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MADE's Future Self: Max Richter

We speak to the influential film score and performance art composer about his work for the latest project at MADE in Berlin featuring an interactive 3-D LED installation

Entitled 'Future Self', the new interactive exhibition at MADE Berlin, is an exploration of human movement, by mirroring live dance with light and sound - expressing the forms of the self, present and future. The artist collective, rAndom International, and choreographer Wayne McGregor enlisted the help of the iconic composer Max Richter for the unique interdisciplinary installation. The stunning sculpture mirrors human movement through strips of thousands of hand-soldered LED light units in a 3-D block housed at the installation space at MADE - a gallery, workspace, studio and stage, founded as a venue for interdisciplinary projects that invites artists to step out of their usual artistic routines.

Created as a platform to allow artists to collaborate and explore new artistic fields, MADE was founded by German contemporary artist tadiROCK, her partner Nico Zeh and their team in early 2010, supported by Absolut since the start. At the live performance in Berlin, we spoke to Max Richter known for his film scores, ballets and collaborations with Julian Opie about his composition for the unique new artwork...

Dazed Digital: A lot of your past work has often explored things like human consciousness and human interaction, so what is it about this theme that appeals to you personally?
Max Richter:
I think music is like story-telling or asking questions. It’s a language that just seems natural for me to do that in. I guess I’m a curious person and like everyone, we’re looking for answers, and I think music is kind of my natural language and it's a way to dig out some kind of meaning or order out of the chaos of a normal life.

DD: So how did your composition for MADE attempt to address these issues?
Max Richter:
I'm writing all the time, and every piece is its own little unit within that but it’s all part of something else, some bigger thing. This piece is like a thinking-space, a space to reflect. The dancers and the way the light moves in the piece, for me, that’s like the figure in the landscape and the music is the kind of landscape, or a womb or something, like a holding-space for these things to move into and tell their stories.

DD: So do you think it’s the music that tells the story or is it the dancers who tell the story?
Max Richter:
I think the dancers are like the figures in that landscape, they’re like the actors in the scene. And the music is a kind of, it’s quite sort of bodily, there’s a lot of deep, sub-energy in it, and I feel like it’s a sort of primal goo, you know? It’s like that soup that’s kind of before everything, and these figures are in it. And it has a kind of fundamental physical quality.

DD: What kind of emotions are you hoping to trigger in an audience watching?
Max Richter:
I think the piece is about, for me, about wonder. It’s how extraordinary that human figure is when you see it mirrored and represented in this other medium. This other medium which is light, and it’s an amazing image, an amazing translation of a kind of person like you and me, like everyone. It’s a beautiful image actually. Very inspiring.

DD: Do you think the difference between all the electronic music and the classical music are still really evident now or do you think they’re kind of more blurred?
Max Richter:
I always treated them as a kind of continuum, but I think I’m a bit unusual in that way. I remember in the 90s when all that sort of quite experimental electronica started to come out, just to me it sounded the same as the university academic's electronic music. And yet, you know these people didn’t know one another at all, it was like these two universes running [parallel]. I don’t know, I think this idea of cutting music into pieces is a bit weird, it’s maybe marketing driven? Maybe? I’ve no idea. It seems a bit odd.


Future Self at MADE: May 3rd – June 2nd 2012