An interview with Pridon
Eddie ‘Bovaflux‘ Symons had a chat with producer Pridon (Petros Voudouris) ahead of airing a guest mix from the Greek sonic explorer on his Future Music FM show. That show (found here) aired Sunday, October 26th.
Voudouris’ music takes inspiration from IDM, ambient Detroit sounds, and minimalistic techno. Before taking a solo path, Voudouris played keyboards and percussion in several bands before embracing his passion about producing electronic music. This passion has led to him constructing his own audio hardware.
Pridon is about exploring sonic spaces, finding the “zone” groove, interlocking and merging styles of music, plain having fun, trying new techniques, creating rare moods and putting you in eclectic imaginary fields. Lower the lights, lay back and have a listen.
Was there a clear starting point for you making music, or was it something that crept up on you?
When I was 13, after giving up on some piano lessons with a particularly bad teacher, I decided that I wanted to learn more on my own. I asked my dad to get me an arranger keyboard. Him being a very thorough buyer, he started researching audio gear and ended up buying me a workstation synth with a sequencer and told me “this one is better, it doesn’t play music by itself – you have to make everything yourself from scratch”; so I ended up learning a sequencer giving the manuals to my older brother and asking him to find stuff for me. From that point on I started making my own music and till I was, like 19, I didn’t know anyone else that doing that. It was a bit odd always comparing myself to CDs and feeling embarrassed about how bad my music was in comparison.
Your set up is a mixture of vintage analogue and the latest VSTs. How much is your sound defined by your equipment? Which single bit of gear couldn’t you live without?
I think that some of the gear I couldn’t live without would be my headphones or my speakers. I take no pleasure making music if I can’t hear good sound. The analog stuff is certainly more fun to work with, when everything works and is in tune. I think my hardware gives me a good bit of my sound as I have spent years sampling it and making presets but I guess, I couldn’t say that my sound is defined by what I make it with, although the gear certainly plays its part.
Apart from other musicians, what else influences your music?
The seasons, the place I live, my memories of Brighton, Berlin, Athens, my hometown, my studying with music or fiddling with gear trying out several techniques that I would be curious about at the time. Everything influences my music, often I envision certain people, while making music, trying to somehow please their ears.
What would you say the defining moments of your life have been? Are they represented in your music?
My defining moments would be when I relocated, I moved to Brighton from my hometown, then back to Greece, Athens, then Berlin then Athens again. Electronic music scenes are very different between UK, Germany and Greece. What was going on in other places influenced me and I think got it into my music, inevitably.
I got into so many different things that I had a hard time favouring one from another, so I always tried to let myself free with Pridon and make anything I’d like, without trying to stick to a very specific style.
How much of your music is preplanned, and how much comes from happy accidents?
It differs from track to track, I like to try both ways and all in between. Sometimes I sit on the piano and make a harmony and then I start the sequencer.
I tend to do that more often recently, before I would mainly start from a beat and build from there.
What are you listening to right now?
Not listening to a lot of new stuff at the moment as I’m working on a new album and I get easily sidetracked if something gets me excited.
I listened to the new Thom Yorke album last week, when I go out alone I usually play some Boards of Canada, Jon Hopkins and other hypnotic stuff especially when I’m in the nature. I also like jazzy stuff like Bbng, Robert Glasper experiment and loads of jazz and classical piano music.
Can you tell us anything about a new album?
Well I’m working on a new album, was hoping to have it ready by now but seems that it will take a little longer. Most tracks are ready and the album should get together by next year.
I’m also working on a new live set with a jazz bassist friend, Pavlos Maragos, and this time I’m trying to figure how to connect the album with live performance and maybe bring stuff back from the performance to the album. Not easy to make the link with electronic music and the endless possibilities of live performance. I want to bring more musicianship inside the project both live and in the studio, but at the same time I’m trying to keep all the good stuff from my older processes.