Nicolas Jaar is taking quite an alternative approach for his latest visual, "Noise." The DJ-producer is taking a deep dive as the clip links the soothing tune with shots of him underwater. A simple, yet efficient concept that works as you will see above. In addition, make sure to have a look at his recent conversation with The Avant/Garde Diaries about his upcoming offering Darkside, its sound and inspiration behind it.
How did you discover your sound?
Improvising has always been the most exciting way to get at something new and internal. Music allows you to be in a state of mind where you're just letting go. I think everyone is that way, even a soccer player, for instance. The best soccer player can be seen as a combination of pure passion and method. The passion part of it is letting go, even though you know all the rules. You're in the heat of the moment. The feeling of freedom that comes from letting go and allowing your mind and body to speak is very important for creating anything. I guess I'm obsessed with that freedom. The real beauty in music is finding something sacred deep inside, but I feel like the older I grow the more distractions there are.
That freedom is something you mention a lot when speaking about your music – about being really honest when you're creating.
It's hard to be honest because it's hard being honest with yourself, with others, and it's hard just knowing what honesty is in the end. In music, everything moves very fast and you want to catch up. But the moment that happens you have to catch up to yourself and realize that you can only do what you're meant to do in the first place. And that's why honesty is hopefully timeless in the end. Because it's not about speaking to this context or that context, it's about speaking to yourself first and to the people that you love and to the experiences that you've had in your life. That’s the hope or ideal, anyway. Maybe honesty is not the way. Maybe rules actually help creativity more than free expression. I have no idea. I just hope it’s honesty. It sounds better; it sounds more real and truthful to me. There have been times where I felt if I wanted to do a really good job at a gig, I couldn't be honest, and I had to act the whole way. And then that gig went really well.
When producing a song, do you find that the music takes on a life of its own, or is it a deliberate authorship from beginning to end?
A lot of the songs from my album were actually made in very, very little time. And I guess that's what I like the most about them. It was a state of mind. The idea began and finished there. And then I was able to look back at the idea and see it as a small signature in time. In that sense, they take a full life of their own. And I guess that's how I judge a song. If it has it's own life, then it's really, really exciting. I like seeing it as other. That's really amazing.
Looking back on your state of mind when making those songs, what was the specific setting or circumstance that you composed against?
What’s interesting about looking back is that the music is always tied to a person, and I guess that’s what I like most about it. It's like an exorcism, to a certain extent. Even if I'm still friends or connected to people that I make music about, I do feel like I have to make little exorcisms once in a while and take them out of me.
What are the themes you're exploring in your latest work?
There are themes I've been really obsessed with in the past year that I’m trying to comprehend through my music. The first theme is noise. It's very obvious for our time, but I just can't get away from it. And there are a lot of layers to the idea of noise. I think for the past ten or fifteen years gadgets have excited us. But in the last few years, I started getting very grossed out by technology for the first time. I wanted to get away from it. There is a sort of insanity about being connected. Anyway, what started slowly taking shape in my mind was this idea of broken technology. That's what noise then became to me. What does a broken computer sound like? What does a broken anything sound like? Usually you end up with clicks and actual pink or white noise. You end up with static and dial-up tones. I think we've seen a lot of music that deals with these ideas of technological noise. We're all trying to get away from noise, and yet we're getting this immense amount of pleasure from the amount of noise we can have at any given moment.