Interview with Serge Kozlovsky
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... On leaving school, I spent most of the 1980s moving more into the pop world, writing songs with a great vocalist, Carl Chapman. So to summarise I have a broad musical background ranging from Classical to Pop, Jazz and New Age/Ambient.
Kevin : I am self taught as an engineer and producer. When I started writing my own compositions, I would experiment with small cassette tape recorders, doing primitive multitrack overdubs by feeding the outputs of one machine back into the input of another whilst recording another musical line over the top, building up layers of musical parts. Obviously, the sound quality was terrible! But it gave a good grounding in the basic techniques of multitrack recording. As time has progressed, my studio has been constantly upgraded with new items of recording equipment and instruments to the point I am at now, with digital hard disk multitrack recording facilities and an array of synthesizers both old an new, giving a huge palette of sonic possibilities.
I think that the most important thing for me in the creation of my music is the working practice I have evolved. For me, the production and engineering side of the music forms an integral part of the composition process. As the choice of actual sounds is so important in this style of music, I cannot work in the traditional way, where all parts are first recorded to tape or hard disk and then mixed at a later date, adding effects, reverbs and so on. A synthesizer can sound completely different without a particular effect, so therefore that effect has to be there from the start for me. In other words, for me the traditional mixing and production phase of a recording evolves alongside the composition process.
As far as my favourite instrument goes, I would have to say it is the Roland JV-1080 synthesizer. I have a range of Roland and Korg instruments and the JV-1080 stands out as a wonderfully versatile "workhorse" machine that always delivers results. It is capable of creating the magical, floating background textures that I love to use, plus solo instruments like piano and woodwinds. A good friend, also a musician, asked me once which instrument I was using. When I said it was mostly a Roland JV-1080, he said "It can't be - I have one of those!", which highlights the versatility of the instrument - it will sound completely different in the hands of another musician, and he hadn't recognised it in my work. Most of my music is centered around this instrument.
Kevin : Having reached a natural conclusion to the period of writing pop songs, I returned to my New Age musical roots, and to the idea of recording an album of New Age music with a view to seeking to get it released in some way. This was in 1991, just after my wife, Julie and I got married. We spent our honeymoon on the Greek island of Rhodes, and found a wonderful secluded bay there where we spent a lot of time just relaxing by the sea. I felt inspired by the sound of the water lapping on the shore, and I started to compose music in my head, which I do quite frequently. When the time came to return home, I had composed the first half of what became my "Watermusic" album, which I recorded early in 1992. This all became possible due to the advent of DAT, an affordable means of high quality digital recording.
I sent my Watermusic album off to about 6 New Age music distributors in the UK, and 2 of them were interested in taking the album on. I placed the album with Anam Music, a small new distribution company at the time, who also distributed my second album, "Autumn" a year later in 1993. Anam Music was short-lived however, closing down at the beginning of 1994, and I was faced with finding another means of distribution. Through Anam, I had gained an insight into what was necessary for manufacture and distribution and decided to form my own label and distribution company. At the same time, I was starting work on an album inspired by the evening, the sunsets and the peace that falls over the land at that time of day. I settled on the name EVENTIDE, for both that album and the label, and launched them both simultaneously. This had the effect of getting the name Eventide firmly established in peoples' minds in the field of New Age music ...
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