Exclusive: Five Minutes with Tom Terrien

Youngbloods Records and Tom Terrien recently released Be Glad, the nine-track LP that’s been gaining attention in the underground scene. With this in mind, we sat down with the talented artist to catch up with him!

Hi there, how are you and what are you up to today?

Hello Playground :). I’m good, finally managed to get some sleep tonight.
Today I’m gonna take care of my cats, they are a bit nervous as we changed house, and try to find some carpet for my new studio, and rehearse my “10 Yearrs” Live set. ^^

To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?

Always a challenge to do that haha. I try to be as melodic and emotional as possible, and to fulfill all my musical fantasies. And as a pianist i have a lot, but also as a producer … will have have enough time in my life ?!!

When I was working on Be Glad, I had a pretty different set of gears, more based on sampling and editing, i was fascinated by the cut’n paste thing, and was very much into the label Warp sound and Mille Plateaux (R.I.P) . And it was my very first attempt on a solo project (always worked with bands before that, a lot with Minimal Orchestra). So yeah, you can tell that my music is full of fantasies, breaks and melodies :).

What are the 5 most influential albums that have influenced you the most?

Miles Davis and Gil Evans – Miles Ahead

Henry Dutilleux’s 1st Symphony

Eric Satie’s piano works

Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto – Uoon

Boards of Canada – Geogaddi

(I listen to so many different things, very hard to narrow at 5 ! did my best ^^)

Which other artists are you into at the moment and why?

Last Plaid’s record did me a lot of good,love their sense of melody. Discovered with big pleasure some Nils Frahm’s project, Nonkeen, very subtle ans the sound is so good. And also last Adult Jazz’s record on Tri Angle … complete craziness at the service of great musical ideas. Their first album was a smash too.
And i listent to a lot of Bach too, mostely orchestral work … has a soothing ans cleansing effect on me ^^.

Are there any key pieces of equipment that you are using to define your sound?

Definitely the piano and the Wurlitzer 200A. On Be Glad i used a Kurzweil K2600 sampler, which i don’t have anymore and i regret it a little (amazing Fx processor)

Where do you gather song writing inspiration?

My emotions combined with my curiosity to understand the mechanic of things, like technics of composition, of mixing, or how to destroy or enhance your ideas and make it become music that reaches people.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when put music together?

It starts from a seed, and little by little can become a tree, or a vegetable, or a flower. Depends on the weather :).

What’s the best gig you have ever done and why?

It was in Ukraine, no so long ago. In an amazing festival called Contruction, in Dnipropetrovsk. The people there were amazingly interested , funny and curious, and took great care of their artists.
I was playing in a Philharmony, amazing place, beauty and desolation combined. I was supposed to play 40 min, but I asked them if i could play my whole set, as i wanted to give them all i had :). They said yes, and it was 1h20 of pure emotion and i felt completely immerged in sound. Cool moment :).

And the worst?

In Paris , I was very ill and still did the gig. I did the worst music ever, couldn’t think anymore, all my routines were forgotten, drown in fever and headache … well … shit happens ^^

If you weren’t a musician what would you be?

Piano teacher (hahaha)

Do you have any particular gigs or festivals that you dream about playing?

I want to play everywhere all the time.

If you could perform alongside any other band or artist, who would it be?

Ryuichi Sakamoto, just to meet him in person and have the chance to exchange with him.

Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?

So Be Glad is coming! (finally, so happy about it ^^) at the end of August with Youngbloods Records, I just released a LP on Plug Research called “10 Years”, and I have a LP coming with my project Minimal Orchestra in November, which i’m very excited about, called “Laïka’s Takeoff”.

As for gigs, I play the 21st of August in a secret place 🙂 , September the 9th with Minimal orchestra, in Toulouse (my hometown) for a little festival called Dark Native, and September the 16th for the Electro Alternative festival. Busy month :).

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