an advocate of the “I just sit and think” approach. Since my own brain is a pretty good sparring partner.

MB: In the “I sit – I think” case, I don’t even have to think about professional matters. I can for instance think about the book that I’m reading. It’s a form of a training for grey cells that helps us avoid automatism. For example, I have constant problems with the sound, with the tone, these are mind riddles that I have to solve. That’s the tone I have but I want to have something else, I want to improve something. I’m constantly looking for some solutions. Before I touch the keyboard or my devices, I have to consider carefully what to do.

WO: We’re talking about the sources of inspiration. To what extent are travelling, landscapes, local dishes or scents, local habits able to impact or inspire you to create something unique, strange, different? Is it only the background that you reflect against?

MB: In my view, it’s clichéd when someone’s saying that he or she ate some shrimps and came up with a piece of art… Travelling does have an impact, but only for some time. In my youth I was also travelling, but now when I think about it then actually everything confirms my choice, that I feel best where I am now and I’ll always keep coming back here.

WO: You mentioned : “Ideas occur when I feel safe”. How do you manage to get something that you’re most satisfied with from all these ideas? What does the selection process of ideas look like?

MB: Imagination is limitless and it always exceeds the ready-made product that has the form of a sound or a phrase. Since it’s connected with resistance of inanimate mater. Instruments, devices which have their limitations are inanimate matter. They are devised by ingenious people, but these ingenious people have also included in these devices their thought and talent only to the threshold of the possibilities and durability of a given material. Everything that is devised is limited by technology.
In particular, in my field, that is in electronic music. Each harmonious structure that I devise, which initially is very broad and spacious, starts to be limited then. Before a sound, a tone, a phrase is created, hundreds of hours of searching are needed.

WO: You’re touching as well upon consistency, a topic that I appreciate a lot. It seems to me that it is sought for also in the corporate world – by recipients, clients – and it is hard to achieve it within
an organization. It sounds very attractive but is hard to achieve, since it requires you to soar and check – a bit with a bird’s eye view – whether it simply makes a whole.

MB: The worst thing in it all is subjectivism. You need to be objective, since it’s not me who should like it, but it should meet global standards as a whole. In order to achieve it one must follow the models of international production from various genres of music, listen to them carefully and find the one that you want to get closer to. There are never two tracks in the world that would sound the same, you should approach each piece individually. The best global producers say that they approach each track as if they were recording, mixing or mastering as for the first time…

Recorded in December 2016.

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