David August: an orange flavour

While Fabien Jozelsky completes his DJ set, here he comes with his curly light brown curly hair with blond highlights, a precise gesture. The Cercle des Bains is certainly not the largest scene that the festival could have offered him, but it’s already pretty damn full of admirers that begin to approach him to see him working.
He works like a craftsman even though he’s only 24 years old; a lot of experience even though he remains very modest about it. This young man knows about music since the age of five years when his Parents put him in front of a piano. He first had to force himself a little but very quickly, he learned how to transform a child restraint into an amazing tool of creativity: deposit his angel face, people now call him Sir.
David decided to blow on in the live act, a way to provide his audience with live music such as one would find in a concert. His music is intimate and works by loop system whose aligned layers give a weightless effect. The prodigy does not content himself by tossing with grace and elegance, his live performance offers something more, something where you can dance on and allows him to thoroughly rethink the structure of his pieces. The result is very effective: distorsion of time, gradual rise of the orchestra to give more aptitude to these breaks when the power of bass and drums impose their grids. The audience reacts vigorously. Every single time.

At the end of his concert, the opportunity to give an interview the young Hamburg citizen slowly walks away from me. I will just have to line up between two other magazines that want exactly the same thing. At this point, I don’t want to overload him. In the adjoining room at the MAMCO, isolated from the noise, I finally began my interview.

What did you benefit from a classical training?
Knowledge. You know, it’s like someone who’ll be cutting the grasse every days. At least, he will know how to make it. It starts being a knowledge that helps.
…and is there a difference between people who are musicians and the others?
There are no rules. Some people are good at mixing samples. Others have different skills.
What about harmony, tempo?
I don’t think it has an influence. For exemple, knowledge tells me that some kind of chords should not work together, I know it. But someone else might find them interesting and use them, because for him it sounds good. This is more about intuition. Today, there are softwares that play instantly some chords, just push a button and you get the harmony. No more limits.
Do you use such devices?
No, I don’t.

Since he chose to focus on live acting rather than DJing, I wonder what has changed for him?
Of course there is some difference. Both have advantages and disadvantages. A DJ would need 7 to 9 minutes per track ready before he could give a set. With live act, you just need loops. A Loop of 6 to 8 bars length works well for mixing. Then you can experiment. Of course, you have to think about how to build your set, what would be your intro, your conclusion, etc.
While congratulating him for his five years generous production  (4 EP, 4 albums), I ask if electronic music – as a context – is at the origin of such a fast production?
I haven’t done so much, I think.
I show him my paper sheet with the titles released and insist
Not so much in five year.
You’v been prolific, haven’t you?
I think we are missing the point of the question: the question was if electronic music as a context as helped me produce any faster.  I don’t think so. It all depends on the kind of production, the project, the artist, the desire. Some people can take months to achieve something. So yes, context, but it’s not related to electronic music itself.
Do you record all your sounds / samples?


Does live acting have an influence on you current production?
Yes it has. Things have to be thanked before.
Does it give something organic to your music?
…not organic. Spontaneous. David August is quite precise in his words, the same kind of preciseness that I felt when he was on stage, touching lightly the mix controllers. Half a second before, he was still tapping on his piano keys. And I wonder if he ever thought about composing a score for a movie, he said he did: twice actually for two short movies.
Do you have a specific landscape in mind when you compose?
I don’t think so… mmmm… yes, sometimes, like everyone.
It’s more about feelings.

During another interview which I read, he mentioned making a kind of melancholic music:
What is a melancholic sound?
It’s true that I might have said that, but I’m quite afraid that could be misunderstood.
Precise in his music. Precise in his words.
Melancholy could be associated to sadness. My music doesn’t talk about sadness. It refers to a strong feeling.
Something deeper? Like the soul?
Yes… Depth. It’s more about depth rather than melancholy.

I advise him at this stage that this is my last question.
He’s been doing so much things that I wonder what would be the next target in life.
I don’t have a particular target. Playing music. If I keep playing music like musicians do, having the opportunity to give what I really am, naked, and notice that people enjoy this part of myself, it’s probably one of the strongest feeling you can ever have in life.

I thank him for his time, and while wrapping my stuff, I spontaneously ask him:
What color is your music?
(…) Orange. It’s a really spontaneous answer because I wasn’t expecting the question. Really good question by the way. An orange that would mix some brown…
Why orange?
Because it’s bright. …and positive.

Photography © Sébastien Moitrot

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