Interview with electro improvisers Aslaug Holgersen and Ernst van der Loo – Edition Two ‘Handmade Homegrown’

Hardcore improviser duo Aslaug Holgersen (double bass) and Ernst van der Loo (electronics, machines and gadgets) do radical, kinetic performances creating high energy, unstoppable sound storms within which they thrive like vikings upon a fierce sea.

Aslaug and Ernst will be joining us live in concert for the second edition of ‘Handmade Homegrown’ concert series at Theater Dakota, 18 October 2012, 20.15.

Aslaug Holgersen

Aslaug Holgersen

What makes you passionate about making and composing new work?

Aslaug: Sound, exploring the possibilities and restrictions of the instrument. And trying again and again to make sound turn into space.

Ernst: Composing and making music for me is more like tinkering with processes, being either with old fashioned synths and electronics or with computers and software. I tend to create networks I can control up to a certain level. I guess for me the element of getting surprised with what boils up from these processes is what makes me come back to it. It is sort of like playing an improvisation session with other (non-electronic) musicians, you’re bound to get surprised and you’ll have to deal with it. 😀

What is your earliest memory of creating sound/ music pieces?

Ernst: That surely are my sessions with two old transistor radios and a very old calculator I got from the belongings of my deceased grandfather. When I was 5 or 6 years old I found out that this calculator interfered on certain parts of the radio band. Next to that it also went completely insane if you typed certain key combinations culminating in several rhythmic variations. This together with radio static and some parts of the emergency services radio leaking through probably set my sound world and esthetic at a very tender age.
Later my Star Wars toys were involved as well. 😀

Aslaug: There are photos from before that, rattles, singing, percussive stuff… What I remember might be my experiments as a 3-4 year old to recreate the applause on the live LPs with a box full of Lego blocs. That, and learning the B7 chord on a grown up guitar when I was 4…

Would you like to share some thoughts and memories about music life in The Netherlands?

Ernst: Loads of free improvisation sessions, great parties  and concerts with dear friends. The whole fact of being exposed to all these fellow music maniacs was very mind blowing at the time.

Aslaug: Electronic Studio 1, roti, BEA6 and buying a wheel for my double bass. Meeting a lot of people who has meant a lot to me musically and personally, I thank you all!!

What is your favourite key?

Aslaug: I’ve played too much Wagner to deal with one key for more than half a page.

Ernst: Since I don’t really deal with traditional notation and such I’d say my iLok key that has the registration for Max/MSP on it.
Next to that I’d say I’m into chromatic/minor stuff , I grew up on thrash & death metal music, that stuff sticks with you.

Ernst van der Loo

Ernst van der Loo

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