ROBOT Magazine Interview (Autumn 2004)

Unedited Version

1. First of all, Could you give us latest news about yourself?

Right now I'm letting material made for my next studio release to sit in the background and simmer in my mind so I can work on it further with fresher ears. That particular release has been planned to be a thematically uniform EP. Quite possibly a split release with artists of the same label. Besides that, I have collaborations to work with. Material I made for my gigs seem to be influencing material made for that EP previously, so we shall see what happens.

However, the next release is the live recording from my May 22nd -04 Placard gig. This will be a joint release with Niko Skorpio, with whom I played a improvised section there.

2. When & how did you start ? Who is OVRO(is it your real name?)? Short bio, please ... ..

My bio will be rather short anyway, as I haven't been in this - making music - for that long as yet. I started in the spring of 2003. Before that, I hadn't been involved in making music as anything other than listener, having musicians as friends and so forth.

How did I start? A couple of friends of mine were talking about setting up a band and started trying to talk me into joining. I was less than thrilled and tried to explain how I was a music user, but never a music maker. They didn't give up, so I decided to actually show who was right and who was wrong in order to get them off my back.

Having no idea of what I was going to do (or what I was supposed to do with the software that I had in order to use it "right") and with no pressure of proving myself to be able to do something, I jumped in head first and started experimenting. I picked up my microphone, a very cheap Chinese crackling mic and began playing with it - scratching it, shaking it, tapping on it, emitting strange noises into it and then looking deeper into the sounds made.

Before long, to my great suprise, there were tracks. These I dumped on those two previously mentioned friends of mine (my testing ears) and they actually liked what they heard, encouraging me to make more. Which I did. With more material, my current label's owner started talking about releasing my tracks as an album and that's the story of Malice in Underland's birth.

Later on, Kaaos in Eccentris got formed and last year I also joined the ranks of Helsinki Computer Orchestra.

Who is Ovro? She's a Finnish female in her thirties, residing in Turku. "Ovro" isn't my given name, it's my "stage name". Originally, I needed a title for the first track I ever made when I sent it out to my testing ears (that track became Caving), so I thought of the word "ovros". Then, when I got asked what name I was making music under, I said "Ovro". Then I googled the word to see if there already was somebody making music under the same name. There wasn't, but I found out that there was "OVRO", Owens Valley Radio Observatory in the USA, listening to the echoes of the sounds of the birth of the world. Together with my first association, ouroboros the world serpent, it seemed to fit and Ovro became 'official'.

3. What are your your equipments? Basic or high-tech? Laptop?

Laptop, tabletop, microphone and me. Software, of course. Nothing fancy, I'm not a techie. "Does it work?" is more important than "How does it work?".

4. Your musical influences? Any particular artists, ideas, themes,etc...

This is a difficult question. It would be presumptuous of me to say that I don't have musical influences. Of course, music I like influences me, even if it is more unconcscious than conscious influence. I'm not trying to emulate anybody's soundscapes but do my own thing. Music I don't like may have a more direct influence on me: "I don't want to sound like THAT"...

If I have to name one name that's been influencing me for well over a decade, that would be Coil.

5. a. Tell us about your Malice in Underland CD? Are you satisfied with it?

How Malice in Underland came to be can be read above.

I haven't really sat down to listen to the album for quite some time. I lived and breathed it so intensively during the time I was working on it, my ears need a break in order for me to be able to listen to it with fresher approach. Although there are things that I would do differently now and portions that would sound - more refined? might be a way to put it, but that was then. One HAS to let go of a piece of music in order for it to be released, saying "this might not be 'finished', but I'm willing to let you hear it at this point". I don't think a piece of music is ever "finished", but always in a state of possible evolving.

All in all I'm rather satisfied with Malice in Underland. It documents what I was at that particular point of time. Of course some of the material could have been more mature, but the fact remains that it isn't the work of a "mature artist" (whatever that means), but of somebody who had started just a couple of months ago.

There are people out there who have been touched by my music and who have let my soundscapes form mindscapes. For that I am very happy.

b. Tell us someting about your lyrics....

The lyrics on Malice in Underland are rather open-ended, leaving room for interpretation. Take Ascencion for example. The lyrics go, all in all: "Have no fear. I will get you anyway... This is the day. Have no fear, I will get you anyway." Is "I will get you anyway" a promise of catching you if you fall, or a threat of running you down if you try to flee?

6. What're your plans for future? And your side projects?

Plans for the future include continuing working with music, learning new stuff and trying not to get stuck in "this is how I do things" mannerism that stifles creativity.

At the moment I don't have any actual side projects. I'm in Kaaos in Eccentris, a fluctuating membership (at the moment 3-6, with at least one bass quitar player) live improvisation project and Helsinki Computer Orchestra, occasionally working with other people as well.

7. What do you think about these topics (SHORT PLEASE):

> Life,
Live it.

> earth,
Our common home.

> human,
Our species, even though I refuse to be counted as being the member of the same species with some humans.

> war,
The world is the board for Big Boys' games of power & money. The pawns matter not.

> god,

> governments,
Unnecessary evil.

> sex,
For recreation, not procreation.

> animal rights > whale & dolphins ,
Realizing that we are animals too might do good for many a people.

> serial killers,
Some people do not know when to stop.

> art > Dada> Futurism,
I wish I could go back and visit the times when dada was forming...

> time> space,
It's there, bend it.

> Industrial> Noise music,
When it's good, it's good to die for. When it's bad... it approaches pop in boringness.

> analog > digital system
As long as it works.

> media >TV,
Can you say "propaganda"?

> computer >internet,
The world gets smaller every day. Too bad our "leaders" don't see it.

> modern life style> technology,
Return to rural sounds like a good idea untill you try it. Then it's "let other people toil the earth for my modern life style", isn't it?

> finland ?
Odd little place with odd people.

8. How’s the electronic, experimental, noise music scene in your country?

Is there a scene here? I suppose there is... I need to get out more...

Seriously speaking, in a country with this small population and even the biggest town being rather small when compared to, say, more southern Europe, the scene for any pretty marginal music tends to be rather small. The odder soundscapes fall into a slot where there are people who do appreciate a "noisy artist" and many of those listening actually make electronic music, it's a rare bunch who really are experimental and noisy. The noisyness, of course, is just my point of view.

9. You re a woman.. There arent many woman in the electronic music scene. How is it ( being a woman in the scene)?

The flippant answer would be: "I don't have any experience of being a male in the electronic music scene so I don't know the difference", but let's not go there.

It may be easier for me to get noticed among all the other artists out there just because I'm female. However, I doubt male artists get approaced after gigs with questions on whether they were merely performing somebody else's sound material, or did they actually have a hand at making it as well... After getting informed that I actually WAS the creator of the sounds, the querants have congratulated me. That, of course, feels nice but I still haven't figured out where the presumption of going on stage on performing somebody else's material comes from. From me being female? If my next gig (whenever it is) generates yet again that kind of questions, I'll be sure to ask.

10. As you see , nowadays, we live in a Computerworld (like Kraftwerk said) everywhere in the world!... In future, Will we (humans) become robots /androids? How?.....

So many people are non-(deep)thinking automatons as is, most of humankind are already something akin to robots.

11. Would like to add anything, last messages & words?

The great in the small, especially in sounds under microscope.