I compose electro-acoustic, dark ambient and techno music,
by extracting a personal, cathartic, mysticism from the stress and beauty of
globalised culture. Through the contrast of exploring digital tools and
engaging in collaborations
with classical instrumentalists, my work revolves around the dualistic idea
of aligning uncanny intensity with hypnotic tranquility. In its
essence, all of this embodies my search for spirituality outside of a uniform religious context.
Like the spectral composers of the 20th century, I am greatly fascinated by
the intricacy of acoustic instrument textures, and about finding news of bringing
them to the foreground through technological transformations and avant-garde
instrumental techniques. Combined with my love for rhythm,
this lead me to develop a personal aesthetic, in
which textures are amplified and carried by slowly evolving patterns,
drifting drones, grotesque acoustics, experimental grooves and silences.
Photocollage at the top is based on photos by Michiel Gardner.
Next photo by Pieter Kers, all others by Anastasija Pirozenko. Design and videos by Rutger Muller.
LED panels on live photos by Naivi.
The Ancient and Technology
My focus on instrumental timbre deepened my awareness of historical instrument innovations.
The textures of western classical instruments became increasingly stable (harmonic), while
eastern instruments continued to seek out variations in the fricative (inharmonic) spectrum.
Technological advances are bringing these worlds closer together. Music's history
can be explored via popular streaming catalogues, and software can be used to
identify and categorize audio (A.I.), share it (Creative Commons), and make it
accessible to programmers (API). I find this fascinating. Contemporary music
enables us to reflect on the history and the future of
cultural and scientific developments. I aim to harness that power; in some
cases by employing technology, in other cases by avoiding it. And in all
cases to express an idiosyncratic, personal, vision.
Parallels with the ancient
world can also be found in club culture, which has always inspired me.
Techno exists by the grace of free spaces, essential social platforms for
cathartic rituals. All together, R-Muller offers a mirror into the spiritual
roots of both the concert hall and the club.
Spirituality and Deep Listening
Music has the ability to transcend the drama of emotional affect,
to reach beyond it, towards the pattern-based origins of consciousness (the micro cosmos),
nature, and outer space (the macro cosmos). A mystic sense of disconnect
with the physical world can be felt when sound transforms our sense of time and space.
The majestic echos of religious chants, the graceful movements of Japanese
Noh theatre, the organic depth of the Australian digeridoo, the irrational flow of
African rhythms, the psychedelic resonance of the Indian sitar...
Our receptiveness for musical spirituality lies deeply engrained in our psyche,
but can only be experienced through focus and concentration.
To help our minds achieve that state of flow, we culturally define a listening space
constrained by physical and/or ritualistic factors, in which we adhere
to protokols for attentive stillness (in for example temples or churches)
or – seemingly opposite – dance (in for example tribalistic rituals
or today's club culture).
Many 20th century composers recognised the potentials of reflecting ancient
influences in their own practices, think of Giacinto Scelsi's drones,
Steve Reich's polyrhythms, Harry Partch's tunings and
Steve Roach's tribal-ambient. I aim to learn from
these artists and their cross-cultural attitude. This implicitly raises the
question whether an electronic music club has enough potential, in terms of acoustics and
listener concentration, to express the powers of classical and ancient dynamics.
I strife to open up these possibilities, to be part of a movement that has already been
started by deep listening festivals and institutions.
"Miles away from even a lot of the post-classical music
you hear these days, this is driving, jazz-inflected
experimental electronic music deeply rooted in classical
instrumentation and form." – CDM.com about the album demo (2015)
"We were blown away by this ensemble." – Rewire Festival organisation (2014)
"Beautiful, elegant and mysterious." – Murcof about the album demo (2015)
– Hubble Space Telescope (ESA) about the Cynquery video (2015)
29-Nov-2015: The Instrument Room (Bookstore Space, Amsterdam, NL)
21-Nov-2015: Le Mini Who (Koffie Leute, Utrecht, NL)
07-Nov-2015: Rewire Festival (Prins 29, Den Haag, NL)
28-Sep-2015: Splendor (Amsterdam, NL)
03-Apr-2015: Obscure Times (Vondelbunker, Amsterdam, NL)
07-Feb-2015: Hausse III (Brebl, Nijmegen, NL)
19-Dec-2014: The Rest is Noise (Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Amsterdam, NL)
16-Nov-2014: 4DSOUND Hacklab at ADE (Coded Matters, Compagnietheater, Amsterdam, NL)
05-Jun-2014: White Label Coffee (Amsterdam, NL)
19-Apr-2014: SOTU Festival (OT301, Amsterdam, NL)
20-Mar-2014: Red Light Radio (Amsterdam, NL)