BITS & PIECES with Sebastian Mullaert

BITS & PIECES with Sebastian Mullaert

The first album you bought?

It was a cassette with Edvard Grieg, I think it was his string quartet in G minor. I started to play organ and violin at an early age and I was always very inspired by classical music. My parents didn’t listen so much to this kind of music, my dad played mostly Pink Floyd, Tangerine Dreams, Steppenwolf and other psychedelic music from the 60s and 70s. I enjoyed this as well but it was more special to listen to something different, something no one else among my family and friends were listing to.

The last album you were addicted to?

Anouar Brahem – The Astounding Eyes of Rita. I’ve listened to this album (and other albums by him) countless times. Minimal oriental jazz played with so much presence and love. This is pure healing.

A movie you can always watch?

Miyazaki – Spirited Away. One of the things I value the most with Miyasaki’s movies is the absence of a polarised view of the world and of existence. Something you hardly see anywhere else in popular tv series or movies. I believe the polarising of the world is an example of the unbalance most of us live by. Most movies need to divide things into good and bad, wise or stupid, beautiful and ugly…and so on, very often different characters are placed into one of the sides. I don’t believe this is real; we can’t divide people into good and bad, beauty is a subjective experience and who can claim knowing what is true or not?

Miyazaki never claims any of this, never tells us the truth but instead expresses abstract stories full of fantasies; energies and phenomena transforming on the screen, but still full of seeds to trigger our own fantasies, challenge our static patterns and remind us about the beauty of life. I feel this is very inspiring, and it awakes lust and motivation for me to take part in the adventure of life; full of differences and mysteries.

A book you couldn’t stop reading?

Murakami – The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I’m happy I didn’t recommend a Japanese artist and started to talk about Zen Buddhism, then this would look more like a piece about Japanese culture;) on an off note reflection it is a bit interesting that I’m so influenced by Japan.

Back to Murakami; I love most of his books. Some are more abstract, this one being one of them, and it was also the first one I read by him without having any knowledge about him before. I was hypnotised by it and couldn’t stop reading. I read it while on tour in Japan, which fused the Japanese experience in the book. I once read a review of another Murakami book saying that Murakami creates cracks in reality where light shines through; light being the ability to see beyond the frozen patterns which often prevent us from being ourselves.

The weirdest thing that has ever happened to you on stage or in the studio?

One time I was jammin with a friend, using two different Ableton set ups. In the middle of the jammin one of the Ableton set ups was starting to pitch down slowly from 127 bpm to 50…non of us understood what was going on but we kept on playing and naturally changing how we played as the program pitched down…it was a very surreal and trippy experience.

A favorite piece of equipment?

The culture vulture analogue distortion. A good distortion used in a moderate way adds so much texture and life to a sound, if you have good speakers it’s easy to just float away with the frequencies and overtones created in this amazing box.

A description of your music you’ll never forget?

Over the years there have been quite a few beautiful descriptions but what I value the most is when someone writes to me or I read something someone wrote about my music that show that creativity, inspiration and life is being present by taking part in the music or dance experience. I don’t care if the words about the music are beautifully written, to me one of the deepest function of art, music and dance is to remind us about the consciousness that I feel is the core of our existence. And the strongest reminder is when we actively take part in the creation, in the experience of it. Active dancing to hypnotic and abstract music is a very strong tool for this.


Illuminate, Sebastian Mullaert and Aril Brikha’s new collaborative EP, was released this month on Mule Musiq. Listen to samples below. For more info visit www.facebook.com/sebastianmullaert.

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