Features One Question Interviews Benjamin Finger

One Question Interviews: Benjamin Finger

Benjamin Finger

SPB: Do you have a somewhat clearcut idea of what you want to do when composing and/or producing your music, or are you more inclined to just "let things flow" and be more improvisational?

Finger: First of all, the answer is a multi-sided one. When it comes to composing and producing music (in my case) it seems to depends on many things; 

- How the idea for the album came in the first place.

- What label I´m releasing the album on.

- Will I record everything on my own or include other guest musicians?

- Where I am while recording the album, in the studio or mostly using the laptop (while travelling for instance).

- If I have a specific theme I´m exploring.  

- What kind of mood I´m in. Also, what I`m reading or what kind of films I´m watching during the making of the album? I guess the seasons also affects me whether I like it or not. 

- Is everything planned out in advance or should I go for improv?

- How much time I have (deadlines, if I´m using practice spaces etc...)

- Am I trying out something I haven´t done before? 

- What kind of musical expression am I looking for?


My last album, Amorosa Sensitiva, released on Blue Tapes and X-Ray Records is a good example that combines some of the points I mentioned above. It carries elements of clear cut ideas when it comes to the production side (who I wanted to be involved in the project and how I wanted it to sound) but it also rests heavily on improvisational elements in order to let some of the pieces drift into unexpected territories. That´s what makes the album interesting to me, because you have this disturbed and noisy side of it but then suddenly everything cools down and the atmosphere changes into something else, more quiet and cleaner perhaps. Maybe there´s more of a minimalistic approach to the ambient tracks. I felt that the listener needed a break after the intense tracks that opens side A and B. But there´s still something behind that curtain, lurking in the shadows. The mood really never rests, you´re never fully at peace. The album is also very much inspired by a book I read by a Swedish author, Ola Hansson. And I´m sure that the book subconsciously affected me when I was composing the 6 pieces on the album. Obviously having a band on this release also made the sound much thicker. A cello (Elling Finnanger Snøfugl) and a saxophone (Are Watle) really makes a quite a difference; it paints with a broader palette and creates a wider scope musically. 


In short, I guess I go for all kinds of musical approaches when I´m creating music. I have no preferred or specific way. The most important thing for me is to keep on feeling inspired for each new album. The only way to achieve that is to constantly be open and search for new ways to express myself. (Sometimes it happens through careful planning, other times by accident, luck or coincidences, etc...) That´s why I try to change my musical expression from album to album. I´m afraid of being tied down to a specific sound or genre. I have nightmares about that! And that´s not an easy task to achieve after having released ten studio albums when 2016 comes to an end. 


Allow me to finish the question with a poem I wrote about producing sound (haha, bad translation from Norwegian, please forgive me):


What if the sentences where equipped with sounds, each letter a tone

The structure of the sentences would be composed of tones

The chords would be the prerequisite for the language

That would have left the letters with the freedom they deserve

Then you could construct a dialogue without noise

You could describe yourself as a piece of privileged silence

It might have ended up in hysterical silence, a utopian tone

A vision on the border to contain sound

So why not trust the silence of the sound?


Words by Andy on March 17, 2016, 12:03 a.m.

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Benjamin Finger

Posted by Andy on March 17, 2016, 12:03 a.m.

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