Times New Dutchman #5: Lucija Gregov @ WORM Soundstudio

Thu 6 Jun '19

Vibrations and noises from WORM’s soundstudio spill out into the office on a fairly regular basis, but it’s rare for them to make it much further. So take this chance to peek behind the door, and catch a glimpse of what really goes on. Recent soundstudio residents Lucija Gregov and Hannes Andersson, a cellist and an audio-visual artist/researcher respectively, spent a week recording in WORM, creating ‘Liquid Radio’. Here Gregov opens up about her time in the studio…

How was your experience in the studio as a whole?

It was an amazing experience all together. WORM is such a vibrant place, an avantgardistic state as I imagined it to be. I came to live in The Netherlands less than two years ago and during my master studies we had one course where we were supposed to describe fantasized artistic environment. I wrote that it would be a fluid space of thought which gestures to other, possibly metaphysical potentials in unexpected interaction between all of its particles. Then I discovered WORM, and it felt like fantasy and reality were aligning.

Have you ever done anything like this before?

I have experimented a lot with the form, but never explored radio art before. Usually, whenever I was in a studio, it was a session where I was considered to be a cellist, and I would record music that someone else wrote and conducted. In that sense, it was very liberating experience that in WORM, I am given the keys to the studio and access to all the equipment so that I can create whatever I desire. Creatively speaking, those were the perfect conditions.

Was it different to your usual way of working? If so, how?

I was trying to combine different mediums of expression in to one art piece. In this case, it was writing (text) and music. So, I wrote a script and then interpreted it with my voice and mixed it with my musical compositions. I had specific ideas of what I wanted to achieve with this interaction: it had to contain references to a flow, it had to enable experience of disembodiment, and it had to revive time-travel as an everyday occurrence. Following these indicators, the language I created came close to what I would call language of memory 
and dreams. The written script behaves as a philosophical meditation and poetic, surreal voyage into conceptual territories where there is only voice in its ghost-like presence of unfamiliar body. That invisible anonymity enabled me to take things to the extreme. I allowed myself to explore further than I usually would have, if I had decided to make just a musical composition.

Did having a limited amount of time affect the work in any way?

It did, but in a good way I would say. I have a tendency to conceptualize my projects for a very long time and sometimes it happens that in overthinking I give up on the idea entirely. I mean, I don’t like deadlines either but in this context, I managed to establish a nice pace within a seven day timeframe.

What themes are running throughout the work?

The whole piece is themed around the idea of liquidity and Liquid Artist, which is also a theme of my master research as an NAIP (New Audiences and Innovative Practice) student. I created it as a term and a concept that could unify all of my artistic actions which are crossing boundaries of working with only one medium and in only one discipline. I find that in a contemporary social climate, which resents the center and is of constant change, my thoughts are also difficult to condense, solidify, settle, station and sediment… and therefore I felt the need to create a new way of existing, creating, thinking and performing art. Liquid Artist is more of a framework which can enable me to think, talk and explore indeterminacy in artistic practice and life without the promise of stability.

There are clips in the piece that sound like they are taken from live concerts, and even interviews and definitions, where did they come from?

I have used many sounds that are actually field recordings that were gathered and processed together with Hannes Andersson, who worked on the creation of the piece with me. I often engage in intense listening of my surroundings because that’s where I get inspiration to make my sound pieces and improvisations on cello. I really like field recording, I have a collection of all kinds of sounds which when put into different contexts, acquire completely different meaning. That’s how you can hear a recording of a drunk karaoke performance of Hallelujah in a youth hostel in Amsterdam which I use as an example of Liquid Spirituality. The definitions that appear throughout the piece are mainly from a Liquid Artist Manifesto where I wrote a short practical guide on how to be a Liquid Artist in different complex social settings.

What do you hope people will take away from the finished piece?

I hope it takes you to a new, unfamiliar place, sort of a dreamland where you wouldn’t end up on your own. I think of radio art as a space of constantly shifting borders and possibilities to acquire new and multiple identities. In my work, I always try to indicate a notion of opening up to other possibilities, other than ones with which my audience might already be familiar with.

You can listen to Liquid Radio by Lucija Gregov and Hannes Andersson below.

Liquid Radio @ WORM by Lucija Gregov & Hannes Andersson

Times New Dutchman is written by PR Intern Eddie Smith, with new instalments published at irregular intervals over the coming months.

Times New Dutchman is written by PR Intern Eddie Smith, with new instalments published at irregular intervals over the coming months.