Interview: Five minutes with Koresma
Setting the stage with a violinist father and pianist mother, Los Angeles-based Ryan Lindberg grew up surrounded by music. Performing under the nom de plume of Koresma, he has just released his latest single ‘Snow Globe (ft. Axel Mansoor)’ on 15 November via his own imprint. The hypnotic vocal layering of Axel Mansoor meets Koresma’s perfectionism and proclivity for the guitar within the track.
‘Snow Globe (ft. Axel Mansoor)’ is featured on Koresma’s four-track EP, North which in itself is a piece of a four-part series of EPs based around the points of the compass. Previous EP’s East and West have already been released, setting listeners to patiently wait for the final piece of the puzzle.
We decided to sit down with the ambient electronic producer in the hopes that he might reveal a little more of what is to come.
Set the tone for us. Why the arts?
I’ve always been into expressing myself creatively and early on did this through skateboarding and surfing. After getting into music, I realized that it was a much more natural way to get out what I was feeling and hopefully connect it with others.
Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?
I approach music from both angles but I mostly get inspired and distracted by sound. I often set out with an idea but find something unique in that process and end up bailing on the original idea altogether. It leads to cool results so I’m down with this flow.
Does your material feature any collaborations?
Yes, collaboration is a big part of my music process. Although a lot of my released music is made solo, collaborations are always in the works behind the scenes. For the North EP, I collaborated with Axel Mansoor and Alaska on vocals. For previous collaborations, I have released singles with Feverkin, Marley Carroll, Shuhandz, and edapollo.
What’s on your current playlist?
You can check that out right here:
I’ve currently been vibing out to Jesper Ryom, CharlestheFirst, Stephan Bodzin, and Jon Hopkins.
Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.
To be completely honest. Performing terrified me for a long time and I battled with heavy anxiety before shows. I’ve played 20+ shows since then and learned how to manage that energy. I feel like the chemistry between fans and myself is pretty real. It takes a good bit for me to get up there and share so I feel like the experience is authentic for them. I play guitar live so that’s a strong point where people can connect with the show.
What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?
I use a bunch of different things in the studio. My main instrument is guitar so I often record little melodies and then affect them in Ableton Live to get interesting sounds and textures. I also love analog gear so I’ve messed around with analog synths and tape machines and built up a cool library of sounds. I also will sample from vinyl recordings and turn this into something completely different and unrecognizable. There is something about working with vinyl that gives you a lush interesting texture.
Take us through a day in the recording studio.
My process is pretty open and varies from day to day depending on deadlines and other external factors. Currently, I’m really focused on keeping music consistent so I’m finishing up several releases for the next few months. I like to start the day playing guitar, this wakes me up and gets my hands and mind in sync. Then I get into Ableton and work on music that I know needs to be finished and will see the light of day. After that, I try to get some emails and social media things done. At the end of the day, it’s time to make new ideas and explore. I find the days always turn out a little different, but if I can get close to this schedule I’ll make progress and keep fresh ideas flowing.
Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?
Yes, I had a few of those moments. I remember the last and strongest moment while at a Lotus show at the Georgia Theatre in Athens, Georgia. The show was amazing and I was just getting into production writing my own compositions. I saw them blending electronic sounds with acoustic instruments and it hit me that I wanted to be on the other side of the music. Haven’t looked back since.
What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?
My tuner, refillable water bottle, and picks. I try to keep my phone on aeroplane mode or in my bag while performing.
Any emerging artists on your radar?
Really vibing on Ian Ewing, Good Lee, and Jesper Ryom right now. All are relatively young in their journey’s so it’s been awesome watching their music get success. All the tunes bump.
What gets your creative juices flowing?
I get inspired by sounds so 9/10 songs are made by just starting a jam. I use my guitar to get quick ideas out and they often end up making the final version of the song. If I’m feeling uninspired melodically I’ll program a sequence on my synth or use a sample to get things flowing.
Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.
I use a lot of different things in the studio but there are a few sounds that I feel “make up” Koresma. My Alvarez acoustic (got this at 15) and Fender Strat electric guitar (got at 18) are the backbones of my sound. They provide most of the song ideas, chord progressions and melodies for my songs. They aren’t perfect but they play well and have a lot of character.
I used to work for Moog Synthesizers in Asheville, NC and during that time I was able to fulfil a lot of synth dreams. I use a few Moog pieces in all my songs. Namely the Subsequent 37, Slim Phatty, and MF-104 delay pedal. I also use a Korg Minilogue for more chord-based sounds since it is polyphonic and sounds great.
Outside of those, I use vinyl to gather a lot of misc. samples. Often, it ends up being an effect, texture, or percussive sound. In conjunction with this, I use my mic and field recorder to capture live percussion and foley sounds.
Any side projects you’re working on?
I have some collaborations in the works but everything is for Koresma at the moment.
How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?
After releasing an EP and numerous singles, I had a breakout single named ‘Bridges’. This song inspired the next wave of music, in which I’m releasing four EP’s that are modelled after the theme of a compass. Currently, I’m releasing the 3rd of 4 EP’s and this one is called North. Through each EP I’ve honed in more on what I’m trying to do artistically and musically.
Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?
I’m releasing an EP called North right now that consists of four songs. Each has a unique version of the EP artwork and has been released as a single. A remix EP for North is currently in the works and they are sounding so good. Can’t wait to share the awesome artists involved. North will be out in full by 11/15 and you should see the remixes in early January.
Famous last words?
It’s the journey, not the destination that matters.
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