Interview with

Ben Vida

Ben Vida is an artist and composer living in New York. He has been an member of the international experimental music community for two decades with a long list of collaborators, band s and releases to his credit. In the mid 90’s he co-founded the group Town and Country and has since worked as a solo artist, presenting works in a range of museums, galleries and music venues including the MoMA, The Kitchen, the MCA, ICP London, Audio Visual Arts, The Artist’s Institute and the Sydney Opera House to name a few. Recent activities include performances at LiveArtsWeek at Museo d ‘Arte Moderna di Bologna, the Royal Festival Hall as part of the Meltdown Festival in London and the debut of a newly commissioned composition for Unsound presented at Experimental Intermedia in New York. This past spring he staged the next iterations of his video and performance pieces, Slipping Control and Damaged Particulates at 356 S. Mission in Los Angeles. Ben will be performing Damaged Particulates in Berlin at LEAP Art Gallery Oct. 10-12th, 2014.

Facts

Born in Dubuque, Iowa.
Lives in New York.
Unknown.

Questions

What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Opportunities and deadlines get me working and the experiment of each new project makes it worth doing. A community of friends and collaborators help to keep it all going.

How and when did you get into making music?
I grew up making music. My mom is a piano teacher and I was making music from the start. I played the piano first and then played trumpet in school band s. I began playing guitar around 14 or 15 and that’s when I really started to think about making my own music. Now I don’t really play any instruments very well, what a relief.

What are your 5 favourite albums of all time?
how about five artists off the top of my head?

Miles Davis
Bob Dylan
Mark E. Smith
Derek Bailey
Morton Feldman

What do you associate with Berlin?
Use to be Bowie/Eno/Visconti but now my associations all have to do with friends who live in the city.

What’s your favourite place in your town?
Everywhere, just walking around and seeing everybody and then coming home to the apartment that I share with my wife, Katy and our cat, Boo.

If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Write terrible novels.

What was the last record you bought?
Aphex Twin Syro

Who would you most like to collaborate with?
How about Roc from EVOL? I think maybe he and I will try to do something sometime in the future.

What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Performer: the last and /or next one.
Spectator: U.S. Maple in the late 90’s or Kevin Drumm anytime.

How important is technology to your creative process?
Sometimes it directs the process and sometimes it simply aids it.

Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career?
I have one brother, Adam. He and I have made so much music together over the years – I mean, since we were little kids up until just a couple of years ago. I think he is proud of me – I am of him.

Our Favourites: Tztztztzt Part 12 | Ssseeeeiiiii
Links: Soundcloud | benvida.blogspot.de | Interview with Ben Vida by Digital in Berlin