Jeff Mettlewsky: Electroacoustic & Live Electronics

Jeff Mettlewsky: Electroacoustic & Live Electronics

Name: Jeff Mettlewsky

Where do you live / work: Vancouver, Canada

Personal Website:

Favourite Transformations

5. Are there any sound manipulations that you frequently use?

– Granulation

– Reverse

– Reverb

– Filter

– Transposition

What makes these manipulations your favourite?

I find I often favour more simple manipulations than those producing extreme results. However, I do use granulation, a very powerful tool that can completely transform a sound.

1. How would you describe the type of music that you make?

It is music with roots in studio experimentation and live human interaction.

2. If you had to use the genre categories to describe your music, which would it be?

Live electronics, interactive, electroacoustic

3. What types of sounds do you like to use when you compose?

I like sounds with instrumental characteristics and have either natural or synthetic sources.

4. What makes these sounds your favourite?

The great contrasts that can be found between different sources or elements are often what I look for when I am creating a work.

5. How do you go about starting or coming up with an idea for a composition? Do you personally use a similar approach each time? Or is it always different?

I listen to as much music as possible and look for opportunities to experience other art forms. An idea might come through the desire to express sonically when I discover something that interests me. Once I am in the studio I play with basic materials, having few expectations for a final composition.

6. Which composers /musicians are an inspiration to you?

Karlheinz Stockhausen

7. What is it about this music (either your own or the work of others) that engages you so much?

The precision to which he shows his intention as an artist throughout his many works is something to aspire to. He also invented his own methods for solving problems while exploring the sound world.

8. Could you pick a short section from one of your own pieces and describe how you created it?

Trepidia (excerpt)

I recorded the stereo output of myself using granulation modules that I programmed in MaxMSP. From there I arranged layers in a multi-channel editing program and finally added an improvised vocal performance track. The piece can also be performed live using a vocalist and fixed media component, for a ‘mixed music’.

9. What were you trying to convey to the listener in this excerpt? (Was there a specific meaning, did you intend to create a particular atmosphere or impression in the listener).

I was most interested in how a natural human voice can easily merge with electronically processed materials, to the point where one can easily be mistaken for the other and a new type of sound created.

10. If you were giving some general advice to someone who was beginning to compose a piece what would it be? What is the most important thing to remember when composing?

Approach making music with an open mind and trust your creative instincts to take you wherever they may lead. Choose to simplify in your music to find what is most important to you as an artist. Above all make music because it is a passion for you.